Can't Stop Moving!
By Louise de Caux, 2nd Alto/occasional Tenor
I've always loved singing, dancing, moving my body and generally showing off. At last I've found somewhere to do all these things at the same time.
When I was at primary school, I was part of the school choir and I remember our singing teacher was very strict, wanting the choir to win and be the best. Unfortunately this did not always suit those of us were not confident or who were not blessed with the finest voices. I recall one fear-filled moment when 'Mr Lim' had heard someone singing out of tune. He gradually moved people out the way... still hearing the sad tones... moving more kids out... getting us to sing again... moving more kids aside... until there were only five of us left. I was certain it was going to be me who was found to be wanting and could hardly sing for fear. Then Mr Lim found his culprit - a poor boy singing out of tune, singing his best but not good enough for the performance that exacting Mr Lim demanded. The boy was sent away, banished from the choir and humiliated in front of all of his friends. I was so glad that it wasn't me.
Since that time, I had never sung in public although I had always longed to. I didn't dare join a choir in case I had to audition and perhaps be found wanting. I thought I had a good voice but did anyone else? Then my friend said she had joined this choir which was funky and where you didn't have to audition. So I turned up to be greeted by the smiling face of Andrea and felt welcomed from the beginning. First night singing about Spiders and Terrible Love - I was introduced to music that I had never come across, and some, like Stevie Wonder's Higher Ground, that I knew so well that I could sing in my sleep. I was hooked and it doesn't seem to matter if some people have more natural singing voices than others, we can all contribute and be the best that we can. It is truly inspiring.
I've made many discoveries by being in Dowsing. I discovered that I cannot sing without moving my body. It just seems to natural to be in harmony with the emotion and the rhythm. I discovered that I love the thought of wearing leather trousers to sing Marry Me and that I can feel as sexy as Bruno Mars! I can definitely swagger with Jagger. I also discovered after years of struggling to sing with women that my voice is low and that in some songs it is easier for me to sing Tenor and I am a low, low alto. I love singing with the men and would secretly like to sing Soul of a Man with them! I discovered at Fen Edge that I loved being on stage, singing, moving and performing and that it made me feel so alive. And I am delighted to find myself in the front row of Dowsing at Ely Cathedral so that I can indulge my penchant for showing off.
So, Mr Lim, if you're reading this blog, I invite you to come to Ely Cathedral on 6 July and see how a Choir can rise and soar together, with all the different levels of ability and personality. This is accomplished when everyone is welcomed and made to feel that they are more than good enough and that together they can conquer the world, starting with Ely Cathedral. I say: take a few tips from our founder the lovely Andrea Cockerton who thought she was being so strict at our last rehearsal when she was in fact politely firm.
Hey, Andrea! you need some lessons from Mr Lim!