Brighton Folk Choir live session on Mid Sussex Radio

Our first tune is 5 minutes in 🙂

Last night I went to Burgess Hill with the Brighton Folk Choir to sing a live session on Mid Sussex Radio.

Burgess Hill is only ten minutes on the train but feels a generation away.

The shops are largely gone – Amazon waits for no one – but it was good to see a board game cafe thriving amid the nail salons and charity shops.

I had learned my tenor parts online, and was a bit worried that I’d lose my harmony as soon as I was stood next to someone singing something different. This worry was exacerbated during the warm-up when Andrew, the only other male tenor, kept reverting to bass.

I needn’t have worried, which is a very flippant thing to say to myself. Of course I worry. I worry all the time. I have been reflecting recently on how to worry better.

Non-ADHD [1] people seem to worry then maybe make concrete steps to alleviate the cause of it, like perhaps revising for an exam. I spent plenty of time trying to learn my parts, but I’m not sure how much of that time was well spent or devoid of distraction.

I am lucky in that even if unprepared, I tend not to panic. The session, in a tiny studio stood awkwardly in front of the DJ, was a fun novelty and I embraced it.

There are few things more therapeutic than singing communally, and our first tune – the Malpas Wassail – sounded glorious. Jo, our choir leader, had prepared us a set that made its way seasonally from winter to spring, with a bit of a shanty detour.

I went wrong on a couple of tunes, particularly on the Pace-egging one, partly due to my never having done it properly in the class and partly due to being placed with someone doing the tenor part for the first time, and I think we confused each other.

But the most part, I sang well, and the group as a whole sang beautifully. My highlight was perhaps the finale, Cornish Farewell Shanty, a much sadder and more reflective ditty than the usual seafaring fare.

I realised I was the only one singing the tenor arrangement, but I managed to stick with it to the end, and not be lured by the siren call of the melody.

We all introduced ourselves on air at the end, and I apologised for leaning on the light switch at the end of Haul Away Rosie, plunging our studio, briefly, into the emergency lights of a Hollywood submarine command centre.

The choir are performing on May Day in Hastings and later in the spring at a Windmill, and I am looking forward very much to both.

[1] I remain undiagnosed, as arranging to go to the doctor and then go through the whole process sounds tiring even to write. But the more I read about it, it sounds close to what I am.

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