The curtains open. I’m ready to sing and dance my heart out. I feel rough but I couldn’t miss this even if I was dying. I’m standing next to the lovely Marie who’s wearing a beautiful bright yellow dress and gorgeous colourful earrings. It’s her first ever One Sound, I can’t stop thinking about my first One Sound and how excited I was and I’m so happy I can see her excitement too, I can only imagine how she must feel. I see Mike on the side of the stage, smile to him and I get into position.
I catch a glimpse of Dan, standing in the middle, ready to guide and keep us in tune and in time, reminding us to smile sometimes just by smiling himself. I can’t believe this is the last time I will perform at this amazing show, last time I’ll look for Dan’s smiling face every time I unsuccessfully try to remember the next line.
I can’t believe how something so simple like joining a workplace choir would lead to singing at the Mayflower, shopping centres, fairs, Christmas events to flashmobs at West Quay and Graduation, to sold out choir collaboration shows and making friends for life.
An ordinary Tuesday, November 2013
My colleague Lilian invited me to join her on the new ‘Lunchtime Glee’ sessions, an initiative to improve staff wellbeing. I thought why not. I wasn’t feeling my best at the time. I was in an unhappy relationship, I hated myself and work started to become a not so pleasant place to be. I desperately needed even just a little ray of sunshine in my dark, depressing life.
I walk in, I see Dan’s smiling face for the first time ever and after an hour of singing Mama Mia and having a laugh with colleagues, for the first time in years I felt happy, pure happiness. I completely forgot about anything else.
That was the best decision I ever made.
About a year and a half later we had our first performance, at the Hanger Farm Art Centre. I still remember the nerves, the excitement, we were buzzing for days after that. It’s hard to understand how from singing to a small audience we now perform on a huge stage with hundreds of other singers in front of a sold out Guildhall.
Since I joined Lunchtime Glee, my confidence slowly improved and I met my best friend, one of my soulmates, Sheba who was there for me since then, through all the changes, the dramas and together we made some of the most amazing memories I’ll never forget.
Because of Lunchtime Glee and Dan, I met Jack, Claire, Helena, Pat, Ray, Julie, Jo, Amy, Ann, Lucy, Christina, Sandi, Lesley, Rachel and so many others who for two years let me be part of the most loving, caring, singing family, Sing Now choir. That was exactly what I needed in my life at that point and I wouldn’t be where I am today without their love, support and encouragement.
Though I left Sing Now almost two years ago, every time I see these wonderful humans is like nothing changed. They always welcome me with a warm hug.
I’d recommend to every single one of you to join a choir. Don’t worry if you can’t sing, that’s not what is all about. Singing and having a laugh with other lovely humans, forgetting about your troubles for an hour or two and just enjoying yourself and feeling happy, that’s the best remedy for most of life’s problems.
I’ve written about it many times before… these are just some of the highlights:
so I won’t go into all the amazing days I had with my choir families in more detail, I just want to thank Dan and Jack for their love, creativity and passion for what they do, their kindness and professionalism and genuine care about their choir members’ wellbeing. I’d recommend Singforce, Sing Now or any projects these two wonderful humans are involved with to anyone, with no hesitation.
A big thank you to all my wonderful choir friends for all the incredible memories I’ll cherish for ever. I love you all and I will miss you dearly. I will always think of you every Tuesday lunchtime and every time I see a choir.