Assistant director James leading the warm-up
Tuesday night took me back down to Bristol, this time to the heart of the University district, to work with a relatively new mixed group, Bristol A Cappella. I mention the university not because the chorus is particularly connected with it (though a handful of the members are), but because their rehearsal venue is within a very few minutes’ walking distance of two of my addresses from my student days. The journey there had that odd quality of deep familiarity and strangeness you get returning to places you used to know well but have not seen for a long time.
Anyway, once inside a building I had walked past hundreds of times but never previously entered, it became much more like any normal coaching visit, with a group of willing singers and the opportunity to mess with their heads.
In the event, the head I ended up messing with the most was their director’s. Iain Hallam had the personal courage and trust in his ensemble to put working on his technique firmly on the agenda as part of our work, and that turned out to be a most productive way in to helping his singers achieve more.