A sketch-friend of mine noticed a sign posted outside a local church hall about the weekly rehearsals of the male voice choir. She thought it might be fun to draw them, so made contact to ask if a few sketchers could go along to a practice one night. They were bemused but curious, so a couple of weeks ago, four of us took our sketchbooks to the Derbyshire village of Dove Holes.
I didn't know what to expect and clearly they didn't either. They were very welcoming and chatty though. Then they got started and it was suddenly serious.
There was a lot of stopping and starting, as they practised tricky bits of various pieces they were rehearsing for an event the following week. Their choir master was a real stickler (an ex teacher) and kept telling them off. Mostly we heard the music broken down into its various constituent parts, but every now and then they would put it all together. Each time this happened, the gloriously rich sound was so moving, I had to stop drawing and close my eyes. Wonderful.
At the end of the evening there was a fundraising raffle for a bottle of wine. The elderly man next to me won and promptly gave me the bottle to take home - what a sweetie.
Before heading off, we let them see our scribblings. One of their number turned out to be a local painter and so we signed him up for SketchCrawl North on the spot.