More practice aids

I just received this via email from Brian, and thought I’d turn in into a follow-up blog post to my last one. So, here’s Brian on where to find note bashing tracks for our current material:

“For those of you who, like me, are mere mortals that don’t sight sing and generally need help learning the voice part, here is a list of where I found helpful audio files. There may well be other sites available of course, but here are the links I use. You can download what you want…

Ding Dong Merrily on High, Willcocks
A Spotless Rose, Howell
I Saw Three Ships, Willcocks
We Wish You A Merry Christmas, Warrell
Music, When Soft Voices Die, Parry
Glory to the Christ Child, Bullard

Right click on the file you want and click “save link as” and save it to your computer or to your phone if connected, and hey presto, sorted. If you don’t want to or cannot download, you can always just listen on line, of course.

Hodie Christus Natus Est, Carter: I drew a blank on voice part files, but there are You Tube videos.

On Christmas Night, Chilcott
To download, use a similar method to the one outlined above for the John Fletcher site.

Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, JS Bach: Available on John Fletcher site, but if you don’t know how to use midi software to slow down the speed, you might find you tube vids helpful – there are slowed down versions on you tube.

Hope this helps.

Brian”

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Meet…Bob

Unicode

Name: Bob

Section: Tenor

Any official choir function? No.

Joined in: 1997

Daylight job: Retired (I’m not telling you about my night-time one….)

Why did you join a choir? I love singing in choirs, especially unaccompanied stuff

What do you enjoy most about singing with us? The music and the friendliness of other members. About the friendliest I’ve been in – and I’ve been in quite a few.

What is the most exciting piece you’ve ever sung? Rachmaninov Vespers

What’s the hardest piece you’ve ever sung? Monteverdi Vespers

Which piece is your guilty pleasure? Josquin – Nymphes des Bois, though I have never sung it

Do you also play an instrument and if so, which? None

What other music do you enjoy? Solo piano – mostly classical, Scott Joplin and flamenco guitar

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not singing? I’m Mr Fixit in our house. I fix mobile phones and flog them on eBay

Tea break! What’s your favourite biscuit? Plain Hobnobs

What’s your choir super-power? Eh?

Tell us something we don’t know about you.  I’m a licensed amateur radio operator, callsign MM0RKT. I’m also a member of a Belgian Confrèrie.

bobtowers

What would you say to anyone thinking of joining our choir? Come along for a try – you’ll like it! If you’re a tenor, brilliant!

Feel like taking Bob up on his invitation? We rehearse every Thursday at 19.30 in Woodlands Methodist Church – do come and join us!

Ursula

Meet… a Brian (we have more than one)

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Name: Brian

Section: Bass

Any official choir function? Erstwhile tea-maker

Joined in: 2011 ish

Daylight job: Small business owner (gardener)

Why did you join a choir? To sing and meet new folk.

What do you enjoy most about singing with us? The singing and meeting of new folk! 🙂 Best of all, I like learning and mastering (after a fashion) the classic repertoire. Performance as such doesn’t give me a huge buzz – I just like the challenge of learning new pieces and learning to sing better. And the second best thing is getting to know some fantastic music that I would never otherwise have come across.

What is the most exciting piece you’ve ever sung? Probably the Grand March in Verdi’s opera Aida. It’s like skiing down a mountain full-pelt on the verge of losing control but not quite!

What’s the hardest piece you’ve ever sung? Probably Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem.

Which piece is your guilty pleasure? I really enjoy a jammy piece, failing which….have been known to wallow in the exceedingly lush Mass in Eb for double choir by Reinberger. Also thoroughly enjoy “Three Craws Sat upon a Wa’” (Scottish Trad.). But for truly decadent melodies and downright debauched rhythms I turn to Fat Boy Slim.

Do you also play an instrument and if so, which? Piano (v badly)

What other music do you enjoy? Most kinds – world music, jazz, folk, rock, pop, country etc etc

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not singing? Spending time outdoors – hiking, biking, kayaking, eating sausages on a stick.

Tea break! What’s your favourite biscuit? Ritter Sport, albeit the choir budget tends not to support such excesses.

What’s your choir super-power? The ability to ignore all extraneous distractions, e.g. the conductor furiously signalling bass entries.

Tell us something we don’t know about you. I’ve got a boil on my….No, no, no. I speak French.

What would you say to anyone thinking of joining our choir? Do it. Have fun. Open a door….

If you’d like to join Brian in the bass section – or join any of the other sections, for that matter, why not drop by for our rehearsal tomorrow night at 19.30 in Woodlands Methodist Church?

See you there!

Ursula

Meet…Marsha

cropped

Name: Marsha

Section: 2nd Soprano

Any official choir function? Chair of the committee

Joined in: 2007

Daylight job: Artist/teacher

Why did you join a choir?  Love of singing!

What do you enjoy most about singing with us?  Repertoire and concert venue

What is the most exciting piece you’ve ever sung?  Brahms’ Requiem with 2 pianos

What’s the hardest piece you’ve ever sung?  Monteverdi Vespers

Which piece is your guilty pleasure?  Mozart Laudate Dominum

Do you also play an instrument and if so, which?  Piano, organ (badly).

What other music do you enjoy?  Too much to mention

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not singing? Making things

Tea break! What’s your favourite biscuit?  Dark Chocolate Gingers

What’s your choir super-power?  Recruiting tea makers!

Tell us something we don’t know about you.  My first public musical performance was singing “The Sun Has Got His Hat On” – aged 6, in the School concert, …..wearing a swimsuit!

What would you say to anyone thinking of joining our choir?  We love singing amazing music in an amazing building!

 

If you would like to meet Marsha and the rest of the choir, why not join us at our rehearsal tomorrow night at 19.30 in Woodlands Methodist Church?

See you there!

Ursula

Come & Sing Mozart’s Requiem

It seems a bit mean spirited to start this blog by telling everybody about an event that they won’t be able to go to, because it’s already taken place – but our Come & Sing, which we held at All Saints Episcopal Church in Jordanhill on Saturday the 26th of September 2015, was great fun and deserves a mention!

C&S

For anyone unfamiliar with the concept of “Come & Sing”, the idea is to pick a piece of choral music, bring together singers (experienced choir singers as well as those that usually only sing in the bathroom) for a day of rehearsal and perform the piece to an audience by the evening. Sounds impossible? Far from it!

Rumours of home baking had circulated since we started our regular rehearsals on the 17th, and right enough, by the time our event started at 12.00 an abundance of cakes, buns, fruit slices and shortbread was in evidence in the church hall, ready for tea break, which was very kindly managed by members of the congregation of All Saints. As any choir singer knows, tea breaks are of the utmost importance, so I’ll take this opportunity to thank the tea squad for their sterling effort!

Bolstered by the prospect of tea and cakes in the near future, our group tackled the first rehearsal, led by James in his usual energetic manner (somewhat augmented by caffeine) and accompanied by Ed, our stalwart rehearsal accompanist, on the fairy-light adorned piano supplied by Glasgow Piano City.

splendidpiano

But – warm up first! A number of exercises that are well-known to GCCS members (trap doors and inquisitive bumblebees, anyone?) was topped off by an excursion to Jo, who works in a button factory and finds himself operating said buttons with a variety of body parts. We halted this experiment when both health & safety as well as common decency demanded it.

When we started working on the Mozart, it became clear that we had struck gold with out guest singers – a number of them was familiar with the piece, so those that weren’t had a strong support they could lean on. An hour and a half of rehearsal just flew by, allowing us to finally get our hands on those fabulous baked goods!

shortbread

We also used the opportunity of the tea break to get to know our guests a bit better by means of merciless interroga… No. Wrong – we had a very nice chat over a cuppa, as you do.

break

The second round of rehearsals filled in all the gaps of pieces we hadn’t sung through yet, and at the end, while more tea was had by the choir, our lovely soloists had a chance to sing through their sections.

So, here they are:  Myrna Tennant – Soprano, Ellen Mawhinny – Contralto, Ian McBain – Tenor, and James Corrigan – Bass.

soloists

At 18.00, an audience had found their way to the venue and found themselves seated between the choir stalls at the front, where they probably expected the choir to be – however our group was so large that we had to use the pews!

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The concert also included a quick dash to the organ bench for James, since the “Tuba mirum” really demanded the trombone stop to be deployed!

Obviously, I’m the wrong person to judge how we sounded –  I’m totally biased and I was standing in the middle of the alto section (and we all know that the altos are always the best section!) …. but I think we did rather well.

Maybe an audience member would like to confirm that impression – or put me to rights. The comment section is all yours!

We hope our guest singers enjoyed the day as much as we did and we’d be delighted to encounter some of you at our next rehearsal on Thursday (19.30) at Woodlands Methodist Church.

Ursula