First, tell us shortly:
Who are you?
I’m Anna, amateur choir singer currently from Germany, originally from Russia. I sing in a choir, I volunteer for regional choral association in St Petersburg, and, of course, I’m a member of the ECA-EC Youth Committee.
What does singing mean for you?
Singing means a whole world for me. I can honestly say that I sing much more than I talk, it’s the best language for me to express myself and even to communicate with other people. Can’t say that singing is my life, but if definitely does make it a beautiful one.
When did you first get across the YC of ECA-EC? Why did it felt appealing to you?
I’d never gotten across the ECA-EC before I joined my first Board and YC meeting. My colleague from St Petersburg who’ve been to General Assembly in Cappadocia told me about a call for new Youth Committee. By that time I’ve been living in Germany for several months, so this felt like the best chance ever to continue the job I did in St. Petersburg on the next level and to figure out how does the choral community work in Europe.
Can you tell us your best memory (so far) as a member of the YC?
It happened on my first meeting with the Board, the Team and the Youth Committee. I came to Bonn, and I was very nervous about meeting all these great people of mighty pan-European choral association. And we met slightly before lunch, and everybody started to shake hands, hug each other, as all of them knew each other from previous ECA-EC festivals and events, and I only knew Raul. Of course, everyone was friendly, but I still was super anxious about not being part of that community, not fitting in and so on. But then we came back to the office, and before we started working, someone from the Board told all of us to open the scorebooks from Europa Cantat festival in Tallinn on one page, shortly called us to split by voice, and we sang together. It didn’t matter that I was amateur, nothing but the harmony we shared mattered at all. And I felt this special sense when you hear the voices of other people singing with you and you rely on them and find your place according to them. That was the moment I finally figured out that – yes, I do belong here. We’re all different people, but we are not that divergent in things that matter to all of us. And that feeling has never left me since that very first day.
Can you tell us about a moment as part of the YC when you felt like your voice mattered?
It might sound cheesy, but it’s true that I’ve always felt like this. As I was didn’t know much about ECA-EC before my first meeting, I tended to keep silence until I’d acquire all the background, but from day one I’ve been told by different people that I should speak, and ask all the questions, and give all the ideas I had. So I did, and all the Youth Committee projects were based on our ideas fully. And then after 2 months, I’ve been sent to CEEC meeting as the representative of ECA-EC. If this is not a sign of trust, respect and willing to hear my voice, then what is?
What is for you the best part of a concert?
Do you know this feeling, when you’re behind the stage, and you can be anxious about dozens of things? For me the best moment in a concert is when you step on the stage, look at your conductor, listen to the voices of other singers and forget about everything else. Out of sudden, you’re not afraid anymore to make a mistake, or to take the wrong pitch, or to forget something about the piece, or to step out of rhythm, or to spoil the performance you’ve been practising for so long. It’s not about being right or wrong anymore, it’s not even about you – there’s only the music that you all are creating, together, here and now.
What is your favourite sound to hear?
It’s simple, but I really like how the birds are singing for all day long during this spring and summer days. Even though they’re distracting my colleagues from YC during our Skype meetings and interrupt all online rehearsals, there is something cheering and relaxing in their ways to celebrate the sunrise and every single day with singing.
An anecdote that makes you laugh.
Never trust an atom, they make up everything.
Something your family would say about you.
I have no idea what my family would say about me, but I know for sure what they won’t. For all my life I’ve been listening to teachers who would tell me that I need to focus on one thing in my life and then move on. You know, I’m a physicist spending all my spare time working for the choral community, or singing, or listening to choral music, and as the saying goes, between two stools one falls to the ground. This is why it is so important to me that my family would never say that I’m not focused enough, and they’ve never pushed me to choose between music and science.
What do you sing under the shower?
Can’t wait to graduate, move out of the dormitory and start singing in my own shower 🙂
This was great, thank you!
The association is only as strong as the people involved. They bring the ideas, the input, the feedback, the encouraging words and so much more. #weareECAEC is an initiative that acknowledges the contribution of people across our association. Every week, you will be able to discover somebody new, be it board, youth committee, staff or a member of ECA-EC.