It was our first rehearsal for the February concerts tonight and boy was it chilly ! The car park at the hall where we rehearse was an ice rink, and it took me five tries to get out of the car park and onto the main road. We would have been warmer in an Inuit igloo ! It took many times of singing through our new finale piece for body heat to be sufficient to allow layers of winter coats and jumpers to be shed !
I have chosen some fairly straightforward music for the group, we have not had long since the November concerts and I am off to Hong Kong in February, so we cannot hold them in late March. That would at least have given me longer from the beginning of term, and the onset of the worst of the winter weather so far. So I suppose it's my fault really ! Well, isn't it always ? ! .........
We are singing the jolly arrangement of a folk song about The Dunn Family, that large family belonging to a man called Joseph Dunn ! The words are funny, easy to learn, and the harmonies pretty straight. However to open a concert it must be slick and snappy with lots of zest ! At a first rehearsal it sounds about as zesty as an asthmatic and somewhat elderly Labrador ! In four weeks time, watch this space, it will be whipped, drilled and completely in place ! ( She said with hope in her heart!)
There is great book, possibly now out of print, called Perry Merry Dixi, and published by Oxford University Press. It is a bible of simple but fun arrangements for SAB ( for choirs with no tenors!) and SATB ( for lucky choirs with tenors!). Lots of folk songs, community songs and negro spirituals suitable for all types of choirs. I have used it for beautiful singing from aspirant professionals, and accessible repertoire for mixed bag choirs, and it has never failed me. If you sing in, or train a choir, try and get hold of a copy !
We had a new member tonight, I and K our Treasurer and Secretary have just taken possession of the sweetest and most well behaved long haired dachshund called Chico. He is a rescue dog from Spain, and had been terribly neglected, left to die infact. After rehabilitation in a rescue centre in Spain, he made the long journey to the UK, and was finally joind with his new parents last Saturday. What a little gem, he came in to the whole rehearsal and looking bright eyed and bushy tailed was not really bothered, or indeed moved by the singng !
We need to tackle some Manuel da Falla songs, and see if he pricks up his delicious little ears !
Chico, looking for all the world like a seasoned traveller waiting to board..........