Members' Stories - Alison

Alison(R) with Wendy Saville at the Barbican

Alison, Alto - Member since 2019

How was your first rehearsal?

I joined WFCC in Setember 2019 initially as a tenor, and since January as an alto - my natural voice.

I already knew a number of choir members and they encouraged me to 'just come along'. Despite this, I felt quite nervous walking in, but the first person I spoke to immediately took me under her wing and introduced me to a few key people. I loved the sociability of it all - all the chat beforehand and at the tea break. To be honest, I can't remember what we covered in rehearsal! But I enjoyed it and knew I'd be coming back.

What encouraged you to join Waltham Forest Community Choir?

I've been a member of a local acapella community choir for over ten years, and was looking for opportunities to sing some choral works alongside our menu of world, folk and pop. The immediate attraction was the opportunity to sing in 'Messiah', which I'd sung at school. I love the mix of music at WFCC, and enjoy the chance to work with a score rather than learning everything by ear.  

What changes have you seen since you joined?

I'm still in my first year, so none that I'm aware of. I know that a number of people have joined since I did, and been seamlessly integrated into the choir. 

What, so far has  been the highlight of your time with Waltham Forest Community Choir?

It's been a very eventful year!

Singing in 'Messiah' was amazing and fully deserves to be called a highlight. And the evening we spent together singing old favourites in our last meeting before lockdown was enormous fun.

But the stand-out highlight has to be 'Beethoven Nein'. Like 'Messiah', it was a challenge to prepare for in a relatively short time, and I'm still amazed that we rose to the occasion on the night. And it was such a privilege and so exciting to sing in the Barbican with professional musicians as part of the Beethoven weekend.

How, if at all, has the choir impacted your day to day life?

I had to give up my monthly early music group which also meets on Monday nights! But I had no doubt that the sacrifice was worthwhile.

I enjoy our music and get pleasure from practising it. I love the sociable and upbeat atmosphere: even when it's challenging, Jamie makes rehearsals positive and enjoyable. And I've made new friends, and consolidated old friendships.

What are your hopes for the future?

I hope it will continue to have the rich mix I've experienced so far, with a wide range of music, and of opportunities for performance.

I hope too that it continues to be as accessible and accepting of anyone who wants to sing.  I hope it stays as friendly and sociable. More of the same, please!
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