I sometimes start my pre-Christmas planning period with a slight groan as I try to work out how we will fit a decent-sized chunk of new repertoire into such a short space of learning time. The truth is, when our festive performances roll around, I love it. Here’s why.
A sense of community has always been one of my biggest driving factors in running a choir. Throughout the year, we take part in local events at the heart of our community of which we are extremely proud. It’s great to sing for our families, our friends and those living around us. And it’s lovely to finish the choir year performing at the heart of our community.
Firstly, we sing songs and carols on our village green by the Christmas tree. Weather permitting, large numbers of villagers come out to join us and we all sing the carols together which is amazing. We also visit local hospitals and care homes where we sing for patients and hardworking staff, as well as doing a walk around singing in corridors and rooms of those unable to move about.
I love the friendships that have grown from the choir. People who come together as strangers form strong bonds over time and it’s wonderful to see those friendships grow. Some members have formed book clubs or go on holiday together or just support each other through challenging times.
At Christmas these friendships are cemented by sharing some great (if often a little cheesy) music, lots of mince pies and the odd glass of mulled wine. We always have a choir Christmas party, which is often a highlight of our social calendar.
Making a difference
I think as choir leaders Christmas is a great time to stand back and reflect upon what we have achieved with our choirs. We should always feel proud of our efforts and understand that by bringing our singers together and creating wonderful music and performances we are making a difference not only to the choir but to all those who hear and enjoy them.