Being in a choir is a unique bonding experience. There is something about striving for a unity of sound, about the shared endeavour of learning a demanding and glorious piece of polyphony from the first nervous opening of the score to that split second of wondrous achievement at the end of the performance, before the applause.

Our first faltering notes become more fluent, more steady, more powerful each week. We can hear the difference and it feels good.

Two years ago, when I was a new member of my choir I felt very lucky to accompany them to our twin town, Neuwied, on the Rhine in mid-Germany to sing Handel’s Messiah. Actually my newness made me feel a bit of an interloper and fraud to be there. It was, however, a wonderful experience for all of us and made us more cohesive and close-knit. My welcome to the choir was sealed by that weekend, and I’ve steadily felt more and more at home, one of the family.

We are planning to to the same with the Brahms German Requiem next spring and we’re already anticipating how much fun it will be.  Much of our anticipating is carried out at the pub in Petts Wood where we congregate after choir. It’s great to chat with people and find our about what motivates them, what makes them tick.I don’t go along every week but, as we are on half term next week I made a special effort tonight. And I’m glad I did.