Welcome to the Thursday Club!
For the last six years I have turned down every request to coach or workshop on a Thursday because I had my own rehearsals with Magenta. And there have been some very tempting invitations! Sometimes we have been able to reschedule for a weekend, but not always. But now my lovely choir have generously agreed to move our rehearsal night in order that I can start accepting the invitations I have hitherto had to turn down.
The reasons I chose Thursday nights for Magenta rehearsals were originally in dialogue with my working patterns at Birmingham Conservatoire. Thursday was my research day, when I would be working on my book on choral conducting, so I would both have my head in the right place to work with a choir in the evening and still be physically fresh in a way that's rare after a day of teaching. So it made sense at the time.
But it's nearly three years since I've had that working pattern, and it became clear to me that I was having to turn down a lot more invitations for Thursdays than I was getting for Mondays. Thursday is, it turns out, a very popular night for singing. So perhaps it was time to change.
Of course, changing a routine for a whole choir is not simple. People organise their lives around their regular commitments. So we've consulted with every individual separately about how it could work for them, and given three months notice so that people have a chance to juggle if necessary.
As it turns out, a couple of people will be having to miss some Monday rehearsals because of other commitments; on the other hand other people will find it easier to get to more rehearsals on a Monday than a Thursday. So that's working out okay. We've also had to juggle with rehearsal rooms, and may actually find ourselves better off here - there is less competition for good spaces on Mondays by the same reasoning that makes Thursday a popular night to be out doing things.
So I'd like to say a huge public thanks to Magenta for the flexibility and willingness to adapt that will now allow me to start saying yes to invitations to work with other groups on Thursdays. And I'm looking forward to hearing from any and all members of the Thursday Rehearsal Club!