Sunday, 5 February 2012

Classical Gas

It's been a long time since I last sang in a classical choir.  Not since I was at school and university.  Highlights of my 'singing career' include Zadok the Priest with Leith Academy in the Usher Hall and Mozart's Requiem with Edinburgh University in Dunblane Cathedral.

My dad was brought up in a Scottish Episcopal church where he was a choir boy.  He, and my Mum,  sang in the Pune Choral Society so that, despite being brought up in India, I was exposed to European choral music from an early age.

A few years ago, after having spent a long time on the waiting list, I joined the Gasworks Choir.  It's an 'acappella choir' (Italian for 'in the manner of the church' ie unaccompanied, as opposed to 'cantata' which is accompanied).  I initially found it quite scary to have to sing without music, but I soon got the hang of it and have thoroughly enjoyed singing a wide variety of different genres.

However part of me still yearned for the choral singing of my youth and so I was delighted when Dee announced that she was going to start a Classical Gas choir.  After two workshops to brush up my rusty sight singing skills I attended the first practice this morning.  We started with three pieces by Byrd, Vivaldi and Lauridsen, each completely different yet equally beautiful pieces of music.  They're not easy and will require a great deal of practice at home if I'm to master them but I'm relishing the challenge because I'm certain it will repay me many times over.

An added bonus is that we will performing our pieces in the inspiring setting of St James Priory, a former Benedictine priory and the oldest building in Bristol.  It promises to be a night to remember.  


  1. Singing in a choir is meant to be good for body and soul. I hope you have a great time rehearsing, Gai, and that your performance(s) will be well received.

  2. Second practice coming up on Sunday. I haven't managed to squeeze in as much practice as I would have liked, so will need to catch up in the next few days.