Last night Eamonn was back with us and put us through a challenging warm up with a rather amusing sounding tongue twister:
‘Happy fluffy sock cutters, happily cutting socks!’
Needless to say, it didn’t quite sound like it should!
However, after great amusement, we started working our way through the songs alphabetically.
Eamonn was pleasantly surprised at how well we were singing, even with the dynamics too.
The main focus is now performance and not just singing the right notes.
The big question of the night was, ‘Am I pleasure to watch?’
The visual is as important as the sound. Our friends and families (and maybe the odd talent spotter) are coming to see and hear us and want to be entertained.
If we look as if we are enjoying ourselves, they will enjoy it all the more.
Like one of the songs we are singing: SMILE.
It not only looks as we are having a good time, but it also brightens the notes as we lift our cheekbones and change the sound.
Give it a try at home; sing the word ‘love’ without smiling and then try it again with a big smile and you can hear the difference.
If you want to take it step further, you can look in a mirror while you do this and see the effect as well!
Learn your music, especially the ends of the songs (which are usually repetitive, so this is quite easy) and the ends of phrases.
This will enable you to look at Eamonn and watch his direction on the cut offs.
It is so important for us all to finish our endings at the same time which gives us that professional sound.
It helps to hold your music folder just above waist height and slightly away from your body, so you can just move your eyes up to see Eamonn without having to move your whole head.
The bonus is having your airways unrestricted as your neck is not bent down.
After the last note is sung stay completely still; DO NOT MOVE (including turning pages) until the piano has played its last note.
Mark your music scores at the end when it is not necessary to turn to the last page, especially on the repetitive endings, which you will have learned!
Next week and the week after, we have a pianist and Eamonn will be able to direct us with both hands and his head!
If you are watching him, you cannot go wrong.
Practise, practise, practise!
Work on the parts that need the extra effort; only you will know which parts you need to concentrate on
Tenors: learn your part as your tune (not the actual tune), especially in Try to Remember (an apt title!) and Those Were the Days.
Sopranos: usually just three little notes like an Ooh or Sha la la
Altos: Starting the songs bravely and confidently.
Learn Asteroid as this will be performed without the music in front of you.
Ask the question, ‘Am I pleasure to watch?’ Make sure you are by practising and it will become second nature.
Also, Eamonn will be sending the running order by email. Please, please, please, put your music in a purple folder in concert order before next week.
A small tip: I usually use two purple folders for Part One and Part Two. Just remember to bring the right part out with you when at the concert!
We will be running through Part One next week and Part Two the following week (bring all music as we might sing songs from any part) and don’t want to have to waste time while people are finding the scores.
These last two rehearsals are intense and it is up to each one of us to have done our homework and make sure we are a pleasure to watch!