We had a light turnout in Berkeley tonight: something like 16 people before the break, and an even dozen after the break. Treated as a performance, maybe it wasn’t the best singing ever: we were a little raggedy-sounding at times, and we struggled a little with tunes that we should know. But it was still a good singing.
One reason it was a good singing was that everyone who led was invited to pitch their own tune — you didn’t have to, but you were invited to do so. Some of us are pretty good at pitching — others of us, like me, are not so good; I consistently pitched tunes a second lower than would have been best. But pitching tunes myself, and listening to others pitch tunes, forced me to listen more carefully to the other singers; and the more you listen to the other singers, the more sensitive your own singing becomes. By the second half of the singing, we had all relaxed a lot, we were listening better to one another, and — sure enough — our singing started to sound better, too.
Another reason it was a good singing for me was that I got to listen to Hugh sing treble; Hugh grew up singing Sacred Harp in Mississippi, and he knows how to sing. A highlight of the evening for me was singing 46 “Let Us Sing,” in which his treble got the rest of us to sound better than we ever have on that tune.
N.B.: Posted several days late (again!) due to crazy work schedule.