Challenging times

By Nicola Collenette, 1st Soprano

Before I moved to Cambridge, around 18 months ago, I was involved in a couple of singing groups in Brighton. We sang a mixture of folk, soul and World music in simple three part harmonies without using sheet music. In my last group there were only about twelve people who regularly turned up. I didn’t take part in any performances and it was very much a casual hobby.

After being part of The Dowsing Sound Collective for the past six months, I am now being challenged in a way I didn’t think I’d be up to – both musically and personally. The pace of learning is fast, but exhilarating. I have a busy job and am usually knackered at the start of the week, however the feeling I get after going to a practice is rewarding and uplifting. What’s more the standard that we have reached in such a short space of time is (if I say so myself) incredibly high. Thanks to our brilliant teacher Andrea we are all inspired to work as hard as possible to reach new dizzying heights – especially the sopranos.

At the moment we’re working towards the biggest gig of the group’s ambitious history and I am so proud to be part of it. If someone had told me even a year ago that I would be singing side by side with 100+ people in such a prestigious venue as Ely Cathedral and playing my share in up to 16 part harmonies, I wouldn’t have believed them. Thanks to new ways of practising involving singing with our eyebrows, wink murder and numerous other innovative techniques, I have been given a huge boost in confidence and feel assured that we will put on an amazing show.