I have quite a unique perspective in my position as part of Contrapunctum. I am not the only singer that is not native Spanish but I am the only person who does not speak fluent Spanish, in fact far from it. Like many British in Spain I have relied on the fact that English is a common language and probably the most popular second language. However, I sing in a choir in which Spanish is the first language, direction is given in Spanish and some of the pieces are in Spanish, although because of the choir's chosen specialty a lot of music is in Latin. If you are reading this in Spanish, you can be assured I did not translate this.
I have been in Spain for exactly 10 years but unfortunately did not come across the choir until early 2010, purely by chance, but that is another story.
At first being part of the choir gave me a great deal of musical satisfaction. Since arriving in Spain I had found a cultural vacuum (the Benidorm music scene was not very high brow). However, very quickly I realised that the most important aspect of being part of this choir was the way every member of the group made you feel welcome, part of a whole, regardless if they could speak English or not. I cannot imagine a Spanish person with no English in a UK choir having the same experience.
Very soon after joining the choir we had a concert in Caudete, and here came my second surprise, the venue was packed. I was used to a concert of this type, in the UK, having a very poor turn out.
So, as I stand, waiting to go into the Church for the choir's tenth anniversary concert, my thoughts start to wander about what this choir means to me.
You have probably guessed by now that this is not a typical review of a concert. The concert was a huge success, and as usual had a good audience turn out. Every member of the choir performed well and some deserve special mention. Susana sang a solo in Maria Matrem Llibre Vermell de Montserrat. I first heard her sing this in Barcelona. She sang it well then and every time she has sung it, it has improved. This demonstrates another strength of the choir, letting people grow, develop new abilities. Alba sang more than one solo and as before played the harp. I remember hearing her sing at her audition for the choir and it is so good to hear how her voice had developed over time.
The choir still has three original members Ana, Samuel and Agustin. This does mean that there have been many faces come and go in its ten-year history, but the spirit remains the same.
One person remains unmentioned. Jose has provided the musical leadership of the group since its start. He has skilfully developed and trained the choir to improve, introducing music of increasing difficulty and embracing new ideas and styles. We all owe him a great deal, myself included.
So, while thinking about what this group means to me, I wondered what it means to others. Below you will find some of the thoughts from the current members of the choir.
So, we now look to the next ten years, stronger than ever.
“Contrapunctum introduced me to the fascinating world or Renaissance music. It is a happy coincidence to find such a multifaceted group of people sharing this passion. It is comforting and warming singing such a delicate repertoire, learning about its composers, the era and experience the music. It is simply amazing that ten years ago, a group of people decided to make their ideas real and founded this choir. This choir enriches my life day after day.”
"When I stopped working and had more time, I had no doubt, I wanted to sing in a choir!" And I was lucky enough to meet Contrapunctum and a repertoire, practically unknown to me then, that captivated me from the beginning. Choir is for me a very important part of my life, both for the music and for the healthy friendship and the "good vibes" that unites us.Thank you all for being there!”
"For me, being part of a choir, with a certain repertoire, is something fundamental in my life, and in this case is covered by Contrapunctum: SONG AND FRIENDSHIP."
"I have been the last to join Contrpunctum and the truth is that I feel enchanted and overwhelmed by both the affection and art that is perceived as being inside the group and projected in the concerts."
"For me means to be in contact with a beautiful and unusual music."
"In one of the most difficult years of my life, Contrapunctum is one of the pillars where I hold on tight because I know you will never let me fall.”
"Contrapunctum allows me to travel to the Renaissance, find Beauty, and also find friendship. Thank you for making my life more beautiful."