From an early age I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. A Pinkie. For other girls their dream was to be Madonna or Kylie, but for me nothing less than singing with the Pink Singers would do.
I bided my time, dallying with other, lesser groups which provided some small distraction but was never fully satisfying. And then one day the call came and I was invited to join a rehearsal and do a voice test. In preparation I immediately embarked on a week long training regime which consisted of singing along to every song on my ipod, irrespective of whether or not it was in my key, and actually giving up the booze the night before. Finally the big day came and I walked into the rehearsal room at RAM. It was magical; all the pinkies lined up with their smiling faces and angelic voices. And when at one point we all hit the right note at the right time the hairs on my neck stood up and I realised this was where I belonged.
After rehearsal I was asked to do the dreaded voice test. Knowing that the Alto section was oversubscribed for this season I decided to be clever and tried out for the tenor section but I could not go that low! Not fazed I thought I would take a shot at the soprano section. I stood on my tiptoes clenched my buttocks and emitted a high pitched shrill. Mladen our long suffering fabulous musical director shook his head with a look of `oh my god what is this?’ in his eyes and said in his imitable way – “yes you can sing but you are an alto, not tenor or soprano and I am afraid the alto section is full this season”. Resigned to the rejection of it all I left my details with Lynne, said goodbye to my new found friends, and headed back to obscurity.
And then a few days later a miracle – Lynne called – a couple of people had dropped out of the alto section and would I like to sing with the choir this season (is the Pope catholic?). The next Sunday I rocked up to rehearsal all cocky and confident now that I was ‘in’!
The rehearsals soon brought me down to earth. The repertoire of songs for the season were, to say the least, very challenging, especially the folk songs which were a total departure for someone who to date had never sung anything older than a Beatles tune. And then I did my sums – just over two months till the concert and all these songs to learn by heart …help! It was a daunting prospect but my fellow pinkies were so supportive of us newcomers that I wanted to make sure that I did not let anyone down and spent many many hours practising the songs to get note and word perfect.
As I became more confident and got to know my fellow Pinkies better rehearsals became the highlight of my week. Drinks and impromptu sing-alongs in the pub after rehearsal also helped seal some very special friendships. Leading up to the concert there was a flurry of activity with small group events and sectional socials. At all times I was treated as a valued part of the group, never made to feel like a newcomer and I came to realise what a true family the Pink Singers are.
A few weeks before the concert I came down with a bad cold as did many of the others but we all soldiered on dosed up on neurofen, soothers and brandy. Whatever happened the show must go on. The night of the concert was fantastic. Its all a bit of a blur (down to the cold medication) but everyone was so great helping out with costumes, make up, water, and shouting good luck to each other. And then we were up there on stage, finally my ambition achieved. I don’t know how we sounded but when we received the rapturous applause it was better than… well better than a bar of Green and Blacks dark chocolate. I have missed the Pinkies over the winter break and can’t wait for the new season to start and go through the whole thing again. Only difference is that this time I will be the one welcoming the newcomers.