Well, that was unexpected…

May 31 2015

…So I’ve been on The Listserve for a couple of weeks now, so it was something of a shock to get a ‘you’ve won The Listserve!’ email. To be honest, I almost deleted it and went back to watching old comedy reruns.

But here we are. What can I say to entice you to read my 600 words? What do you say to twenty-something thousand people? I’m 23 years old, a recent university graduate…bla bla bla.

I’m going to write a thank you note.

Not the kind I had to write when I was a kid: ‘Dear Auntie so-and-so, Thank you so much for the lovely hairband and matching socks. I cannot wait to wear them and show my friends…’ (Is it just me or does everyone have a relative that buys the oddest gifts?). Nope, this is a thank you note to an organisation that changed my life forever when I was 10.

I was lucky enough to discover choral singing when I was 4 and very jealous that my 7 year old sister was old enough to join our local choir. Having dipped in and out of a few choirs, my parents got me to join a children’s choir in Hertfordshire called Cantate.

It’s safe to say that the experiences I had at this choir until I was 18 were some of the best of my life. Cantate, its musical directors and the friends I made there will remain with me forever and I want to take this opportunity to gush irritatingly and proclaim my love and thanks to all who helped me learn and grow whilst I sang in the choir. I’m so proud that Cantate is going from strength to strength, singing as beautifully as ever and winning global competitions.

I’m now in the alumni programme for Cantate (recently renamed Coro 94 to reflect our founding date and strong ties to Italy, where our founder musical director now lives) and love it just as much as ever. Having people coming from all over the UK and abroad to sing together again 21 years after Cantate was formed is a testament to the bond that we formed at our very first rehearsals. As a younger member of Coro 94, it’s also great to sing with the people I idolised as a 10 year old in our Training Choir! Thank you all for inspiring me.

The message in this somewhat overenthusiastic letter is twofold. Firstly: join a choir. Or a team or club of any kind. Just do something! Also, if you happen to be interested in high quality choral music sung by truly passionate choirs, search the Internet for Cantate or Cantate Alumni and see what takes your fancy. You won’t regret it!

Thanks for reading
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London, UK

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