A quartet of Christmas choirs

A choir…

What is a choir?

Being in four different choirs in the run up to Christmas this year, I can tell you that no one choir is the same.  ‘Choirs’ can vary tremendously.

My first choir of the week is a Come and sing well-being choir, for non-academic staff employed by the University, which doesn’t require you to read music.

In order to learn our music, we sing and repeat phrases a few times, then split into three parts. Each part sings and repeats their own part and then we sing together as a choir. This choir is unaccompanied. For more information email ourcambridgechoir@admin.cam.ac.uk

My second choir of the week is a Women’s Institute choir where music is used initially. We are a two part choir of about twenty split into sopranos and altos.

To learn a new piece of music we sing through both parts accompanied by a keyboard. Then through each part separately. We then learn the music by heart. This choir is always accompanied. 

 The third choir of the week is an annual choir. Cambridge University Library (UL) choir.

We use carol books and reading music is a must. We sing in four part harmony, unaccompanied.

Choir number four is Bourn Church choir.

We used to sing every week but due to a temporary lack of a choir leader/organist it’s now usually just for special festivals in the Church calendar.

This choir would usually sing in four part harmony but again, due to the lack of lower parts, we have just Sopranos and two Altos. 

We are accompanied usually by an electric piano and sometimes by pre-recorded music.

 Being in four different choirs I can give you an idea of how different choirs can be. Some more challenging that others, but, they are all great fun and rewarding and it gives you a buzz…

Now that you’ve read just a minute account of what is a huge genre, maybe you will find yourself wondering if there is something out there for you?

There are performances and services too.

  • Friday 13th Dec – the first performance at the UL @ 12.00
  • Sunday 15th Dec –  Ely Cathedral and The Royal Papworth Hospital Carol Service @ 13.30
  • Sunday 15th Dec – Bourn Christmas carol service @ 18.00
  • Monday 16th Dec – OurCambridge choir, a short performance @ lunchtime in Michaelhouse Cambridge
  • Wednesday 18th Dec – the second performance of the UL Choir at the UL @ 12.00

So now what will you think of when someone says the word ‘Choir’ to you?

Sarah Chapman, Music Dept., UL

About mj263

Music Collections Supervisor at Cambridge University Library. Wide musical interests. Often to be found stuck in a composer's archive, or enthusing about antiquarian music.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.