For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed singing (which I am sure those I live with know only too well!). Looking back now, I cannot believe I never considered joining a choir or even something singing-related. Maybe at the time it was ‘not cool’ to join to a choir and you were given a label if you did. This of course, could not be further from the truth and now that I am older, I can see this. I joined a choir at my university called “Jazzmanix”, which you may be surprised to hear is pop and gospel, despite what the name suggests! I actually had no idea this society ever existed until I attended their Winter Concert with a friend.
After watching the show, I was blown away! Everyone in the choir had a smile on their face and it was evident how much enjoyment they received from this. Furthermore, I liked the type of songs chosen. That night I sent an email to the society asking about getting involved. They replied with dates of rehearsals which I later attended. Since I had never done anything like this before, I had little to no idea if I was a tenor or bass. Luckily one of my friends knew all about this and gave me a vocal range test for which I passed as a tenor!
From the first rehearsal I attended, I knew that this was for me. Everyone I spoke to was super-friendly and almost straight away, friendships were made! Rehearsals were once a week for two hours. In this time, we learnt ten songs, which for someone without any prior singing experience was difficult to grasp the correct singing keys, but over time, this became easier (hugely thanks to the musical directors). Less than two weeks ago we had our Spring Concert at Beaulieu Motor Museum (Hampshire). This was probably the best day I have had at university and one of the best experiences of my life!
We had two concerts (matinee and evening). The evening show, in particular, was absolutely amazing and I could feel that not only myself, but everyone was giving it their all. The environment was full of energy. We delivered and the audience seemed very happy with it as well! I felt very happy and fortunate enough that some of my family and friends came along to support me! It was nice to share this experience with them and it will always be a topic of conversation in the future.
This was not in actual fact my first show with Jazzmanix, as the society had celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, in which a reunion concert was held to a very small audience for which past and present members came together to perform. I do not count this as a proper concert, so the Spring Concert was really my first! The day itself was not only amazing due to the performance, but throughout the day I got to speak to several other members that I had not spoken to previously, which was great and once again new friendships were starting to form!
The day after the concert, I found myself feeling the ‘Blues’. What I wanted to do more than anything was to go back and do it all again! Even now I find myself still listening to the ten songs on shuffle, whilst singing the harmonies etc. I am sure my housemates are sick of these songs!
All in all, joining Jazzmanix has been one of the best decisions I have made and my only regret is that I did not join earlier! I know that I have made some really good friends and that the great memories will keep on coming. There is something really empowering about singing; it allows you to express yourself in a way that nothing else can. For me, it has the potential to brighten up my day and when singing in a group, my happiness doubles! I know that the concert will forever be a memory, and I am really looking forward to the Summer Concert!