MINERVA, named after the Roman Goddess of wisdom, music and the arts, was founded in 2015 when six friends began singing for pleasure and to develop technique. Within months the chorus had grown and, with the support of two experienced musical directors established a varied repertoire of unaccompanied songs which demonstrated the well-blended harmony sound we set out to achieve.
Minerva Chorus members have shared the joy of singing together by performing regular concerts to support local good causes. Singing in front of an audience of 350 at Sheffield Cathedral in aid of Alzheimer’s Society in December 2019, little did we know that it would be the last performance for some time!
2020 began with usual Minerva rehearsals in Walton, Chesterfield on Monday evenings. The chorus was on the verge of appointing a new MD to help prepare for planned performances. Those plans were thrown into disarray when the March lockdown was announced.
Thinking this would be for a few weeks, rehearsals were moved online, and the group had to learn new IT skills for singing muted on Zoom. Minerva perform without sheet music, so it was vital to maintain regular rehearsals to ensure the songs are remembered! Fortunately, the chorus uses professionally recorded teacher tracks to assist learning words and music, this allowed members to adapt to on-line singing.
Minerva has continued to meet every week since March 2020, which has kept the repertoire fresh, and provided continued friendship and support, this was especially needed during the long winter lockdown. Chorus members, many of whom are front line workers, have risen to the challenges of the pandemic and formed even stronger bonds.
As the ban on live rehearsals and performances continued through 2020, acting MD Anne adapted songs and created new arrangements for the Minerva blend of vocal harmony. Members have prepared several new songs which we have never yet sung together live.
Members also used their IT skills to individually record several virtual performances of new songs and existing repertoire, which provided a focus after the disappointment of having to cancel a whole year of concerts.
Whilst singing indoors in groups greater than 6 is still not allowed, Minerva are continuing with Zoom rehearsals, but we hope to sing together soon and engage with audiences at live events, to share our love of singing and hear the beautiful vocal harmonies. In the meantime, we remain a committed and supportive group, determined to continue to develop and improve in what has been a challenging 15 months.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SING WITH US? Minerva always welcomes interest from women who love singing and might like to join us. There is no requirement to read music, sheet copies are provided, although many members learn through audio learning tracks alone. To find out more about Minerva have a look at the website where you can also view YouTube clips of some of the repertoire.
CAN WE SING FOR YOU? We like to share our enjoyment of singing together by performing for others. If you are considering a possible concert engagement, we’d be delighted to arrange a discussion.