Yes, yes! I sound like Anna in ‘Frozen’ but I hit a first last week. I was poorly and I had to cancel choir!

This has never happened

…..and the way everyone was feeling with a new lockdown being imposed, people feeling sad and despondent, the timing could not have been worse. But, my choir and singers rely on me not just for singing but for energy and joy. I had neither.

It’s always a risk

…and I was very conscious about what people would think of me so I was honest. I’d tested positive for Covid19 and felt rubbish – there was no way I could conduct a choir zoom session for 50+ singers and make it a worthwhile activity for them.

They were utterly lovely.

The messages of support and get well wishes were plentiful – both in the public group and privately – the offers of help – food shopping, magazines, flowers – I felt very lucky. And yet, not totally surprised.

West Bridgford Liberty Singers @Portello Lounge 2019 (Photo Credit Phil Hastings)

When choirs are formed, they become communities.

Friendships form, new relationships and respect occurs and the sense of joy when we create a shared goal makes the experience all the more positive. I’ve seen this happen in every choir I’ve run. Months ago when one of our singers was unfortunate enough to be flooded at home, I watched as choir colleagues offered help, support, kind words, buckets, wellies and even a bed for the night. Many of these people didn’t know our singer personally, but she was one of us and so the community stepped up.

West Bridgford Prom in the Park 2019

It’s this building of communities which lies at the heart of our choirs.

It’s even true in the workplace. Last year, one of my Christmas singing choirs got together to rehearse before we went out to raise money for charity. I hadn’t realised that these people didn’t know each other. I hadn’t realised that they worked in such diverse areas of the company and that it didn’t matter one bit that the Head of Finance was singing next to one of the Machinists. They were singing together and that was what was important. They helped each other – they started recognising each other cross the shop floor – there was even a bit of impromptu singing and dancing going on between rehearsals. The community was at work, creating new relationships, improving the workplace vibe and forming friendships.

The Hilarys Liberty Singers – December 2019

Whilst it’s hard to maintain a community online, my Online Liberty Singers seems to be managing!

We chat in our facebook group, I ask them things, run polls on opinions and keep them positive and happy. I’m constantly surprised at how people have been able to adapt and change (pivot if you must) and remain engaged and keen. I’ve invested a lot of time and effort with my choirs, they in turn have invested a lot of time and effort back and so the positivity just keeps on growing. Just  as a community should x

Personal Branding Photography – Ursula Kelly @studiosoftbox