The Sound of Music

By Kristina Jauernik, 1st Alto

I've been a member of various choirs in my lifetime(which isn't that long yet), but being born in Vienna, the Mekka of classical music made it almost impossible to find something contemporary, something that doesn't involve Haydn, Schumann, Mahler, Schoenberg and their likes. My parents met each other in the WU Choir, sang together in the Schoenberg choir, my older brother studies Cello and Composition at the Music University in Vienna, three of my younger siblings went and still go to the Vienna's Boys Choir primary school and I started having piano lessons at the age of five. A typical Austrian family, you'd say, and the fact that we sing often together and even have little family concerts adds to the impression that we're "just like the Von Trapp Family" (and my mum's name is is Maria - what a cliché!)

When I came to Cambridge last August, the first thing I looked for was a choir to join. I am the au pair of one of the Tuesday night singers (Anita), which prevented me from joining Dowsing straight away; we couldn't both be out on the same night every week and Monday rehearsals didn't yet exist. So I set my sights on CUMs Chorus, for which I had to audition. I was sooo nervous and still have no idea how I managed to get in - since then I've met some people who said they didn't and most of them are pretty good singers so I'm still in the dark. Maybe it was my absolutely charming personality ;-)

CUMs of course is again a classical choir; we sang The Creation (Haydn), Petite Messe Solennelle (Rossini) and most recent Belshazzar's Feast (Walton) and Stravinsky's Mass. Though I loved singing those pieces, there was something missing... something with leather trousers, big fat carrots and rich honey, as Andrea likes to say. So when Anita mentioned that Dowsing now had an additional Monday group I decided to try it out.

Being warmly welcomed, singing amazing arrangements of great songs and the whole athmosphere got their claws in me straight away. With less than two weeks to go to the gig at Ely I'm getting more and more excited and am truly thankful for all the opportunities I had this year. I do feel a bit like the Von Trapps, with "going into exile" in another country and doing what I love - singing! Bring on the Sound of Music!