Norwich Community Gospel Choir is back on song
Norwich Community Gospel Choir director, Megan Rawling, describes how the choir has kept going during the various lockdowns and how it plans to emerge even stronger.
A great gospel choir, it turns out, is like an ice cream van.
I was given this insight in the summer of 2018 when the Norwich Community Gospel Choir was still just a figment of my imagination, and nearly three years later it has proved true time and again.
I’ve known it for ages, of course, but nothing quite beats the moment when one of your singers sees it too. It might sound something like this: “there’s such a sense of belonging here”, or “I just love this lot - it’s like family”, or one of my favourites so far, “you seem so joyful - does that come from Jesus?” In these moments I keep my internal dance of joy, well, internal - but they are what get me out of bed in the morning.
We sing together, yes, and we make the most beautiful sound we can, but it’s the relationships we build, the love and welcome we get to show each other and the questions of faith we can grapple with together that are really where the party’s at.
The fact is, like an ice cream van, we go around our fine city making music - but it’s not the music we’re selling.
Over the course of the pandemic, we’ve done all we can for NCGC to remain an anchor point for our members, giving them something to work towards and something beautiful to create.
Our year has been marked by digital rehearsals, online Kodaly Music teaching sessions, Coffee for Six and our very own Virtual Choir films, and I’m so proud of everyone. But as we’ve all learned throughout the course of 2020, nothing beats being together.
So now at last, we breathe a sigh of relief and begin to look to the future. All being well, we’ll be back for outdoor rehearsals from May 18, and from then on we’ll run sessions both digitally and in person until we can resume large-group rehearsals inside.
Anyone is welcome. We don’t audition or use sheet music, and our concession prices are available to anyone who feels they need them.
For further details about the work of NCGC, please visit www.ncgc.org.uk, or drop a line to Megan Rawling, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured above is the NCGC rehearsing at Grove Walk in Norwich.