Sing and Rule the World!

Another great evening rehearsal with two new choir members joining us, Anja and Ulrika (welcome ladies, it was very good to have you with us.)  The wine flowed, the nibbles were nibbled and after a short but energetic warm-up, we went over the “Sing” parts learnt the previous week.  I was very happy to hear that the soprano 2 voices remembered and held onto their lines really well after just learning their notes a week ago, well done! A fantastic effort from everyone and we sung through the piece several times with the use of backing tracks and our piano.  There were a couple of tiny sections that the men needed to learn in this piece and they did a sterling job as ever, with great concentration (a great bonus to any choir.)  We then moved on to a sing-through of “Rule the World” which is the next piece we’ll be learning for our summer fair performance.  Most were familiar with the melody and we had great fun singing through it in unison with male voices shining in verses for this particular number.  It’s going to sound great once we learn it in parts with all the harmonies.  We’re taking a break for half-term week – next evening rehearsal will be on 6th June.  Enjoy the break and keep singing everyone! It’s good for body and soul.

Another great performance at mass

Thanks to everyone who came along to sing at 9.30 mass on Pentecost Sunday. Despite the difficulties in getting the microphones to work (a failure which shall not happen again I can assure you) the choir’s spirited singing was heard loud and clear by the congregation. Lots of positive feedback afterwards too from parishioners. Well done everybody. Thanks to Nina for holding up the big placard with the words of the clapping Gloria (so that you could all clap without your choir folders!) and also to our chaps who valiantly struggled with cables and leads to sort out the microphones while I tried to do the warm-up. Really appreciated all your efforts. Our next Sunday rehearsal will be on 2nd June after the half-term break. Keep practising your notes everyone and look forward to seeing many of you soon.  By the way we are still meeting up to rehearse our other repertoire on Thursday 23rd May at 8.15 (we won’t be rehearsing at all the week of half-term break.)

Just Sing!

Great progress at rehearsal tonight where we managed to learn the sections of “Sing” which split up into parts.  Some really decent harmonies in there and a great effort by all, thank you. I feel we’ve really cracked the back of this number and just need to fine-tune some of the entries and teach you all where to breathe in the score!
Well done everyone for a fantastic rehearsal. We’ll see you all again next Thursday, same time, same place.

Ready for another Sunday’s singing

A really upbeat rehearsal on Sunday going through our hymns for next week’s Pentecost service at 9.30 mass.  Because Alex couldn’t make it (busy with his daughter’s First Holy Communion, a perfectly understandable reason) George Matthews volunteered to play for us.  The singers gave it their all and were blasting out some lovely notes (we even had one of the parishioners popping her head round the door asking “please may I stay to listen to your singing?”)  We then had a crack at Laudate Dominun which we’re still practising for another date (not next Sunday) with our two superb soloists Frances and Phil.  With a little tweak bringing in the ostinato more often in between solo lines, it’s going to sound superb, I’m sure of it.  We sang through Laudate (chant and solo verses together) in the same key which, as George pointed out, “is no mean feat.”  We rounded off with another spirited rendition of the clapping Gloria, and managed to sing through it despite George’s playful, little piano riffs throughout (let’s try to stick to the score when you’re accompanying in future eh George?)  We’ll be ready to go for Sunday – meeting up at 8.50 for warm up and quick run-through in church before the service starts.  One small plea to those who weren’t there: please can you ensure your hymn folders are in order for Sunday as follows:

  1. Children of God
  2. Clapping Gloria
  3. Halle halle halle
  4. All that I am
  5. Be Still for the Presence of the Lord
  6. Walk in the Light

Narrowing down the repertoire

The Lady Chapel at St Joseph’s resounded with the spirited singing of our choir members who’d come along to the second of our Thursday evening rehearsals. It was great to see so much enthusiasm from those who were able to turn up. We listened to and sang a few other pieces in an attempt to narrow down our repertoire for the performance at the St Joseph’s summer fair in July. By the end of the evening we’d decided on the new line-up and had also learnt the final chorus – in two parts – of our finale song! Good progress all round – off to the printers to get the newly selected scores made into booklets for the singers.

Small but perfectly formed rehearsal!

As expected because of the Bank Holiday weekend, lots of our singers weren’t around to attend rehearsal after mass today but there was a small and very lovely group of our regulars who turned up and sang their hearts out.  We practised the new recessional hymn for Pentecost Sunday “Walk in the Light” which was one most people knew.  Good progress on that.  Then we practised some of the entries on “Be Still for the Presence of the Lord” and finally tackled some of the Laudate Dominum which is coming along slowly but surely.  It won’t be performed on 19th May by the way we’re saving it for a later date.  Really good effort from everyone and lots of good feedback about last Thursday’s meet up at Alex’s house.   Hopefully we’ll see some more of our singers next Thursday in the church hall for rehearsal of our “concert” repertoire.


Thursday nights are the new rock and roll

A group of choir members met up at Alex’s house for a few drinks, nibbles and some chit chat on Thursday evening.  It was the first of our new weeknight rehearsals and it was great to see the enthusiasm of those who attended.   A beautiful setting always helps of course as did the warm hospitality of our hosts.  I handed out some of the scores I’d been preparing for the choir, a veritable smorgasbord of choral favourites (well, mine anyway – ha!) which I would love to hear the choir sing at a concert or festival.  After a fun warm-up we gathered round “the old Joanna” and had a sing-song through some of the scores.  A valiant effort particularly for those who don’t sight-read.  The Les Mis medley in particular I think is a bit too challenging at the moment and realistically I don’t think there’s much chance of us nailing it in time for the summer fair.  Back to the drawing board on the repertoire front me thinks, though I believe the finale number “Sing” is perfectly achievable.  There were some really good laughs, particularly when we were singing rounds and learning about some of the conductor’s gestures!  It was a great chance to get to know each other a  bit better and I think Thursday evening rehearsals for the “other repertoire” as I call it, will do wonders for the social cohesiveness of the choir.  All the extra singing will come in handy too.  Now, where was that score for the Lion King number?