A huge gathering of In Flagrante singers tonight, even though we were still missing some of our regulars! This creates such a great atmosphere of camaraderie, but more importantly, a great sound!
We started with Carol of the Bells, a new song beautifully arranged by Ricardo,
It has been adapted for many genres, including: classical, metal, jazz, country music, rock, trap, and pop. The piece also features in films, like Home Alone, television shows, and parodies. Our own Elliot Clay arranged a version especially for us in 2018.
Ricardo had us sing the ‘Dings and dongs’ with emphasis on the ‘ng’ to give a bell like sound. It is a very repetitive song, so to make it sound more interesting he added dynamics of crescendos and diminuendos. It was sounding beautiful once we had mastered the techniques.
We then sang through Hallelujah, a great favourite which we had sung in our last concert. Although completely new to our newbies, singing this again gave us great confidence and a feeling of warmth and comfort.
Greensleeves was our next challenge. A song In Flagrante had performed in one of our first concerts in 2016, so it was only familiar to the very few of us who were in the original line up of the choir.
Greensleeves is a traditional English folk song. A broadside ballad by the name "A Newe Northen Dittye of ye Ladye Greene Sleves" was registered by Richard Jones at the London Stationer's Company in September 1580.
There is a persistent belief that Greensleeves was composed by Henry VIII for his lover and future queen consort Anne Boleyn. Boleyn allegedly rejected King Henry's attempts to seduce her and this rejection may be referred to in the song when the writer's love "cast me off discourteously". However, the piece is based on an Italian style of composition that did not reach England until after Henry's death, making it more likely to be Elizabethan in origin.
The tricky part of this song is getting the words in the right place and placing the emphasis on the second syllable to keep the rhythm going.
This song, like the others we sang tonight (and, indeed, the rest of the songs in the Christmas repertoire) need a lot of breath!
Before our rehearsals at 18:45, Jan kindly gives up her time and shares her expertise and talents to show us how we can improve our breathing techniques and build up to hold these long notes in a controlled sustainable way keeping right on the note. Also, how to project our voices so we sing out and be heard.
This is so important to not only give us confidence in ourselves, but to let our audience hear us clearly, whether we sing loudly or softly.
These sessions are highly recommended and are guaranteed to work, so do come early
and try for yourself. You will not be disappointed.