Choral singing: fitness without lycra

Michael Leighton Jones as Christus (bottom left) rehearsing with the Orpheus Choir for tonight's performance of the St Matthew Passion

Tonight our choir, Wellington’s Orpheus Choir is performing Bach’s St Matthew Passion – hopefully to a packed Wellington Town Hall.

If there was one non-exercise activity that would keep me fit, what would it be?

It would have to be singing. Other singers will have to agree with me, that although it might not appear to, singing does keep you fit.

It can be physically demanding. Significant strength of the diaphragm is needed as well as strength in your back.

You would never guess this by just looking at a soloist (or choral singer) on stage. In one of our recent concerts, the soprano soloist was wearing a a near backless gown. From our vantage point (behind of course), we could see how hard her back muscles were working, it was amazing. Her well-defined back muscles were working throughout – clenching and releasing, supporting her gorgeous voice.

The diaphragm has also to work hard to support the inflow and outflow of breath, as well as supporting an evenness of tone.

Then there’s the mental fitness, you cannot go to sleep on the job. Focus and attention, without which the performance would turn to mush, have to be maintained at all times.

The audience sees none of this. Perhaps if they did, it might be less enjoyable. What they see are artists committed to and sharing their love of music; and what they hear is glorious and seeming effortless sound.

Tonight won’t be any different.


2 thoughts on “Choral singing: fitness without lycra

    1. Rossi Post author

      Hi Rachael, thanks for taking the time to comment. Our choir numbers around 80 … our concert was a huge success. Standing ovations and great comments…a wonderful acknowledgement after all the hard work. Ros


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