I am firmly of the opinion that channelling a bit of Ally-style spirit is no bad thing. However, it is true to say that the majority of people are unlikely to agree with me. Because singing still seems to carry with it a certain taboo and “uncool” tag; something that no self respecting person should be found doing in public. Whilst the efforts of geek-chic music maestro Gareth Malone have, in recent years, done something to improve the situation, they have by no means removed people’s misconceptions. Singing has been proven to be great stress reliever, increasing serotonin levels in the brain and improving our general health. In a high stress profession such as the law, singing seems like the perfect antidote. Indeed, it makes little sense to me that, rather than busting out an Aretha Franklin tune, my colleagues would prefer to combat their stress by standing together, one legged on their yoga mats, in a hugely attractive (ahem) vest and gym shorts combo.
About a year ago, a circular about a local choir competition arrived on the desk of a like minded colleague and the idea to form a “Michelmores choir” was mooted. I was delighted. I spent my earlier years in bands and on stage, planning my “quest” for musical theatre stardom until, aged 19, I shelved the idea and commenced study for a more “corporate” career [cue parents’ very audible sigh of relief that daughter would not turn out to be unemployed actor/busker/crummy bedsit renter]. Whilst I have no doubt that law is the right career for me, music still is a hugely important part of my life and fills the majority of my free time. The opportunity to sing at work? Yes please.
I am pleased to be able to (rather smugly) report that the “Minstrelmores” scooped a tremendous victory and reeled in the shiny 1st prize trophy from under the noses of our local competitors. Though the competition has now long passed, a group of dedicated singing enthusiasts from all corners of the firm continue to meet on a weekly basis. They may not be leading sopranos, but their passion and commitment could raise the roof off the building as magnificently as any high F#. Granted, there will always be the odd disagreements within any group, and music choice is always an issue when catering for such diverse tastes (it transpires some people’s passion for Glee is, shall we say, considerably less than my own…..) But there is nothing quite like being able to leave your desk and find some great gospel singing taking place on the floor below. I think we have something special. And, thankfully, vests and gym shorts are not allowed…