Bon Jovi sang 'Life is like a Roller Coaster', like our Choir rehearsals sometimes!
On a dark cold evening we rehearsed in our alternative venue. The first challenge was sorting out the seating. With a much narrower space it was a bit like musical chairs. However, we sorted ourselves out and started with the Christmas Medley.
We sang through the first part we had learned last week and did a good job. We then continued going over the songs, including our Spanish rendition of Feliz Navidad, right through the big finish like the last act of a big musical theatre show. Ricardo said it was ‘very lovely’. There was even a smile on his face!
The Reindeer Call was next. The sopranos started off beautifully, then the altos joined in, (so far so good). Then the tenors added their voices. The lady tenors did a wonderful job, so good in fact, that they were moved to the back row! The naughty tenors, who kept singing the soprano part, were brought to the front row so Ricardo could hear them clearly and keep them on the right track.
Celtic Women and their own unique version of We Wish You a Merry Christmas.
We Wish you a Merry Christmas, a simple two part harmony was well done. A Christmas song we all know so well but did you know-
Arthur Warrell (1883-1939) the Bristol-based composer, conductor and organist is responsible for the popularity of this carol. Warrell, a lecturer at the University of Bristol from 1909, arranged the tune for his own University of Bristol Madrigal Singers as an elaborate four-part arrangement, which he performed with them in concert on December 6, 1935. His composition was published by Oxford University Press the same year under the title "A Merry Christmas: West Country traditional song".
Warrell's arrangement is notable for using "I" instead of "we" in the words; the first line is "I wish you a Merry Christmas". It was subsequently republished in the collection Carols for Choirs (1961), and remains widely performed.
The greeting "a merry Christmas and a happy New Year" is recorded from the early eighteenth century; however, the history of the carol itself is unclear. Its origin probably lies in the English tradition wherein wealthy people of the community gave Christmas treats to the carolers on Christmas Eve, such as "figgy pudding" that was very much like modern-day Christmas puddings; in the West Country of England, "figgy pudding" referred to a raisin or plum pudding, not necessarily one containing figs. In the famous version of the song, the singer demands figgy pudding from the audience, threatening to not "go until we get some".
Christmas Lullaby was next which we went through bit by bit. The clue is in the title, so, especially the tenors, sing it gently with a lot of loveliness.
The tune is alternated between the tenors and altos and if the tenors sing their right notes, it gives the altos their starting note. It’s all about teamwork. The lady tenors (still in the back row) owned up to being wrong!
We all need a bit of 'Strictly' in our lives to feel that Rhythm of Life.
Our grand finale last night was The Rhythm of Life. The notes and the words were all there, so that was good. It just needs some contrast by starting quietly and building it up until page six and then bringing it down quietly on ‘tingle in your feet’. Then start to build it up again until page ten, then take it back down and build until page fourteen bringing it down on ‘tingle in your feet’. Building again until the very loud ending. It is a bit like a roller coaster ride. It will sound magnificent!
Keep up the good work and practice a little each day and it will be imbedded in your brain and then you will have the confidence to sing out and be heard.
Next week we are back in our usual venue. See you there.