En­joy a love of singing in a choir

Napier Courier - - NEWS - BY BRENDA VOWDEN brenda.vowden@hbto­day.co.nz

If you’re one of those peo­ple who love singing in the shower, or maybe to your favourite tune in your car — maybe it’s time to indulge your secret love of singing and join the Hawke’s Bay Com­mu­nity Choir.

Or per­haps just go along and see what it’s all about. The choir was started by Ani Tylee more than seven years ago.

“She found a fab­u­lous young di­rec­tor in Chelsea Makere Savai­inaea with heaps of mu­si­cal knowl­edge, the­ory and a beau­ti­ful singing voice,” says mem­ber Cathy Kingston.

Ani took care of ad­min­is­tra­tion, fees and com­mu­ni­ca­tion with choir mem­bers. Chelsea is the mu­sic leader, as­sisted by Te­vivi Daniel, Cathy says.

“The songs we sing come from all over the world — African, Ja­panese, He­brew, Ma¯ ori, North Amer­ica, you name it. Songs in English and from the Pa­cific Is­lands. We of­ten sing in four parts — bass, tenor, alto and so­prano. We also sing in rounds.”

Cathy says they av­er­age around 30 mem­bers and have had up to 40.

“Peo­ple come and go, and then re­turn at some stage. We have a few stal­warts who have been go­ing along for all the seven years.”

That in­cludes a hus­band and wife team who drive from Taka­pau. Al­though most choir mem­bers are older, the youngest is in their late teens. Cathy says HC Com­mu­nity Choir

al­though there are al­ways more women, there are about 10 reg­u­lar men.

“We would al­ways like more men, and re­ally en­cour­age them when a new man en­ters the door. The men who do come, how­ever, have plenty of vol­ume and sing with gusto and en­joy­ment, and I think the sound is well bal­anced.”

Prac­tice nights start with a half-hour warm-up which in­cludes a phys­i­cal body warmup fol­lowed by a few vo­cal warmups.

“This is usu­ally a bit of fun. Then we ar­range our­selves in our vo­cal groups and sit on chairs for the other hour. We may learn a new song or two, and then we usu­ally sing our favourites. Te­vivi can play pi­ano, gui­tar or ukulele.”

Don’t worry if you don’t know the words — a small com­mit­tee makes sure the lights and heaters are on and the words are dis­played on the wall.

“No au­di­tion or sheet mu­sic is re­quired un­less we are per­form­ing. So it is pretty ca­sual and you just learn the songs as you go. It is for the joy of singing. If you have some­thing else on, you are un­der no obli­ga­tion to at­tend, and you needn’t feel that you are let­ting any­one down.” Last year the choir joined with the Welling­ton Com­mu­nity Choir and sang at the arts fes­ti­val.

“We do have the odd sin­gout which is al­ways fun, and there are mu­sic week­ends and workshops avail­able for those who wish to at­tend — purely vol­un­tary.”

Cathy says any­one who has al­ways liked to sing and is happy to learn would re­ally en­joy the choir.

“And I like to think that they would feel wel­comed. We are a great bunch of peo­ple. I al­ways come away feel­ing the joy of singing to­gether in a choir with great peo­ple.”

■ Hawke’s Bay Com­mu­nity Choir, Clive Com­mu­nity Hall, ev­ery Thurs­day dur­ing term time, 7pm-8.30pm. For more con­tact Cathy Kingston ph 8448099 or cmk­ingston@ac­trix.co.nz

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