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The key to any successful event or project lies in preparation. If you put in the hard work, you are guaranteed success.

 

Our Summer Concert on 31 July is the same.  Now is the time to prepare as we are getting into concert mode.

 

Here are some hints and tips:

 

Do your homework—we have an extensive music repertoire, some more familiar than others. Practice a little each day to keep all the songs fresh in your mind. This helps build muscle memory, and you will sing them naturally when the opportunity arises.

 

Concentrate on the parts you know cause problems for you.  Only you know where you struggle to fit in that right note, get the words in the correct rhythm or sing your tune, which is not necessarily The Tune! 

I know my nemesis now is the Oohs in Your Song. I am determined to master these for my satisfaction and not to let the team down.

 

Familiarise yourselves with the words.  They will become embedded in your brain as you practise each day. This will allow you to confidently look up and watch Eamonn, who will guide you through the nuances of each song.

 

It is essential to watch the end of songs, which tend to be repetitive, so you will already know the words without reading them.

 

Even if you cannot sing in the concert, it is still helpful to maintain the same standard for yourselves and to give confidence to your fellow singers.

 



With Eamonn elevated to the podium last night, we started with What the World Needs Now. This has to be waltz time, with concise phrases and a breath in between. 

Keep the first ‘love’ short and the second slightly longer with a strong ‘v’ on both ‘love’!

Altos, drive through the verses with long phrases, not breathing after mountains, etc.

Do not slow down at the end.  Just get quieter. Quiet does not mean slow!

I love a bit of Burt. Who doesn't?




No, not Elton John. It's Lady Gaga!

Your Song was good up to the ‘Ooohs.’

Sop 1s, do your homework! 

If we can all master this by next week, we will be in a good place with this song. 

The tricky timing of fitting in the words was great!

 

Keep the notes pinging rather than too smooth in the ‘I hope you don’t mind’ section.

 

The last, ‘How wonderful life is …..’ Sops and Tenors keep the volume up and blend the ‘d’ of world into the ‘Ooh’ so it sounds like ‘…now you’re in the worl…. Dooh’ Of course, you are not allowed to breathe!

 



The story behind The Greatest Showman. They look like they are soooo enjoying themselves.


From Now On is a song that In Flagrante has never sung anything like before.  An actual musical theatre number with lots of emotion building up from the slow, spacious start with the Basses setting the scene. It is essential to familiarise yourself with this piece at this point. You need to be able to look up from your music score and watch Eamonn, who will give you the timing.  He will set the pace, so watch him!

 

The rhythm of the ‘and we will come back home’ section is tricky.  It needs to be punchy and push it through.  ‘Come’ and ‘back’ are just slightly elongated and emphasised.

 

The second time, ‘and we will come back home... ' quickly turns into ‘From now on,’ so don’t be surprised! Again, practising at home will make it familiar.

 

Make the ending intense and exciting.

 

What’s Up is another highly strenuous song that needs plenty of stamina as it is relentless.  Feel the pulse and the internal rhythm, even if you sing Oohs and Aahs.

Breathing in this needs to be rhythmic.

 

‘Scream from the top of our lungs ….’ Let's give it a go!

It needs those oranges squeezed. The last four pages sing the exact phrases repeatedly, so there is no excuse not to watch Eamonn, who will give you the timing and volume of the phrases as they are repeated, making them sound more interesting.

Don’t get quiet too soon.  Make it gradual.

 

Make Your Own Kind of Music needed a little bit of work. Sops, start this one, and the first note needs to be accurate and precise. Practise the tune to the verses and be ready to come in quickly.

 

Next week, we will be in the Haslam Bar downstairs.




Please bring all your music and spend some time practising at home. 

It makes all the difference.

 

 

 

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It was such a good feeling to be back in The Room amidst all the buzz of In Flagrante.  I was challenged going through Have You Ever Seen the Rain, which started last week. I had to sing the notes out loud as I was singing to myself on Zoom, where no one could hear if I had gone wrong.

 

It is an advantage to hear the other voices around me, not just other sopranos but other voices, which helps me know where my voice fits in. Sometimes, types, too, as it is easier to find the right notes when you can hear everyone. 

Sometimes, you just have to be brave, open to listening to the mix, and not shut your ears to everyone else.

Blending together, we make a beautiful sound.

 

Have you Ever Seen the Rain (well, there was plenty of it last night!).  The Sops must be ready to start on ‘Someone told me long ago…’

 

When we get to ‘Have you ever seen the rain? ' Basses know their place. You are not as important as the Tenors and need to tone it down a little.

 

At the top of page 7, the ‘Oohs’ turn into ‘Ohs’.  I know it is just one less letter, but it makes all the difference to the sound!

 

Tenors listen to the Sops to get the right rhythm for ‘I wanna know have you ever seen the rain’. However, the last time this is sung was Altos, Tenors and Basses have a long ‘I’ on I wanna know.’

 

Sops do NOT breathe on the last phrase, ‘coming down on a sunny day’.

 

What the World Needs Now (version 2024) was next and something a little different.











This is a 1965 popular song with Hal David lyrics and Burt Bacharach music.

Co-songwriter Burt Bacharach revealed in his 2014 autobiography that this song had among the most difficult lyrics Hal David ever wrote, despite being deceptively simple as a pop hit. The song's success caught the two songwriters completely by surprise since they were aware of the controversy and disagreements among Americans about the Vietnam War, which was the subtext for David's lyrics. Bacharach continuously used the song as the intro and finale for most of his live concert appearances in the 2000s.


You have permission to breathe slightly at each rest to get the jazzy waltz rhythm.  Make it bright and light and frothy and bubbly.  Take advantage of being allowed to breathe!

Emphasise the ‘v’ on ‘love’.  The first ‘love’ is short, and the second one is slightly longer.

Beware of deflating tyres on ‘ just too little of’ and to avoid this, make it ‘ju  stoo little of’

‘Everyone’ is long, so smile as you sing it.

Altos, when you sing your verses, keep the phrases long and do NOT breathe.  Make it warm and rich.

Basses you are not singing the tune when you get to ‘til the end of time’ Mark it on your music score!

This song ends with one of Eamonn’s famous extended endings. 

Take a big breath after ‘some’ and then do not breathe until you reach the last word, which is short.

Do not slow down, but get naturally quieter as the gentle ending drifts away to the piano notes. Everyone is completely still and motionless until the last note is played.

Practise this stillness.  You will need it at the end of every song, so get used to it.

 










Your Song (Version 2024) is a song written by musician Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin and performed by Elton John. It was his first international Top 10 chart single.

Your Song was released in the United States in October 1970 as the B-side to Take Me to the Pilot. Both sides received airplay, but Your Song was preferred by disc jockeys and replaced Take Me to the Pilot as the A-side, eventually making it to number eight on the Billboard chart. The song also peaked at number 7 on the UK Singles Chart,


Altos and Sops 2s start us off, and then all the Sops join in with lovely Oohs from Altos and Tenors. We all sing ‘My gift is my song, and this one’s for you’  in one breath, and then you can breathe before singing ‘And you can tell everybody...’

Altos and Basses smile when singing your Ahs.

At the end, Sops and Basses, don’t be too quiet, but nobody takes a breath when you get to, ‘now you’re in the world ooh.’

 

We have only 10 more rehearsals until the concert. You will find the complete music scores and voice parts in Dropbox. Print and listen and do your homework,

 

Next week’s highlights will be From Now On, What’s Up, Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat and Crossing the Bar.

 

Please bring ALL your music with you each week from now on (that would make a good song title!) as we will be working our way through everything.


Trillers on the Perch


To breathe, or not to breathe; that's the question

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous Fashion,

Or to bear the scoffs and ridicule of those

Who despises the Bloomer dresses?

A principled journalist named Amelia Bloomer emerged as an unlikely champion for… Bloomers, which became a symbol of women's suffrage in America in the 1850's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Zooming from a distance this week is a surreal feeling. I watch everyone and hear the general buzz of conversations but do not feel part of it.

 

However, it is still a good way to keep up with the songs, especially the new ones. I just hope I have enough information to impart to you remotely.

 

We began by recapping Make Your Own Kind of Music, which we started last week.

It is important for the Sops to get the first two notes in the correct place with the right emphasis.


The advantage of Zooming is that no one could tell if I was right or wrong!

All will be revealed next week when I’m back in person!

 

Tenors keep it moving under the Oohs. Remember on ‘Sing your own special song’ that ‘song’ is on one note only and not two notes.

 

Sing the long phrases right until the end of the last note.

 

It gets sluggish with the ‘loneliest kind of lonely’, so give it life.

 

Build up to ‘understand’ with a strong ‘d’ going into the chorus, ‘Make your own kind of music’; don’t let it fade away.

 

Gents, keep it warm and joyous in the chorus, not round and raucous.

 

From Now On was revisited, too.

Gents, the Intro is fast and slow.

Where the music score is very black, this is the fast part. And where there are fewer notes, it is slower and more spacious. 

Mark your music scores accordingly so you will remember.

 



We will be doomed if the Altos don’t find their first note on ‘From now on’.

 

Remember, after the ‘and we will come back home, ’ the ‘From now on’ comes in very quickly. 

Be ready for it!

 

At the end, get ready for the drop from loud to quiet, but do not change the tempo.

Quiet does not mean slow.

As the words are repetitive, you will know them well, so you can look up and watch Eamonn, who will guide you with timings.

 

After a quick break, a new song, Have You Ever Seen the Rain.

 

It is a song by American rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival, written by John Fogerty and released as a single in 1971

It was suggested that Have You Ever Seen the Rain is about the decline of the countercultural political idealism of the 1960s during the Nixon administration in light of events such as the Altamont Free Concert and the Kent State shootings. However, John Fogerty has said in interviews and before playing the song in concert that it concerns tensions within Creedence Clearwater Revival themselves and the imminent departure of his brother Tom Fogerty from the band.

In a 2020 interview with American Songwriter, Fogerty stated that the line "Have you ever seen the rain, coming down on a sunny day?" was inspired by the band's feelings of unease and depression at the height of their fame and commercial success. The band would ultimately split in October 1972, following the release of the album Mardi Gras.

In a literal sense, the song describes a sunshower, such as in the lyric "It'll rain a sunny day" and the chorus, "Have you ever seen the rain, comin' down on a sunny day?" These events are particularly common in the Deep South due to localised atmospheric wind shear effects.

Eamonn has arranged his version of this song, which is very different from the original.

There is a lot of syncopation.

Don’t be too polite on ‘water’ and pronounce the ‘t’ more like a ‘d’.

The Sops start this song, and, again, there are long phrases, so keep it gentle and smooth.


A run-through of The House of the Rising Sun was not bad. 

Gents, make it full and rich, especially at the beginning and ensure the timing of the rhythm is right.

Do your homework forensically on this one!

 









Check Dropbox and print off What the World Needs Now (2024 version); this will be the last song added to our repertoire for the concert. You should then have all the music scores needed.










We will review Your Song (2024 version), What the World Needs Now (2024 version), and anything Eamonn chooses to recap.

It would be advisable to have the music in alphabetical order so it is easy to find.

Next week, bring all your music. 












See you soon!




 

 

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