The problem is that I keep having ideas. My latest ‘brainwave’ is to add a poll so that visitors to strathavenchoral.com can vote for their favourite choral music. The weeks since that flash of inspiration have formed the planning phase, and now, at the eve of its launch, a few words about the poll, our site and music, may be in order.
Last autumn, when our Webmaster had moved to pastures new, I became the creator and guardian of the new strathavenchoral.com. New broom, new look and new approach and now some five months later, the site is up and running with all the usual choir website features: who’s who, what’s where (and when) rehearsals, concerts and a ‘members’ area’ where singers can keep up to date with comings and goings. So what next? How to make our site interesting, attractive and relevant to aficionados of choral music and indeed to tempt the passing surfer to pause for just a moment?
The best of choral music appeared to be a good place to start but, how to choose ‘the best’?
As the alto who put the ‘amateur’ into choral singing, I turn to the experts for help. At every rehearsal my fellow singers seem to be possessed of so much more experience and wisdom than I could ever hope to garner. Each year, when Christopher Barr, our MD announces our programme, almost all of the pieces are completely new to me, but I am surrounded by excellent singers who recall having sung them, with either Strathaven Choral or with another ensemble. So I posed the question: what is your favourite piece of choral music? From their suggestions, I have assembled a short list of nominations of marvellous choral music. One or two almost picked themselves but many other very worthy contenders received only one nomination and, having rejected the idea of establishing a committee to decide what should be ‘in’ and what should be ‘out’, I considered various criteria, listened a lot, and have now, almost, finalised the list.
Unsurprisingly, all the listed composers are European and male. All but one is no longer with us. Undoubtedly the imminent posting will prompt outrage, for narrowing the cornucopia of choral music to only seven is an impossible task. Voters will, therefore, have the option of voting for their own favourite.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if international voters were to nominate composers less well known to us, and so expand the repertoire of our Choir, here, in Scotland?
The Poll will be posted very soon. Keep watching.