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Updated: Oct 14, 2022

Back in the room and not on Zoom! Hooray!

What a difference, especially as we had a new Christmas Medley to learn.

Always a challenge, particularly for those of us who do not read music and have to learn by ear but it we are in good company. Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Prince to name but a few.

Ricardo was insistent we sang “Christmaaaaaas” rather than “Christmasssssssss” as too many ‘Ss’ sound messy. He took us through each song in the medley, going over each voice part. The second sopranos have a real challenge with their harmony.

Next, time to try out our Spanish with Jose Feliciano's Feliz Navidad

In the ‘Walking in a Winter Wonderland’ section the altos are happily singing the tune until the tenors come in and steal it from them. Then they have harmonious notes to singing instead

We went from beginning to the end, which had a very dramatic finish as Ricardo was bringing out his film composer side!

Now we have a feel for how it is put together, we need to practice during the week to perfect it or, at least, improve on what we’ve learned😉

Back to The Rhythm of Life. At one point the tenors were sounding like ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’. Ricardo soon sorted them out!

This is still a work in progress with the changes of rhythms and all the words to fit in with everyone singing different things at the same time!

The end needs to be built up from very quiet feet and gradually getting louder and louder until it is a huge crescendo at the end. Then we can all breathe again!

With only seven more rehearsals and more new songs yet to come, we have a lot of work ahead of us. With dedication and teamwork, we can do it!

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This week it wasn’t possible for me to actually come to choir, so I joined five other Zoomers. Modern technology is great as we were all having difficulty logging in, but with our In Flagrante WhatsApp group we were able to communicate our dilemma and it was soon resolved.

On a positive note I missed the sometimes difficult warm up "chicken , tikka, mango chutney: naan and pilau rice' which might have sent hubby scurrying off to order a Curry!

We are very fortunate to have this facility so those who are not able to attend in person can still join in and learn the songs and follow the musical direction. I wonder if we are unique in this respect?

I have not Zoomed since the long dark days of Covid and the experience of Zooming now is very different.

The focus, of course, is in the room and Zoomers listen and join in at home singing to themselves (and their neighbours). However, I felt a little disconnected and, although I was singing (hopefully the right notes at the right time) and I was glad I could continue to keep up with everyone, I did not feel the usual camaraderie. It is easy to see Ricardo and the choir and also hear the music and the laughter, but being remote gives a feeling of being on the outside looking in.

I do admire those who Zoom each week.

This week we went over Time after Time and it was in pretty good shape. Ricardo just reminded the Tenors that they do not have the tune for the Ooohs, but once they get their first note, it will all fall into place.

The Sopranos were asked to sing the first verse quietly and in a dreamy way.

The first chorus should be loud with the repeated ‘Time after time’ at the end getting quieter.

The second chorus should be even louder. Not a problem for some!

We sang the whole thing through at the end of the evening and it was in good shape.

Christmas Lullaby was recapped and Ricardo was pleased as he could hear we had been working on it at home. He admitted that the music and the lyrics do not sit together making it a tricky song to sing.

He would like us to sing the ending acapella.

Monday, Monday was sung through. Well, that was not too bad after a little guidance from Ricardo.

However, some of the the lyrics and the way Eamonn has arranged the song made you think, 'I Don't Like Mondays'.

Where and how do you take a breath?

Next week his going to give us a medley of Christmas songs. All being well, I will be there in person!

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“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful”

In Flagrante has certainly been given great challenges with Eamonn’s and Ricardo’s current song selections. Through hard work and determination, we will conquer these songs.

It wasn’t that long ago we all complained about The Leprechaun, now that seems like a piece of cake!

Ricardo is very encouraging and although he has a different style of teaching, we will surprise ourselves, and him, and conquer The Rhythm of Life and Fascinating Rhythm with the complexities of tricky rhythms and lots of words.

There is a pattern to the music and once we have conquered the first few pages, it will repeat, but with different words, until we reach the harmonious endings!

We also have the Christmas Lullaby, a popular sacred choral composition by John Rutter written in 1989 as a four-part harmony. However, Ricardo has arranged it for us with a six-part harmony. He obviously has great faith in us!

He did say that any future songs will be much easier. He wants the time available to perfect these difficult ones.

To help us with the challenges, Jan started her heaving breathing and vocal projection sessions before the start of choir.

They really do help to build up stamina and technique and urge anyone who can arrive early to do so and join in. You will not regret it and it will bring great benefits to you.

Listen to Dropbox tracks.

Practice a little each day.

We will sound absolutely wonderful!

'Right Snoopy'

'That's right Charlie'

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