Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

Off The Wall Essays From Deep Within A Capricious Mind

Preaching To The Choir

This morning I spent a couple of hours with a fellow volunteer collecting for Marie Curie Cancer Support (MCCS). Our partner in fundraising, arranged as part of ongoing Tour de Yorkshire celebrations, the Garforth Community Choir (GCC) – A melodious band of brothers and sisters whose upbeat harmonising attracted MCCS benefactors like nectar lures a worker bee.

Witnessing the delight of the assembled audience at the musical fare on offer, along with the joy the performers took from their choral bequests, has inspired me to join the amateur warblers at their next practise session. Deciding to tap into the feel good factor they clearly derive from the pastime greatly enhanced by finding out the GCC have a ‘No audition required ‘ policy.

Joining a choir is something I’ve pondered undertaking for a while, without ever finding the level of confidence or possessing the relevant contacts to make it happen. However, this morning’s voluntary collaboration between Marie Curie and the GCC meant I made contacts to overcome the boundary stopping me from fulfilling my warbling aspirations.

I know some friends maybe surprised at my intention to join the ranks of choral performer, questioning whether I’ve the vocalising wherewithal to hold a musical note. Those who’ve heard me sing proffering my vocal interpretations sounded like steam escaping.

However, as I’m able to ordinarily hold a tune it’s a critique which I’d posit doesn’t hold water. Although, as I’ve the ability to whistle shrilly through my teeth to audibly resemble a steam kettle boiling, it’s also within my skillset to mimic the sound of steam escaping if so required.

In the past, when talking to acquaintances who were choir member they enthuse about the spiritual lift experienced from the performing in collective song. Waxing lyrical about both adrenaline and endorphin rushes experienced from their refrain effectuation. Experiencing a joyousness few other pastimes can provide, unless you’ve the hobby of bathing in marmite and gouda, or the habitual juggling of parsnips.

Anyhow, all being well, on Wednesday evening I’ll hopefully embarked upon a brand new pastime. On telling my wife of my intention to join a choir, with tongue firmly in cheek, I mentioned I’d enlisted with the group with aspirations of later this year achieving Christmas number one chart status…… No, she didn’t laugh either!!

Regardless of the muted response to my joke, it didn’t diminish how uplifted I felt on after the Marie Curie collection to choral accompaniment. Feelings of mild euphoria enhanced by thoughts of embracing the novel hobby I aspired to for a number of years.

I find voluntary work always provides me with a cathartic experience, and this morning was no different. Engaging with individuals who, regardless of background or social standing, restore some faith in humanity with their magnanimousness. Ladies and gents who appear to gain solace in offloading touching stories of how cancer has impacted them or their families.

Hearing these moving tales of the excellent work cancer support organisations undertake reinforcing the importance of colleagues and my voluntary roles. Gratis duties  contributing towards financing end of life nursing care, along with imparting the volunteer with a feel good factor almost as formidable as bathing in marmite and gouda, or the habitual juggling of parsnips.

Categories: Blogs, health/medical, humour, Karen's Cancer Fight

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