It was a sad thing for me to leave my piano in Toronto. Not that I’m any great pianist and many’s the time I wished I had an electronic one such that I could don earphones and play to myself rather than suffer the embarrassment of people hearing me when I practised. So when I came to Rome, I decided that I would like to join a choir to at least give me some satisfaction of being involved in a musical pastime. How does one go about finding a choir when one is completely inexperienced? I had the great good fortune of meeting Sr. Rosa Maria at one of my Italian classes, an American nun who is studying sacred music here in Rome. She introduced me to Fr. Renzo, one of her teachers at the university who happens to be the Choir Master at the Church of Santa Croce in Flaminio. To my great relief, he did not carry out a a formal audition but simply came and stood by me for a minute or two as I sang with the contraltos. Better yet, he and Sr Rosa Maria pass by close to where we live, and pick me up for choir practice every Tuesday evening. The journey there is always most enjoyable. Fr. Renzo plays great music in the car and we sing and hum as we sit in traffic. It takes me back to when I was a child in Kenya and we used to all sing in the car on long journeys.
Anyhow, we sang at Mass last Sunday in the Chiesa of San Silvestro in Capite just off Via del Corso, which was founded in the 8th century. Its claim to fame and its name, derives from the fact that it houses a relic of the head of John the Baptist. Of course, being fascinated by gory and curious artefacts such as this, I was very interested in seeing it except it is no longer in the church but in the monastery next door. The Mass went by in no time and Fidz who dragged himself to church to witness my debut, said that we sounded good. I was thrilled to have sung in a choir at all, never mind in a beautiful church surrounded by paintings.
No more choir practice for a while because tomorrow, we leave for India. First we will be going to Goa, then to other parts of south India. Hopefully, I will still be able to keep posting so stay tuned for some travel adventures.