Preparing the dots - Ria Andriani
For me, this tour has been a big learning curve in terms of music preparation. In the UK, the choir performed the daily offices of evensong and Eucharist using different canticles, psalms, anthems and masses as well as a set of responses. There were at least 30 pieces of music to prepare altogether. Using my Braille music catalog as well as other blind choral scholars’ I was able to obtain some of the pieces which had been Brailled beforehand. The rest I transcribed using different methods.
Through the scholarship I was able to pay people to read the notes on the print score whilst I enter it into the Braille note-taker. In this occasion, Luke Iredale and Alistair Nelson have been such a great help. I've also used a typesetter to prepare some of the music which is kept in a special format and converted it to Braille using computer software called the Goodfeel Suite. I was fortunate to be able to emboss most of my music, which made reading much easier.
Every morning during the tour I would spend some time going through the music of the day. The challenges varied, as some of the pieces were more familiar than others. These left a few hours to do a quick sightseeing trip or explored the venue where we were singing which were awe-inspiring enough.