Special guest post by Stan Eidim
Oscar Chanteur Esq., pitch merchant and erstwhile guzzler of ales, gave reporters some insight into why he loves choral singing so much.
“There’s nothing quite like the thrill of being able to tell people when they get the notes wrong,” he said. “It’s important, because when you have perfect pitch like me, you’re the team captain, y’know? The first batsman out. And the conductor is always glad to have expert help, even if he just keeps getting angrier and angrier throughout the rehearsal for some reason.”
Chanteur was delighted to tell us about things he does, things he can do, and things that he plans to do. “I’m not in a choir per se, I’m just really enjoying the freedom of depping around at the minute and meeting the other big names on the scene. Speaking of big names, let me tell you about Jonny. If I’m driving the St Engelbert’s College Cambridge Chapel Choir Banter Bus then he collects the tickets. Anyway, Jonny and I are actually in the process of setting up our own group; we just think there’s a real gap in the market for a choir that specialises in early music but also sings contemporary music too. At the moment we don’t have a business plan or any members, or any music, but our name is Voxes Illuminatiarium and we wear zany socks and brown brogues in all of our promotional material. Cool, huh?”
When asked what attracted him to the fine art of choral singing, Chanteur said: “I just love the sense of achievement I get when I sing all the notes correctly. I think that’s what makes the English Choral tradition so special: notes.”
It’s not all serious though; according to Chanteur, even the most sombre of Sunday services can provide a good laugh or two. “I love nothing more than a good psalm-based double entendre. Singing in the choir is one thing, but it’s in the pub afterwards where the real men play. Usually I start off by telling that Messiah story about the baritone who was booked to sing the tenor solos because that never fails to get the Bantersaurus Rex on the move. And it’s always good to see if there are any other Engelbertonisensians in the arena- things really kick off when there are. If not, it’s still great fun because in any given evening I can get through a list of roughly one hundred and three people I know that the other singers know because I’ve done so many gigs. Banter.”
When asked if it was really necessary for him to go through every name of every person that everyone around him might know as if this might represent an important discovery or milestone of some kind, Chanteur did not hesitate to reply. “Of course! I just love the sense of achievement I get when I say all the names correctly.”