Why I Joined My Choir - Jackie's Story

Why I Joined My Choir - Jackie's Story
Type of post: Chorus news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Mary Williams
Status: Current
Date Posted: Mon, 11 Mar 2024

Why I Joined My Choir - Jackie's Story

We had been planning a house move for a couple of years, and having lived in the same place for over thirty years - we knew we had to find a new community of friends. I had watched several series of Gareth Malone forming choirs and encouraging people who had no experience of singing since school to find their voices.

I knew very little about different choral traditions. I had never considered myself a singer, but I enjoyed singing along to the radio and joining in community singing when it happened.  I thought a choir would be an interesting new way to meet people.

I happened to come across a “Learn to Sing” course of six sessions in Bristol, advertised in Classic FM magazine, so thought I’d give it a try.

The course took place in a church in Kingswood and was organised by two Bristol Barbershop choruses, Avonbelles (now Avon Harmony) and Great Western Chorus. About 150 People turned up on the first evening, and we were encouraged to visit both choruses, who held their rehearsals nearby after the sessions ended.

I visited both choirs on separate evenings. Great Western was a men’s chorus, and although fun to watch - it obviously wasn’t for me. But Avonbelles felt like a good place to try out my idea of joining a choir.

So, with some trepidation, I went along to the first rehearsal after the course finished. As I was new to the area, I had trouble finding their normal rehearsal venue and almost turned back, as I was going to be late. How glad I am that I persisted!

Why I Stayed Singing With Avon Harmony

I found my voice, a new hobby, new friends, and a whole world of barbershop singing and tradition that I had no previous idea existed. Along with the singing, there is the teamwork involved in making it happen, which, for me, is key to the enjoyment.

Regular rehearsals, learning songs, and practising to be as good as we can be to entertain and sometimes compete with other singers mean there is always something new to learn and improve on.

However jaded or worried I may feel beforehand, after a rehearsal, my spirits are lifted, and I often go home on a real high.
It may not be for everyone, but I wish I’d found those things out thirty years earlier!

Jackie B - Lead in Avon Harmony

PS Want to check our choir out? We welcome adult women of all ages and levels of experience.

Pop along with no obligation on a Thursday to Glenfrome Primary School, Cottisford Rd, Eastville, Bristol, BS5 6TY from 7.30-9.30 pm.  Do you have any questions or want us to look out for you? Email musicdirector@avonharmony.com