“You don’t look like the choir type”, snickered a colleague, when I announced that I was leaving to make it in time for CCM practice. I asked him what a “choir type” looked like and everyone around chimed in with their version of what fit the bill – words like “sedate”, “reverent looking” and “pious types” were bandied about and some high pitched notes were shrieked out for my benefit to showcase what “choir types” sounded like. I tootled off for practice, after explaining to them that I didn’t sing in a church choir and that even if I did, church choirs hardly consisted of pious singers (sweet choir boys and convent girls are a myth J). I listened to the learning tracks in the car (as with many of the other members of the choir, I listen to everything last minute in panic that I will be singled out during rehearsal to check if I know my music) – a rather “reverent” list ranging from “Who put the bomb in the bomb ba bomb” to “Heal the world” to rock gospel and everything in between.
Over my 3 years at the Capital City Minstrels (arguably Delhi's most well known and one of its oldest choirs) the “choir types” I’ve sung with are probably the funniest and most irreverent bunch of people I’ve ever met. A few incidents come to mind over the years. Our previous conductor, Fiona, was taking practice a few seasons ago and we had the accompanying percussionist, Suchet, thrum and drum and pum pum pum through one of the songs and finish with a flourish. Fiona (and all of us!) had watched him through this and when he ended she let out a long sigh to denote her approval/pleasure and within seconds a cheeky drawl directed at Fiona came from the ranks – “Cigarette?”. We erupted in raucous laughter and that one word still makes us remember that afternoon practice session.
We were in Goa for a music festival in 2012 and the sea air is enough to make everyone a bit crazy. Feni (that heinous drink that I am sure a few choir members who will not be named, have eternally
And so the madness continues – these are the only “choir types” I know really. But don’t be
After our summer concerts in the city, for two weeks in June 2015, our merry band of minstrels, 30 strong, will be journeying to Europe. The group consists of 27 singers, our brave leader – conductor, Carolin Remy (she is truly brave to embark with a raucous bunch for two weeks!) and two brilliant musician accompanists. Eight concerts will be performed over 12 days in Hungary, Germany and Switzerland. Along the way we intend to take touristy pictures and selfies galore as we travel to these places and assume that much of what happens in Europe will stay in Europe! So if you’re planning a holiday this summer, or have friends at any of the places mentioned, we’d be delighted to have a cheerleading squad there. We work hard and have a wonderful time performing and are looking forward to a brilliant summer of singing in Europe!