This was our last practice session as next week we have our dress rehearsal, which will be more about the interaction with the Musical Director, the pianist and In Flagrante, as we perform the whole concert, preferably without having to fine tune anything!
It was a very good run through with us in our concert formation. A few mistakes and it is just these little things that need attention which will make the difference to it being an alright concert or an absolutely fabulous one!
In General (please take note even if you’ve probably heard it all before!)
Look up from your music – everyone wants to see your faces, not the top of your heads!
Watch Elliot for entrances and cut offs and the dynamics – he is there to give you reassurance and guidance.
Engage with the audience – sing to the back of the room.
Look as if you are enjoying yourselves (that will be infectious and the audience will enjoy it too)
Tell the story of each song; we have such a variety of styles, so embrace each one and get that emotion across and change the tempo of the room
Keep up the energy, not only with the fast songs, but the slow ones too, like Silent Night, so they don’t sound dirge-like
Turn the pages of your music quietly, so no one can hear you
Do NOT turn the pages at the end of song until the last note of the piano is played. Remember some songs have longer instrumental endings, so stand perfectly still.
Lets do it our way and enjoy!
The Little Things
The Rainbow Connection – the ending – after ‘ ..lovers and dreamers’ pause and wait until you hear the high notes and then, ‘and me’
Vincent - do NOT slow down at the end. As the piano fades, keep that metronome going in your head so ‘perhaps they never will’ is the same tempo as the rest of the song.
Eleanor Rigby is clipped and mechanical sounding.
Altos watch your entrances and Sops finish singing ‘…they all belong’ before the Altos, who end the singing followed by a long instrumental ending where we all stay perfectly still!
Autumn Leaves – extend the vowels, especially on ‘miss’. Sound both ‘ts’ on ‘Start to fall’
Happy Together – keep the energy going to the end. Keep verses short and staccato
What’ll I Do – Fabulous ‘Dms’ from Altos and Sops.
Altos ‘What’ll I do’ on page 2 is a little flat, so practise getting the first note and the rest will fall into place.
Tenors/Basses sing the verses as a long smooth line and not jumpy. Be prepared for the quick entry of ‘When I’m alone..’
Lean on Me – Pleaze (with a ‘z’) with a long ‘ea’ – extend that vowel and place the ‘z’.
Tenors/basses don’t be too late coming in with ‘I just might…’
Winter Winds – again elongate the vowels.
During the long introduction to the duet, everyone else turn over your page ready to join in. If you forget to turn the page, do NOT do it while the duet is singing.
Mr Blue Sky – this was very good. Send it to the audience and let them hear all the different aspects of this song before we send them off to the bar for a drink
Carol of the Bells – we welcome the audience back, so keep it bright and full of energy.
There is no time to breathe, so take a breath when you can,preferably not at the same time as everyone else, and then no one will notice.
Don’t get caught up with the words going on and on so the ending comes as a surprise; be ready for it. There is a little chord placed just before the last Ding, dong ding dong’.
Mr Grinch – this is the best we have sung it so far – but it can still get better with a few little things!
At the end take a big breath ready for a very long ‘knots’. Don’t rush this song, give it a lazy swing type tempo
A New Year Carol – very simple, just listen to each other
When a Child is Born – in the humming section, really build up to the last ‘Mmmm’ as we go into the key change and feel that energy from the piano part.
Altos and Tenors/bases don’t rush the echo,’ this come to pass’
In the Bleak Mid Winter – the ending on heart is very quiet and gentle with a soft ‘t’ at the end of heart.
Somewhere in My Memory – at the end, Sops sing ‘with me’; don’t come in too early with the ‘bom. Bom’, boms’
The Parting Glass – this is our brave end of concert song. It is slow, unaccompanied and full of emotion.
We are very exposed with no piano, but we do have the talent and can pull this off if we all play our part and watch Elliot as much as possible who will guide us through the highs and lows of this beautiful song.
Audience participation songs – although there is less pressure to get everything right, we still need to be leading the singing and engaging with the audience so they can really feel a part of our concert.
We have worked so hard and it is only the little things we need to concentrate on now, but ironing out these mistakes will make a huge difference to our performance.
From our past concerts, we have set the bar high, so practise, practise, practise for one more week.
If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.