Welcome to Part 6 and the final part of the Humans of Vox series 2021. Humans of Vox is a series featuring members who make up Vox Camerata. Do check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5 if you have not. Without our administrative team, rehearsals will not be able to run successfully. Previously, we featured an interview with a Section Representative that helps with the administration and logistics of rehearsals. In this post, we interview another member of the administrative team who facilities the musical side of rehearsals: Estelle shares her experience as a Section Leader.
Introduce yourself and your role.
I am Estelle and I am currently the Section Leader of Sopranos. I guide the Sopranos to learn their music during sectionals in preparation for combined rehearsals where the whole choir comes together. Many people who join Vox Camerata either do not come from a musical background or have not sung in a choir before. For them, being in Vox Camerata is their first formal point of entry into music so I hold myself responsible for easing their entry into a music and choral experience. When teaching the music during sectionals, I also do my best to teach the ladies some basic music theory and musicianship components so that they can learn future music independently. During sectionals, I also share some breathing and vocal techniques that I have learnt from my experience singing with other choirs.
How did you become a section leader?
When I joined Vox Camerata late 2015, I was one of the few people in the choir who read music and have experience being in a choir before. I previously shared the role with another member. I remained as the Section Leader as I enjoy leading and facilitating group activities, and am passionate about choral music so I enjoy sharing what I know about music and choral production with others.
What do you do as a section leader during rehearsals?
Typically, I like to start sectionals with some physical warm-ups to warm up the body. Not many people realise that singing is a physical activity since the instrument (being the voice) is part of our body. Most of the members have full-time jobs and are mostly sitting and hunching over their desks on the weekdays – bodies are stiff and tense due to stress. Getting the body ready (For example: relaxing the shoulders, opening up the chest, strengthening the core and back muscles) is essential to getting our instruments ready. Then I lead some breathing and vocal warm-ups to prepare the lungs and the vocal cords. After that, I teach the assigned repertoire and ensure that members learn the right notes and practice with members so that we (as a section) ready to sing with other sections during combined rehearsals. If time permits or when members are more familiar and confident with the music, I might incorporate some vocal techniques to help blend the voices of members (so that we sound like one).
What have you learnt from being a section leader?
As I have sung in a choir for almost 19 years, I took for granted that not everyone know music or voice terminologies and jargons. Over the five years with Vox, I also learnt (and am still learning) to explain vocal techniques and music in a manner that is easy to understand and accessible to people who have never sung in a choir before. I have learnt to be patient and to appreciate how hardworking my members are. It is not easy to learn a new language (music is a language) and the effort they take outside their hectic work hours to learn music warms my heart. Through the years, I have also seen how singing and group singing have helped members build confidence and self-esteem that are translated to other aspects of their lives – finding their singing voice in a choir has helped people find their own voice in their lives! Thank you for inspiring me to be a better chorister! <3
Thank you Estelle for sharing your experience and for being a part of Vox Camerata!
We have come to the end of the Humans of Vox Camerata series. We hope that you had learnt more about Vox Camerata after reading from our member’s experiences.
If you enjoy singing or would like to learn a new skill, Vox Camerata welcomes you! Join us here.