Sing it loud
In times of crisis we all need something to lift our weary spirits and it turns out that what humans have obvs known for millennia is true, singing together is the ultimate panacea.
The Italians could teach us Brits a thing or two about the power of belting out a few tunes from your balcony. Last week, in a show of solidarity amid coronavirus lockdown, Italians of all ages, unable to attend their usual churches, concerts or even cafes, joined voices to sing a bit of Puccini from their enforced isolation. Was it just me with a little tear in my eye as I watched on YouTube?
The new feel good film from Full Monty director Peter Cattaneo, Military Wives, starring Kristin Scott Thomas, follows a similar trope: the threat of loss (husbands away at war), humans finding connection and hope through the power of singing as a community. Yes, there are cliches, but sometimes cliches are all we have left to cling to, and we’re lapping it up.
Fancy having a go? We might currently be facing a bleak few weeks stuck at home trying to make the kids do their school work online and eking out a meagre existence, but there’s no reason not to plan ahead for when times are looking up.
Choir in a Pub, run by vocal coach Nicki Rogers, meets at The White Hart in Far Cotton every Wednesday and is open to everyone, whether or not you can sing or read music. Once everything’s back to normal, you can just turn up ready to have fun and willing to give it a go. Nicki also runs MK Women’s Choir at the Cock Hotel in Stony Stratford every Thursday.
Wild Voice Adventures, based in Northants and spearheaded by Jess Hunting, organise singing retreats across the UK and further afield (Tuscany, anyone?) where the idea is to connect to your environment, emotions and the people around you through singing. There are vocal workshops and outdoor a cappella sessions embracing a broad spectrum of musical genres. You’ll also get to do meditation, yoga, tai chi, kayaking, archery, nature walks and campfire singsongs. If only self-isolation could be this fun.
The second instalment of Songs By Firelight at Forge Coffee in Culworth is due to take place on 25 Apr, coronavirus permitting. An evening by the fireside, tucked under a blanket, listening to live music and joining in if you fancy sounds like the perfect way to unplug and reconnect on a deeper level.
Glorious vintage harmony trio The Sasparillas are due to take to the stage at Egerton Hall, Brackley in April for their Sassy Soiree, where they will treat the audience to a toe tapping array of classics and modern hits with a vintage vibe. Expect fabulous frocks, laughter and plenty of opportunity to join in with the entertainment, it’s bound to lift even the most jaded of spirits.