We’ve all heard of Stockholm syndrome where hostages form relationships with their captors, I’m wondering if there is a word in psychology for a choir that started out with few of us knowing each other that well, but who have formed a strong bond as we have endeavoured to make our voices harmonise. Our long suffering choir mistress pulls out her hair as she tries to get us to sound better, while we behave like school children, telling jokes, chattering and losing all concentration. Our music scores are a mass of rubbings out, asterisks, huge arrows pointing to codas and repeat signs, and bits underlined but we can’t remember why .
There have been times when we have sounded like a torture chamber for cats, and the “boys” have thrown timing to the wind and raced the sopranos and altos to the end of the piece, always beating us to it. Us sopranos might find the high notes easier if we trod on each others feet.
We still come in untidily, forget how many bars of music there are between verses and make up our own harmonies, but after months of work we are beginning to sound like a choir. Singing is said to release serotonin in the brain, the “feel good” hormone. When the singing goes well it does, but on a bad practice night, especially if we are tired, depression can set in fast.
We need to tighten up our performance now, and sort out our pronunciation and emphasis on the story line. I come from down south so sing long vowels, my fellow singers mostly come from the west coast of Scotland and Glasgow. I sing “fayyyce” while my neighbour sang “fiarce”, I sing”Murcee” as in Myrrh ,my neighbour sings “Merrrceey” as in the french pronunciation for the sea. We are so absorbed in getting the music right that we forget we are telling a story and make talking to a burning bush sounds as if we do it every day and there is nothing to get excited about.
BUT, we will get it right in the next 4 practices and we will wow our audiences.If not there’s always tea and a biscuit!