Features’ Society Spotlight: Noteworthy

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Accessibility in the Durham music scene, whilst getting better, still has a long way to go. Although arguably not as expensive as some sports or as cliquey as some drama groups, music in Durham sometimes makes the assumption that all students have had formal music training. Experienced musicians may forget about those who have never had the opportunity to be introduced to music notation, instruments or choral singing, leaving those who have not had such privileges behind. That is why we set up Noteworthy, Durham’s new non-audition choir who will sing from no music scores whatsoever.

Our aim is to strip back the choral experience to its simplest form: a group of singers who enjoy singing together. All of our music will be taught by ear, which is how most of us pick up the melodies and the catchy choruses of our favourite songs anyway. The pressures and distractions of the musical score are put aside, leaving us with the pure enjoyment of listening to harmonies, listening to each other and appreciating the human ear’s natural capability to pick up music fairly easily.

Our aim is to strip back the choral experience to its simplest form

The nature of the choir is that people can participate in the way they feel most comfortable. Singers who feel confident and capable of doing so will be invited to pick out harmony lines, but those who’d rather sing the tune are welcome to do so too. The beauty of this arrangement is that no one part is more important than the other; we need both our melody and harmony to bring the piece together.

No one part of the choir is more important than the other

This idea of choice is embraced further through the selection of our repertoire. Noteworthy will be focusing on the most popular chart music and selecting the songs we sing will be a collaborative conversation between the musical directors and the members of the choir; everyone’s voice will be heard. Our aim is to turn pop culture into something that can be refined to fit the choir singing style. We are so excited to turn some of your favourite songs into acapella arrangements and stripped-down piano acoustics.

Everyone’s voice will be heard

The choir is somewhat a first of its kind and will naturally challenge us as musical directors. However, if Noteworthy can offer a moment of release from a stressful week or open a door for a singer who can’t read music (a door which they had assumed would be permanently closed), we know our work will have been worthwhile. We could not be more excited, and we hope you are too.

Image: Noteworthy Society logo 

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