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Watch and Learn

We gathered in our temporary rehearsal room last night, and many of the choir experienced a new view of RMS.  Although not as ideal as upstairs, with some sitting slightly out of our blocks and some with restricted views, it was greatly beneficial to all fit in one room and sing.


A common theme running through our rehearsal is ‘Watch and Learn’.


This will be familiar for long-established members, although it is good for all of us to be reminded and remember to put it into action.


Watch Eamonn as much as possible. Following his direction is the key to us putting on a professional and stupendous performance.


To enable you to have the confidence to look up from your beautiful black folders:

Learn the words as much as possible.

Hold your folder above waist height and slightly away from your body so you can keep your head held high. Then, you only have to drop your eyes to the page occasionally.


As you may have gathered by now, much of the material is repetitive, making it easy to learn. Don’t worry about not knowing when to stop, slow down, or get loud or quiet. Just watch Eamonn, and he will guide you.


Timing is critical to getting a good, clean sound. Again, this is done by watching Eamonn. Once we have the pianist in place for the last three rehearsals, Eamon will have both hands free to direct us and his head. He is very animated and amazing at keeping us together.


Now that we know all the songs, it is getting down to the nitty-gritty and being very pedantic about things (just up my street!).


Make your Own Kind of Music

In the middle section: Sops, be ready for ‘So if you cannot take my hand…’ and then everyone builds up the volume through ‘understand’ with a clear crisp ‘d’ on the end into the next part heading for ‘make’ in ‘but you gotta make your own kind of music.’


Be ready to come in very quickly after. ‘…even if nobody else sings along’ with ‘Make your own kind of music….’


Give ‘ya’ a lot of length and love in ‘Nobody can tell ya’


Don’t breathe after ‘singing…. Ooh’.  Melt the two together with a smile!


A good start, so on to the next one!


Let the Sunshine In

Learn this song - only a few words- so it will be easy! 

We will perform this with our folder closed and tucked under our arms!

The pianist will give us our first notes. Do NOT hum them out loud!  Keep your first note quietly in your head until it comes out of your mouth!

Basses - you do NOT have the tune.  If you remember your notes are moving differently than the sops, you should be able to stay on track!


Crossing the Bar

Another common theme is that the bass is seduced to the tune by the sirens of the sops.

At ‘Twilight and evening bell and after that the dark…’ keep it quiet and serene.  Don’t emphasise ‘the dark’ as if it is Halloween!

Keep the phrases long – think of them as macro, not micro, and it will appear easier.


Sing ‘Face to face’ as if it’s ‘fa-sto- face’, adding the ‘s’ sound onto the ‘t’ so we don’t have hissing snake sounds.


Never breathe after ‘crossing’ until you reach ‘the bar’.  Sorry, no drinks at the bar!


Timing is critical in this song, so familiarise yourself with the words and learn as much as possible so you can watch Eamonn, who will guide you through the elongated notes and quiet periods. 

We aim to sing this unaccompanied, which will sound ethereal and amazing.


Keep working on this one!


Mad World

We haven’t sung this one for some time, so Eamonn was expecting to do reconstructive surgery!

In fact, he said, ‘It was brilliant!’  Praise indeed!


The tenors' tone was good initially, but don’t rush the high notes. Please give them a little bit of length.

Learn the first page by heart to watch Eamonn for the tricky timing.


Keep it moving forward so it doesn’t become melancholy.


Sops, remember that ‘world’ in ‘Mad world’ is not on the beat.


In the section ‘Hello teacher….’ Build up the volume and then get suddenly quiet on ‘look right through …… me’ with a gap between ‘through’ and ‘me’. Look up, watch, and be guided!


Nmms should be soft and bell-like.


What's Up, Dolly?

This has a very gentle start by the Altos and Tenors before the power ballad part kicks in. It then becomes relentless and needs lots of energy and stamina. 


Sops, be ready for ‘Brotherhood of man’ after your Oohs. 

When Sops are singing ‘And so I cry sometimes…’ Altos, Tenors and Basses are singing ‘Ohs’, a much more robust sound than an ‘Ooh’ and then into ‘Ahs.’


‘And I say, Hey….’ Make it a definite phrase to give more definition, rather than just separate words.

Get it right as you will sing it many times, so learn the words and look up, especially at the end. 

No one needs to look at their folders by then. Just watch Eamonn.


Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat

To be sung with energy and pizazz! Did someone say Pizza?

There will be a slight suspension each time on ‘And’ when singing ‘And the people….’

This is in addition to the long suspension on the ‘And I said to myself’, which should be theatrical, but no hissing snakes on ‘said.’

You know now, watch Eamonn for direction!


More ‘ohs’ underneath the Sop 1s singing ‘And as I laughed…’ to give it a richer sound.

Be ready to transition from ‘Ohs’ to ‘washed me overboard.’


What the World Needs Now

Remember, this is not a smooth song. It is broken up into short phrases with a breathless sound. Enjoy this, as you aren’t usually allowed to breathe, so make the most of it.

Altos, be ready for your solos.


Next week, we will be singing From Now On. Watch out for Eamonn’s email, and be prepared to sing the selected songs and anything of his choosing!


See you back in our usual rehearsal room next week.







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