Eamonn was back this week and with a smile on his face when saw how many of us were there in person, especially the large Tenor section!
Then came the test! He wanted to hear how well we had worked last week with Ricardo and started with Daydream Believer where the Tenors have their moment of glory.
We did sing it through to the end and was told it was very good apart from the middle verse on page 3. The Doos need to be sung with a Smile, so they sound bright. 1st Sopranos must be bold and sing out – there are only three different notes, so be brave!
The Altos have Eamonn’s favourite bit (no pressure to get it right 😉) with the Ba da das on page 6
Don’t slow down too much at the end. Keep you eye on Eamonn and follow his tempo.
The Impossible Dream (The Tenors moment in the spotlight again!) was next.
Each of the phrases should be expanded and not sound short and staccato.
Watch out for the timings of endings and put the consonants on the end of the words, like the ‘D’ on ‘and’. It makes it sound more sincere.
Tenors mark your music score when you are NOT singing the tune! Just because you shine at the start with the tune, you must do your part and harmonise when it is written. It is the harmonies that make the songs gorgeous and will make our audience smile!
Smile, a new song for this week. It is a song based on the theme song used in the soundtrack for Charlie Chaplin's 1936 film Modern Times.
Chaplin, who composed the song, was inspired by Puccini's Tosca. John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added the lyrics and title in 1954. In the lyrics, based on lines and themes from the film, the singer is telling the listener to cheer up and that there is always a bright tomorrow, just as long as they smile.
Smile has become a popular standard since its original use in Chaplin's film and has been recorded by numerous artists, including Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davies Jr, Michael Jackson, Judy Garland etc.
Nat King Cole recorded the first version with lyrics. It charted in 1954, reaching number 10 on the Billboard charts and number 2 on the UK Singles Chart. This version was also used at the beginning of the 1975 movie Smile.
As we have such a large Tenor section, it was decided that three of the Tenors should join the Lady Tenors and the rest of the tenors sing Bass. That brought a smile to everyone’s faces.
This was a popular decision for the Basses as they, along with the 1st sopranos, get to sing – you’ve guessed it! – The Tune!
The remaining Tenors (including the Lady Tenors), Altos and 2nd Sopranos sing the harmonies.
The Altos get the jazzy, shoulder action, notes.
Once all the notes are learned for the first verse, they are repeated throughout until the end when it is slightly different. Even the Oohs are the same notes and should be sung with a smile giving a lush feeling.
Then comes the techniques for giving the phrases shape and meaning.
And don’t forget to do what the last word in the song says and SMILE!
We then revisited The Windmills of Your Mind, which we haven’t sung for a little while.
After singing it through, the comment was, “We got to the end!”
Lady Tenors entrance is a lower note than expected.
The phrases are long and expansive, so take a deep breath and don’t breathe in the middle of these phrases.
That will NOT make Eamonn smile!
Who me Eamonn?
It is helpful to mark this on your music score; that way it doesn’t come as a great surprise and you’re not taking a breath where you shouldn’t.
Crescendo on ‘silently’ and come in loud at the beginning of ‘space’ and pull back straight away so it ends quietly. ‘Space’ is a long note, so make the ‘a’ part long and ‘s’ sound short. (No hissssing)
Remember to listen to the tracks in Dropbox. Check your voice part and then try singing against the full voice part to see how it all fits together.
Do your homework and you will gain confidence and your voice will be heard.