|Type of post:||Chorus news item|
|Posted By:||John Beesley|
|Date Posted:||Tue, 26 Nov 2019|
|There’s always a slight sense of apprehension when a chorus gets together for its first rehearsal with a new musical director. Will the warm-up be unfamiliar, perhaps uncomfortable? Will the new director seek big changes to the repertoire, and will they get on with the chorus?
On the last point, the members of Capital Chorus were pretty sure about their new director Nick Beever. The previous week members had voted unanimously to offer Nick the post following an audition rehearsal at which his choral expertise had shone through, along with an engaging, friendly style and a dry sense of humour. We were delighted when Nick accepted the post, ending a search which had lasted a gruelling five months. Yet the uncertainty remained: How would our new MD change the chorus, and above all, having learned his craft in other choral styles how would Nick take to Barbershop?
We needn’t have worried. At the break, when Gavin Bolderrow, one of our baris, offered to teach a tag Nick joined in with enthusiasm. Earlier the new MD had us extracting first vowels, then consonants as we sang the song, Drunken Sailor. For us it was quite a novel exercise in working to unify the chorus sound, but it wasn’t very different from things we’d done before. The chorus was in the middle of preparing for a festive gig at the St James Christmas market in London’s Piccadilly in early December. So, at his first rehearsal, Nick contributed with coaching advice while Aidan Brand, a chorus member who’s been standing in as our temporary director, continued to conduct.
Inevitably, change is bound to come. Nick’s choral background includes cathedral choirs in Rochester and Truro. He’s a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where he studied music performance, and he teaches at a London secondary school. He has a wealth of experience to bring to the chorus. In turn we’re looking forward to providing our new MD with a window on the unique world of Barbershop. We hope he’ll enjoy the friendship, the camaraderie and the rich variety of activities and events as much as we do.
So, as our chairman Paul Gordon remarked in the pub after rehearsal, an exciting new chapter for Capital Chorus as we prepare for Christmas, the New Year and the 2020 Barbershop chorus contest in Harrogate.