Dear Friends who don’t Choir…

Legendary soprano and longstanding choir member Lauren Patterson writes a heartfelt letter to friends and family not associated with the CTYC…

Dear Friends who don’t Choir (and yes, I mean ‘Choir’ as a verb, because it really is an action in its own, very glorious right),

I should probably first apologise for all the many times I’ve had to decline plans, miss out on birthdays and other gatherings because I’ve had rehearsals.  Please know that when I say that, it’s not an excuse because I don’t want to be there, I genuinely have a rehearsal. Most of my social life consists of having rehearsal and I’m really okay with that.

You say: “Argh, again? You always have rehearsal!”

Let me explain. Let me take you on a journey into my life, because choir = life.

Going to a choir rehearsal can turn a bad day into a good one and a good day into a phenomenal one. There is evidence that has proven that singing in a choir keeps one’s blood pressure in check and lowers stress levels.

Singing also particularly benefits one’s posture, exercising and stimulating the brain, improves breathing and relieves muscle tension.  Researchers from various institutions have conducted studies in which it has been proven that your heartbeat literally syncs with the other members of your choir when you sing together so that they all beat as one – if that isn’t ‘bonding’ to you  then I don’t know what is.

There is no choir without ‘drama’ either – the rejoicing of the altos when they actually have the melody for a change, the confusion of the sopranos when there’s a piece of music where they hardly feature, the tenors who are like the glue that holds us all together, but sometimes they don’t realise that and the basses who are either drowning everyone else out or being drowned out by everyone else.

Despite the occasional drama and inter-voice group tension, being in a choir is like having a second family. Some of our best of friends, those friends you have for a lifetime, have been made in a choir; some so close, they can even be considered as brothers and sisters (#squadgoals for who?).

And then there’s the music. From pre-Baroque to Modern Classical and arrangements of popular music of the past couple of decades, there are bundles of inexpressible joy and pleasure for absolutely everyone. Performing on stage to a chorister is like ‘Game Day’ to an athlete – a day of psyching oneself up, getting ready, going through the finest details of the music over and over in your head, singing aloud a lot more than usual (most probably irritating the daylights out of the people around you, but it’s all so worth it at the end). Receiving the applause walking onto the stage sends spurts of adrenaline all over your body and then when those chords in your favourite piece are sung just right, they send shivers down your spine and  it feels like the heavens have opened and God is smiling down at you. The thrill and relief (not to mention, the biggest grin) on everyone’s faces while walking off-stage after a performance, is one of the most satisfying feelings ever – one that not much else in the world can replace.

Now you know, dear Friend. That’s why I sing in a choir.


Your “Choir-Freak” Friend