It was in the beginning of last summer when we had our first meeting with Florian. We discussed how awesome it would have a choir in the company. Florian had done choir leading before, I had sang in different choirs my whole life. We decided to put up a proper advertisement in the company’s intranet and waited for people to join. Summer holidays and one person showed up. We decided to leave the whole idea for a while. In November we tried again. This time with a promise of Christmas carol singing within the company premises, and interested people started pouring in.
Most of them were cabin crew members, and they are still the biggest personnel group in our choir. They are all cheery, bubbly, kind and caring. They are also very social, and our choir WhatsApp chat easily gets full of messages showing solidarity to whom ever is in a need of a casual cheer-up or occasional congrats. This all can be sometimes overwhelming to someone who is used to the more quiet and solitary work environment, but the amount of energy these people radiate to their environment, is empowering and healing. (Actually, I should get a patent for the wellness combination of doing music and being surrounded by our cabin crew members.)
A little more than a year later of our first meeting with Florian, we had our first real performance in a company event we could all relate to. It was the AVRO’s last flight. The Jumbolino, as people in and outside of our company like to call it, is sadly leaving the fleet.
Personally I have been working on AVRO’s phase out campaign for one and a half year. One by one they have been leaving, and we in the Aircraft Systems Engineering have been making the paperwork exercise. When checking records of missing documents of some random historical aircraft modifications, when raising workorders for the mechanics to change each engineer’s respective aircraft systems for the new registration of the aircraft (it’s not just the registration sticker on the side of the aircraft that identifies the aircraft, its also several communication and navigation system which use unique identification codes, of which some are coded by wiring, some mechanically, some digitally… ;)). Some of our choir members who are Pursers, or Maitre de Cabine’s, which is just a tiny bit more sophistically French name fore the same, have shared some great stories of flying with the reliable, but small plane, which seems to be built by, or for, short people, if you want to believe all the stories. But what I’m trying to say, is that all of us seem to have our own heart warming memories of our metallic colleague, even from so far away as the times of the predecessors of our current company. And that made our gig so much more memorable and emotional, at least for us singers.
Our choir is not the same anymore what it was in November, or maybe even was supposed to be when Florian first put up the initial wish of starting a company choir. With the new choir leader Julia, who has been coaching us in the work related absence of Florian, we have gotten forward, and I am so glad I can say that our little choir has turned into a proper group of musical individuals, who can make the best out of any kind of combination of different voices. Maybe the fact that you can never trust of having the same people singing with you the next time, due to the irregular nature of our colleagues’ shift patterns, has made everyone to give their best performance as they were singing alone.
When we have been getting ready to the AVRO leaving-do, we have at the same time been preparing our choir for a new era. During the coming Month, we’ll be having open rehearsals, which will hopefully bring us more new enthusiastic members. Only time will tell where we are as a choir next year this time, if we have already gotten this far in such a short time. I can only wish all the best for our little choir, and do my own little part as best as I can, like in all team work, as that’s what singing in a choir is all about.
Steep approaches AVRO! With love, Reeta