By Claire Remmington, 2nd Alto
‘There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening which is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it’ – Martha Graham
At the end of last year, I had just about given up looking for a choir; I had resigned myself to the fact that there wasn’t a choir I could fit into in Cambridge. Then, one day as I was wandering the streets of Cambridge a poster for Dowsing caught my eye and my eyes nearly fell out of my head! The poster had a beautiful image on it, which pulled me in and immediately I felt butterflies in my stomach. Could this be the choir I’d been searching for just as I was about to give up?
I immediately got in touch with Andrea and got a bright and breezy reply that filled me with a sense of just knowing that I had discovered something special. I joined in January and it’s almost hard to put into words what an effect the choir has had on me. It’s been a rocky few years for me and this choir was just what I needed, to pull me up and out into the world again. I feel like since I have joined I am fulfilling my deepest dream of singing with others. Also, it’s so much fun and no effort at all! I guess I was so shy when it came to singing; I had stalled on doing anything about it but had always ached to do something more with my voice. The words of Martha Graham kept coming back to me though, if I block my singing, the world will not have it. I’m only here once, so why be so scared and shy? I threw my caution to the wind and jumped right in and I’m so glad I have.
I love music, I have used it with the children I have worked with and have always sung and played guitar with my wonderful and talented sister. As a child, my sister and I would sing along to Madonna (I still have a tape of us singing La Isla Bonita, when I was about 6!). We would record ourselves on our bold tape player again and again; it was our therapy and still is! My mum would sing to me, so would her sisters and even my dad would give it his best shot. My sister taught me how to play guitar and I have watched her sing and play piano all my life, in awe. I am dedicating this piece to my sister, she taught me most of what I know about music and in my early twenties taught me how to sing and play songs properly! I hope one day she will be able to join Dowsing too.
Last Sunday at rehearsal in Impington, I had some kind of epiphany. Somehow, my voice seemed to grow all of a sudden. I could sing with more confidence than I ever had done before and this hasn't left me. I feel like I’m going from strength to strength and obviously there’s only one lady to thank for this… Andrea’s belief in us all and what she is doing instils in me a deep sense of confidence that dissolves my fears. This means the world to me. It’s also little things, like I am almost certain my memory has improved since joining the choir! I have made some amazing friends and been brought back together with a friend (the wonder that is Angela Butcher) who I had fallen out of touch with. The experiences of singing in Jesus Chapel, the Emmanuel United Reform church and hearing the band for the first time have all left me with experiences I will never forget. Another special moment was when Andrea informed us we would be singing Riverside by Agnes Obel, I was shocked that she had chosen this song as it was so close to my heart. It is a favourite song of mine and I was amazed that Andrea knew of it too! These coincidences seem to arise a lot with Dowsing which is a great thing.
So many people I love are coming to the gig; they have been infected by my sheer enthusiasm, love and belief in Dowsing. Usually, I get so nervous about things (in particular any kind of performing) but that is not the case here. I’m just ready to let rip and am desperate to show the world what we have all achieved!