Bury Bach Choir singers – James the tenor

Whether you’re working, studying or enjoying the freedom of retirement, and whatever you sing – soprano, alto, tenor or bass – come and join us as our new term starts on 4 September.

This post features the third of three interviews with current members of the choir, to give you a bit of encouragement!

James, a tenor, is one of the Choir’s newest members, joining in January 2019.  He is a GP.

James lived in Bury through his primary school years, then went away to school and university.  There wasn’t a job here for him after that so he lived in London for 35 years, singing in small choirs.
He says he’d been back in Bury for about a year and hadn’t been singing, so it was time!  He was determined, though, not just to join the first choir he came across and took time to find the right one.
‘One of the things that attracted me to the Bury Bach Choir was the opportunity to sing big stuff, which I’ve never done’, he says.  ‘It’s very different, if you sing in a chamber choir you sing a certain repertoire and if there are only a few of you, you’re quite exposed, so singing St Matthew Passion as my first piece with the choir was amazing.  And I’m so looking forward to Verdi’s Requiem later in the year, I’ve never sung it, so it will be brilliant.’

‘I like the fact that it’s so disciplined, Philip demands a lot so the two hour rehearsals are quite intense and I feel very focused, which is good for me.  Philip is very good at taking a phrase and making us work to get it better and better before going on to the next one.  He works on it until it’s just as he feels it should be, which gives us a sense of achievement, and means you can’t really think about anything else while you’re doing it.

‘Being in the choir is part of having a balanced life – a lot of people lead very stressful lives and don’t do anything to de-stress: no variety, no gym, no gardening etc.  The choir is a very nice component in my week.’

What would you say to someone who is thinking of joining us but doesn’t feel very confident?

‘I was made to feel very welcome, and that feeling of welcome has continued.  You can come and sing for a few weeks and you’ll know if it’s right for you by the time you have your voice check.  There’s so much help on-line now that if you’re willing to put some work in you can arrive at rehearsals well prepared, but the best thing to help with confidence is to realise that we’re all learning together.’

If you’re interested in joining us, find out more from our website here, or contact our New Members’ Secretary, Linda Cleveley, on 01284 703348 or 07757 316553, or newmember@burybachchoir.co.uk.
We’ve already had several enquiries for this year, so you won’t be alone, and you will be very welcome!


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