A super rehearsal this evening with my staunch ladies, staunch in terms of dedication, and also in terms of vocal reliability. They learn twenty times as quickly as they did five years ago, and when they have learnt their given repertoire they are up afraid to hold the line, the part or the humour !
We are having a 'Ladies Evening' on September 30th, this time we will of course be missing our dear friends who passed away this year, Penny and Annabel. They will be sorely missed for many reasons. It will, I know, be a great success however, and already I can hear the quality shining through, even after one hour of singing through the three part songs. I have chosen a wide variety of material, a simple and delightful German folksong, ( in English though !). The second is the beautiful and ever popular 'The Lord Bless You and Keep You' by the inimitable John Rutter, such a master of melody and crunchy harmony, and finally the perennial Grandfather Clock, which gives all the ladies an opportunity for fun and melodramatic humour !
We whizzed through these pieces, which is a testament to how quickly they learn these days, and by 8.15pm most of the singers knew most of the parts ! What pleases me greatly is the way they now understand the style of the repertoire, they almost imperceptibly make warm and shapely phrases in the Rutter, only the odd word from the piano about lazy vowel shapes is needed to make a unified whole in tone quality.
I now feel able to leave the humour to them ! Only a few short years ago I would have had to spell out what was needed to make an audience laugh, nowadays we have got to the stage whereby I often have no idea what they will come with, and find myself blown away by the intelligent wit and hilarity which they bring to funny songs !
They will each have two solos, and there will be three or four duets to break up the solos. It was good to be back singing together, I marvel at this group of singers and their real commitment as well as their obvious enjoyment.
It is also a small moment of calm and a relatively carefree hour, away from the overwhelming worry of the biggest and most serious decision which Scots and British alike have to make.
Singing together - there's nowt like it, as we say in Yorkshire !