Old friends, new friends and those to come

By Sophie Barnett, 1st Soprano

When I explained to a colleague that I was leaving early to go to my first Dowsing rehearsal he asked me incredulously why I would enjoy spending my evening singing in a school hall with a bunch of strangers and to be honest, I struggled to answer. I joined Dowsing at a point in my life when I was feeling a bit sorry for myself  and struggling to muster up my usual enthusiasm for anything and as I cycled manically over Hills Road bridge in the freezing cold to our first rehearsal, I was thinking my colleague might have a point.

But six months on, having just spent the evening putting music into plastic wallets, painstakingly playing bits of ‘Riverside’ on a virtual keyboard and singing along to the top of my lungs to our recordings, I have realised things have changed. Dowsing has given me back the enthusiasm that I was sorely missing and now I could give my colleague a much better answer because there is just SO MUCH I love about Dowsing.

I love the challenge of learning new music and not knowing quite what’s going to come next. I love the energy and ‘can-do’ attitude that everyone (especially Andrea!) brings to every rehearsal. I love reaching notes I didn’t think I could reach and singing songs I would never have considering singing.  I love listening to the awesome band and feeling like I’m getting a free gig. I love that magical feeling in the room when a piece just comes together (and the laughter when it doesn’t).  I love the cheers when the basses nail Shackles, the grins amongst the sopranos as we bop to Radioactive and holding back the tears as the tenors and altos harmonise on Us Against The World.

But most of all I love the friendship and sense of belonging that Dowsing has given me with friends both old and new. I’ve loved sharing Dowsing with two of my best friends, Cathy and Becky, and our impromptu performances whilst washing up and singing in the car despite only singing two parts between us.  Equally, I’ve loved meeting new friends in the Monday group, learning together and sharing the looks of confusion whenever we sing You Can’t Always Get What You Want. There are still a lot of Dowsers I don’t know but as I looked around the room on Sunday during Fusion and saw the sheer joy I was experiencing reflected on every face, I felt like every single Dowser was a friend, even those I haven’t met yet.

Thank you so much to my fellow Dowsers for making me feel part of something great and giving me my enthusiasm back!

When I leave on Friday for the final rehearsal, I’ll be sure to tell my colleague that on Saturday I won’t be singing in a school hall with a bunch of strangers, I’ll be singing at Ely Cathedral with a bunch of friends.