On Thursday nights, Elettra sings with a choir in Florence, near San Niccolo. The group meets in the Lutheran church where Italians gather to sing religious songs in German.
Last night I tagged along, thinking I could sit in the back of the church and listen. If I got bored, I could always go for a walk in the neighborhood or read a book.
However, that was not to be. The choir met in a library where chairs were set up in a semi circle. I was immediately introduced and handed sheet music. Like it or not, I was going to be part of the choir.
I was welcomed without question. No one seemed to care if I could sing or not, or even speak Italian for that matter. I felt very at home – and believe me, I am not a singer! Even in the shower. I was happily out of my comfort zone.
First we were askedn to stand up and we did some warm up exercises. Our leader was an animated woman with a voice like an angel. “EEEE eee EEE oh” We went through some scales for about ten minutes.
This was not so hard, I could hum along. So far, so good, I thought.
Next we sang a German prayer, this was harder because I had to sing in German but still, I could fake it.
Next was “silent night’- at least I knew the melody! But I never could sing in harmony so I continued to hum along.
I remembered that I had a recording device on my phone so I recorded some of the songs for Elettra so she could study at home.
The songs got progressively more difficult, but the group did well and smiled through any mistakes.
I will return to the choir on a Thursday night if I am invited and maybe my group would also enjoy the experience.
To be welcomed without question, in a foreign country by people who just want to sing for the pure joy of it, is one of the reasons why I keep coming back to italy.
I never know what experience is going to surprise me and make me smile.