Choral Evensong – 1st October 2011

After over 2 months break, it was finally time to go back to the Nicolaaskerk for our first evensong of the new season. A few changes have taken place over the summer – we have a new name (the Chorale of the Capella Nicolai), a new system for organizing all our music, and most importantly for me, I have a new role – as soprano, as a result of the re-auditions that took place before the summer.

I can’t deny that I’ve had my knickers in a grand old twist about this latter point. From the moment that the music list arrived in my Inbox a few weeks ago, I’ve been stressing about the high notes and the fact that I had to relearn 4 pieces of music, some of which I could practically sing blindfolded as an alto.

Needless to say, after all that worrying, it all went better than I expected.   Yes, I made some mistakes, and accidentally found myself on the alto line in the psalm, and no, I didn’t sing all the high notes as well as I’d have liked. But I was surprised in the middle of the pre-evensong rehearsal to realise that I was actually quite enjoying myself, and thinking ‘oh, wow, that was a fun G’, in some cases, rather than ‘oh, oh, oh, help, big scary G, can’t do it’.

Tons of room for improvement, a lot of music to relearn, and I still have some fear of those top notes [not to mention, how to practice them without driving the neighbours crazy], but I guess I’ve got over the worst of it now, and I’m looking forward to finally getting to sing all those Christmas descants.

  • Introit: View me Lord, Lloyd (lots of soft Fs, which turned out to be F#s – struggled a bit with those, though they were pretty good in the rehearsal, I struggled with them again during Evensong…)
  • Responses: Radcliffe (some nice loud high notes, much easier!  got very frustrated with these when I was studying them, but had no problem once I sang them in the context of the whole choir)
  • Office Hymn: O blest creator of the light
  • Psalm: 119 vv 17-32
  • Canticles: Sumsion in G (advantageous to be singing soprano, less time spent hanging around waiting to have something to do then as an alto!  Not only did I find a decent number of Gs in this, but also a super scary A… it defeated me on Friday at the rehearsal, but I found it on Saturday)
  • Anthem: Like as the Hart, Howells (pretty tedious as an alto, much more fun as a soprano, this one!)

Of course, I was also back doing my job as reader.  Nearly got myself off to a bad start by reading the wrong lesson(!), but fortunately realized before it was too late.

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