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A Testing End Of Term!

As it was our last week before the Easter break and Eamonn’s aim was to go through all the material we have previously done. 


It was a little like an end of term test with not a lot of notice!


It certainly highlighted some good parts as well as the not so good! 


Generally, most were reasonable with only a few tweaks needed as mentioned in The House of the Rising Sun, where we definitely lost marks for not singing the short ‘suit’ and long ‘case’ on ‘a suitcase and a trunk’, which Eamonn had more than emphasised previously.

Gents dig deep with your first notes.

Sops and Altos should sound as if they are maidens in a house of ill repute! or perhaps in the House of the Rising!


We did get points for singing ‘Let’ at the right time on Let the Sunshine In!


Most of the songs we sang have long line phrases which should be given shape like Crossing the Bar, God Only Knows, Mad World, You’ve Got a Friend and Unchained Melody.

Sing these phrases with meaning and emotion and let them ebb and flow so they don’t sound like a dirge. 

We do not want to bore our audience and send them to sleep, or indeed leave before the end of the performance!


I think we achieved a pass mark overall, but it has highlighted areas where we need to improve.


This, of course, is the benefit of being tested to see where improvements can be made rather than just showing us up for what we don’t know.


You never lose; you either win or learn!


Over the two-week break, in between eating chocolate eggs, listen to the tracks on Dropbox.


From last night you will know the areas you are unsure of.  Concentrate on those parts and perfect them, then sing the whole song with the full version and see how it all fits in and not be tempted to sing the tune when you’re not supposed to! (You know who you are!)


A few pointers:

House of the Rising Sun – the ‘suitcase’ moment and making it apocalyptic on, ‘Well I’ve got one foot on the platform….’


Joshua – needs to be more raucous; we were too polite.  Emphasis the ‘CK’ sound in every Jericho to get those walls tumbling down. Make the quiet parts sound exciting and not wet!


Crossing the Bar – only breathe on the rests in the music.  Keep the phrases long and don’t rush. 

Those who don’t like it; you will learn to love it!


You’ve Got a Friend – don’t make it sound like a dirge.  Make it a lite funky like Stacy Kent


God Only Knows – not spiky and bumpy; keep it smooth


Mad World – be indulgent with the long phrases


Unchained Melody – practise the key change so you are very sure of your note and come in confidently.


Remember, quiet doesn’t mean slow!


Keep your muscle memory topped up with homework over Easter and we will be eggscellent on our return.

Trillers on a Perch

Easter Eggs but not as we know them

If you wanted to give an extravagant gift 5,000 years ago, you might have chosen an ostrich egg.

The practice of decorating eggshells is quite ancient, with decorated, engraved ostrich eggs found in Africa which are 60,000 years old. In the pre-dynastic period of Egypt and the early cultures of Mesopotamia and Crete, eggs were associated with death and rebirth, as well as with kingship, with decorated ostrich eggs, and representations of ostrich eggs in gold and silver, were commonly placed in graves of the ancient Sumerians and Egyptians as early as 5,000 years ago.

These cultural relationships may have influenced early Christian and Islamic cultures in those areas, as well as through mercantile, religious, and political links from those areas around the Mediterranean.

According to many sources, the Christian custom of Easter eggs was adopted from Persian Nowruz tradition into the early Christians of Mesopotamia, who stained them with red colouring "in memory of the blood of Christ, shed at His crucifixion".

The Christian Church officially adopted the custom, regarding the eggs as a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus, with the Roman Ritual, the first edition of which was published in 1610 but which has texts of much older date, containing among the Easter Blessings of Food, one for eggs, along with those for lamb, bread, and new produce.



Happy Easter!  See you all on 9th April.

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