The Wychcraft Rock and Pop Choir were preparing for their biggest gig (a concert of three choirs, to raise funds for St Marys Church in Shipton) when lockdown began.
Suddenly, people were talking about Zoom meetings so, despite not having heard of Zoom, we started our weekly meetings using this system. However, within 10 seconds of singing our first song with around twenty-five members, we realised it was impossible to sing at the same time because of the different delays in receiving the signal. After a quick rethink, we decided that we would still sing, but everyone would be muted, so effectively each was singing alone. Charles (our guitarist), sometimes with the help of his daughter Becki, would record songs in our repertoire which he would play for us to sing.
We decided more was needed to make each session interesting so our pianist Mervyn did a lot of research to play “Beat the Intro” each week. This consisted of three intros of various tunes to be identified. A weekly quiz based on pop music from various eras showed some members had a detailed knowledge; good enough for Radio 2’s Popmaster!
We established that three of the choir were all born in Sorrento (The Sorrento Maternity Hospital in Birmingham) within 3 years of each other. This was during a weekly session of ‘This is my Life’ which was a regular feature for a short time. ‘Fantasy Concerts’ followed, where members elaborated on a concert they would like to attend, even if the artists were no longer with us.
We then stretched our imaginations and asked the choir to compose lyrics for their experiences during lockdown. This resulted in a song: ‘Through my Window’ which combined the thoughts expressed in the lyrics submitted. When we can give live performances once again, we hope that the individuals will read their verses against the backdrop of music composed by our pianist.
Our latest exercise is to record songs individually at home, send the recording via email and with the help of some computer technology, Charles combines each recording to form the choir. Eventually, we hope to make a CD of all the recordings.
So, while we have not sung as a choir for over a year, we have learned new skills, learnt some interesting facts about our friends in the choir, and have even dreamed a little.
As soon as we can, we will start meeting live again and welcome new members. Our Facebook Page is www.facebook.com/groups/510692966408910 where you can listen to the choir and look at other fun things.