Yes, it's that time of year again. I am a trembling wreck after an hour and a quarter of trying to pretend I can read music - and that is with Margaret Ramsey, a "proper" choral singer who has a good voice and can sight read, standing directly behind me so that I can hang onto her voice as to a life-preserver. Why is something so nerve-wracking enjoyable? I must be crackers.
This year we're doing a French carol I learned at school - I have to keep a stern grip or I start singing it in french - plus "Unto us a son is born", The Somerset Carol, and a sweet one with a tune by Praetorius and lyrics about the virgin Mary being "a rose e'er blooming". Plus a chunk of "Messiah", which is a real buzz, but also scary - it's "And the Glory of the Lord", so the contraltos kick off. Help.
Lucky Nigel, our choir master, is his usual patient & encouraging self, though occasionally even he is daunted by the ineptitude of the noises we make - at one point today the only thing he could think of to say was "Well, you all got the words right"... Bless him, he must be crackers, to take this job on in the first place; never mind me for thinking I am qualified to take part!