Since the age of ten, I’ve been in many different choirs and orchestras. Sometimes it was in school, sometimes it was for my county, and sometimes it was neither. I’ve been lucky enough to perform in prestigious concert halls, support local and national charities and be affiliated with a community that accepts you no matter your age, gender, or anything else that society can label you for.
Despite changing schools, and moving away from home, I was always involved in some sort of choir or orchestra. However, something about moving to a new country put me off. Especially in the beginning, I was overcoming many obstacles in mere everyday situations, so how was I supposed to cope when doing something recreational?
I am lucky to have very encouraging mentors at the University of Chester. One of them, who came to visit me at the beginning of November, insisted that I joined a choir or an orchestra- how could I integrate and fully become more than just a guiri when all I do is go to work and take naps?
I decided to go for it. I simply google searched “choirs in Bilbao” and discovered el Coro Euskeria. One long winded email later I waited. In reality, what did I have to lose?
A week or so later I was invited to audition after their concert. It was suddenly real. Naturally, me being me, I successfully made it out to be a bigger thing than it needed to be. What if I wasn’t good enough? I hadn’t sung properly since I was 18, and I was sure that I would need to have proficient Spanish skills too.
Then again, reading music is a language of its own. Notes are notes, B Major is basically the devil regardless of whether it’s in Spanish, German or Russian, and the refreshing thing about singing is that I don’t have to transpose everything into Bb like I have to when playing clarinet.
Long story short: I’m now a member of a Spanish choir with people my age, and I’ve gone from being a high-flying soprano to a powerful mezzo/alto. How times change.