My step-father sang in the Rotterdam Philharmonic Choir; tenor. The highlights of the choir's year were the Christmas concert (which I was allowed to attend) and the Matth ëus Passion (which was deemed "too heavy" for a child), and boy, did I want to be in that choir!
"Wait until you are 18", I was told.
But by the time I was 18, I had moved away from home, and the Philharmonic was a thing in the past. I moved on to other adventures, singing in the amateur choir of musicals and Greek Tragedies, and discovered a passion for music.
But it has taken me 55 years to actually start to take singing lessons. Why? Well, they are very expensive, for a start. But also, it seemed so...extravagant. And all those programmes on TV stress that everyone should be a natural, have a natural talent, the less polished the better.
|Photograph by Wibe Koopman|
What made me change my mind was the remark by a psychologist who urged me to follow my heart, and look deep within to find my passion.
I was on the verge of a work-related burnout, and desperately cast about to stop myself from sliding off the edge.
What were my passions? Singing and writing.
Well, writing was easy. Hence this blog.
Singing took some doing. I tried to find a choir, but none were available that would either take new members or took my fancy (I do have standards).
But, just as I was giving up, I got a leaflet that told me a respected singing coach was taking new pupils. I got information, nearly went into shock over the price, but took the plunge.
And now I'm preparing to sing two songs at a concert we'll be giving in April, and I've joined the choir she has newly founded.
And it's such fun!
I love it!
This evening, she gave me an aria by Händel to practice. My 'natural' heart songs are blues and jazz, so Händel is way, way, way out of my comfort zone! But I'm going to throw myself into this piece about trees from Xerxes, and I'm going to master it.
The bonus is that I've regained my balance for the best part. And following my passions has played a major part in my recovery. I can recommend it. Follow your heart song!