By RACHEL MACDONALD
Its autumn concert had to be postponed until mid-winter, but the Rangiora Community Choir hopes to be in good voice this Sunday for the first of its two annual public performances.
The show is the result of six months of hard work. It will provide a mix of numbers from the musical stage and the folk tradition, with light classical pieces and a bit of jazz.
As always, it is about fun and variety, says choir secretary – and soprano – Lee Leonard. She has been a member of the choir for six years and says she loves it for the mental and physical challenge. And the chance to sing.
“I played the recorder and piano when I was young, so I had some of the basics, but I’ve come such a long way since,” she says.
“We sing in four-part harmony, so you have to learn your part. Then, once we start, you can just leave everything behind and lose yourself in the music; in the feeling of being one voice in something so much larger, creating this great sound.”
Tenor Lindsay Hawke agrees.
“For me, it’s a chance to do something completely different. I’ve been with the choir for seven years, and I’ve learnt so much,” he says. “I’ve been able to extend my musical language hugely.”
As well as its annual autumn and Christmas concerts, the choir has sung at the Rangiora Anzac Parade and at the Lions’ Christmas dinner.
It has also joined other Canterbury choirs in shared performances, most recently at The Piano – a custom-designed musical venue – in Christchurch.
The choir’s local shows feature a guest artist and sometimes an invited instrumentalist, and audience members are often involved as well.
The folk numbers at Sunday’s event, for example, will be backed by an accordion, adding to the piano played by Merle Brown. The church organ is also available to them, where appropriate.
The choir practises on Wednesday nights in the Trinity Methodist Church lounge, from 7.30 to about 9.
There are no auditions to join and director Ann Bartlett would love to see numbers build, especially when it comes to tenors, baritones and basses.