So, it’s been a while but this weekend it was down to Aldershot with Onesound. Possibly the first time I’ve had to travel South to a gig and although, like many, it was a long journey, for once I don’t actually have much to say about my travelling; I had a door to door lift service both ways. It was very much appreciated, to save overnight trains, chasing buses down motorways, getting lost in large cities and all that kind of fun. In fact all I had to do was play my part as cup-holder, air conditioning-kicker, music-picker and all the other perks of passenging. I did however subject my friend to listening to and singing along to two hours of Disney songs on each journey, but I like to think this was quite happily welcomed. Although there was some discrepancy over the volume of ‘High School Musical’ and after CD 3 I think the comment was “erm, I think we’ll see what’s on the radio now”.
As it has been quite a long time since we last met, quite a lot of things have changed since we last all saw each other; two friends have gotten engaged, one has gotten married, a few friends have graduated and I have finally reached the grand old age of adulthood. In fact, in the first half an hour of being there, I had been to the pub, been invited to an actual meeting and signed my own health form due to printing problems at home (that’s a lie, I’m just yet to find the library). Either way, it’s not uncommon that I forget my health form, it is however the first time that this hasn’t been a problem.
Anyway, with that all sorted out, we did actually get down to rehearsals and I feel that when working with such gifted, musical people, it’s often helpful to decipher some of the musical terms and phrases used in rehearsal. Here are a few I’ve picked up over the years…
“Let’s add in some harmony here” – Don’t worry if you get the wrong note, we’ll call it harmony
“I’d like a slightly warmer tone” – It would be nice if people actually sung when I conducted
“Let’s all change key for this particular instrument” – It would help if this particular instrument played their sharps and flats
“We’ve got quite a few ideas going on here” – Let’s all try and sing the same thing at the same time please
“Up a tone!” – Let’s see the sopranos get that note!
“I like the added harmony you put in there” – Well that’s clearly not what’s written
“Shall we all do some personal practice?’ – The upper wind section can’t play their semiquavers
So, it was so incredible to meet up with everyone again, immersed in such inspiration and encouragement at a time that it was really needed, from music to testimony, from late night takeaways to leading two services and a concert the following day. And, although I love going out with friends, singing ‘Stacy’s Mom’ as loudly as we can, nothing can quite make me feel the way I do when singing ‘In Christ Alone’ surrounded by people I love, because at that point, you’re no longer just singing for the sake of singing. Suddenly, all it takes is a chorus of voices or a hair raising violin solo to remind you that you really were loved before the dawn of time. Such a powerful and moving weekend.
It has been a time of change for many and it struck me that as I move from bubble to bubble of new things, university has slowly now just become the norm. I thought finally, having moved somewhere new and exciting, I might just be able to escape the Onesound blues on return, however sitting through my lecture on ‘Metaphysical Poetry’ today I realised this was simply not the case. No one can escape the post Onesound blues. And, although I felt finally grown up going on my first Onesound pub trip and signing my own health form, I still found myself sitting in a different section of the choir throughout rehearsals and the concert because I was too short to sit with my own section. But I think that’s what I love about Onesound; it’s somewhere you can grow up, but at the same time, somewhere you don’t have to. Thanks to everyone that made it great. 🙂