Our rehearsals resume on September 7 and we will welcome a dozen new members, who have successfully passed the milestone of our auditions. A crucial process. Our president Christophe tells how he experienced it very intensely and emotionally.
This week, we held the auditions at Sing Out Brussels! Always a special moment.
This year, we had a waiting list of 140 people. It is, of course, impossible to see and listen to each of them individually. Each candidate had to prepare two songs at home and send us a recording of these songs. An exercise that already puts off many. Then, we did a first selection based on the quality of the recordings received (around 40 this summer). At the end, 25 people were invited to an in-person audition.
On the day of the audition, there is a back-to-school atmosphere: all these new faces, tinged with stress, excitement, impatience, curiosity. It’s always moving to see them and get to know them. I know that unfortunately not all will be accepted. Everyone comes with their story: that person’s life has been filled with music and singing since childhood, this candidate has an irrepressible need to make friends in the LGBTQ+ community, that one has just moved in Brussels to work in the European bubble, this other person is in transition and sent us alti recordings a month ago but now sings tenor. The mixture of languages: they speak English, French, Dutch, with Indian, Slovak, Filipino, Maltese, Austrian accents… These first links that are forged. Among these people, some will perhaps become close friends, people with whom I will vibrate at the same rhythm on stage.
And then there is this collective intelligence of the choir as a group: the singers who came to sing with the candidates, and those who welcomed candidates and asked questions about their background and motivation to join us, and afterwards, the discussion between singers who had all passed this test at some point and now they choose the candidates who will join us this season.
This year, the choice was difficult: too many people for too few places. I had two sleepless nights, pondering all the possibilities to disappoint as few people as possible. But I am also feeling so proud to know that such beautiful people want to join our choir. What a pleasure to hear them tell us about the videos seen on the Internet, the concerts they attended, about our website being so comprehensive and having all the links. What a pleasure to share with them our projects, our history, our mission and our values.
This evening, after long discussions, the choice is made. In the next few hours, everyone will know if they are selected or not. From Wednesday, all these voices and faces will mix and start singing together. It will be necessary to merge with each other, to get to know each other, to respect individualities while forming one singing group. It will take time, it will require adjustments. Bonds will be created, stories will be born, memories will remain.
There is this impression for many that a choir is so futile. Today, however, I know that I am doing something so useful.