The Bane of Barytonitus Brian Pollard


Once fifty per cent of the choir membership, despite the drop to thirty per cent, the baritone section is still its backbone, appreciating the responsibility of sustaining structural performance but now more susceptible to the discomfort of a few slipped discs.

This numerical reduction brings the bonus of emphasis on quality and lowers the odds on redundancy. However the dissidents continue to exercise their ability to tease out the nuances of musical expression in back bench debate during choir sittings. This process is further enhanced by a member’s didactic dialogues with the musical director. These endorse the esoteric character of a minority interest within the very mixed ability range of our comprehensive ensemble.

Communication with the conductor is essential for every section and it may be considered advantageous to have a member with a special relationship. However, who knows whether the wearer is mantled in moleskin or in envoy’s ermine. Alluding to the former furry creature and remaining in the same context reminds one that no stone should remain unturned to expose the minor mountains of a bolder beavering activity.

Turning from the sublime to the ridiculous the wearing of two timepieces does not really help in timekeeping, merely providing a butt for the lance of jocular jousting. Which all goes to show what a convivial collection of comrades comprise this alliterated baritone bunch in an otherwise musically literate choir. The corn is not green but conspicuously so plentiful that perhaps the baritone birds just sing sozzled, or is that state the consequence of advice that lubrication of the larynx is best effected by what’s best?

To matters serious: the baritones are especially grateful to their leader for arranging and hosting occasional sectional practices. This service may not be official but it does make for choral cohesion and in no way deviates from a determined direction. We were, however, impressed when handed a CD of the baritone lines of many items of the choir’s repertoire. Disappointed, but not surprised, when the voice was not that of Bryn Terfil but rather that of the pair which provides admonition and advice to those “slipped discs” on a Tuesday night. Although not having the Terfil tone they do Brym with enthusiasm which we appreciate.

No, the title has no typing error and now you know why it is correct, with the cryptic crap covering multitudinous musical mirth. This article is a draft (daft?) script for, and should be read in the manner of, Humphrey Littleton but only after being jazzed (or is that sexed?) up a bit. Perhaps not. Just leave it it prosaicly Pollard.