Carolyn’s Notes for Virtual Rehearsal 2 – 31/3/20

Published on March 29, 2020,

Dear WCC members

This is the second weekly virtual rehearsal which I hope will help get us through these difficult few months ahead.

Again it is divided into sections, with anecdotes in italics! I am including some observations of my New Zealand experience this time.

Warm up

Again I will stress the importance of warming up the voice with gentle exercises. Here are some reminders of the sort of thing we do in choir.

Shoulder rolls ending with a hunched gesture and dropping shoulders for perfect singing position i.e. weighted shoulders, straight back with head pulled up like puppet, tucked in tail and softened knees; good for that area where a lot of tension resides. Move onto the jaw with the tongue rolling or raspberry blowing tricks. Thoroughly cleaning your teeth with your tongue is also good for exercising the jaw.

Anecdote: Just finished reading A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier which revolves around the broderers in Winchester Cathedral between the wars. Interesting detail about the patterns used on the footstools and cushions and the fylfots which were ancient symbols used in embroidery or stain glass windows etc. Later adopted by the Nazis as swastikas.

Again warm up with simple 4 notes ascending and descending scales to different vowel sounds. Important that as you go higher into head voice switch back to ‘oo’. I have included a new round in the sound files this week; The Girl that I Love. Some of you may have done it before. Pay special attention to the timing.

Anecdote: I sent my daughters snippets of information from South Island, New Zealand so thought I would include some in this blog.

 Earthquake through the night. We all slept through it except Helen who spent the night listening for a tsunami warning. Not very big: 5.2. We had one in UK recently high which was 4.7. Don’t tell Grandma for heaven’s sake! 
Went to fabulous exhibition yesterday called WOW World of Wearable Art. Amazing clothes made from all sorts of materials including plastic straws and food ties!  And vintage cars! 
Day before we went to an Aviation museum which was surprisingly riveting. Learned lots of Social history about WW1. For example pilots in US were given parachutes
whereas British pilots had none. Powers that be thought it might encourage them to bail out and sacrifice planes. Also WW1 bi planes and tri plane wings had wooden frames and were largely assembled by women who also sewed and nailed the canvas wing covers. Wright brothers made flight in 1903. Not much progress on commercial flights until the war 11 years later. The little planes looked like matchboxes. What brave men and women!

 Song list

Keep singing your new songs from this term including Bushes and Briars from last week. But here is another new song this week to keep you going over the Easter break.

New Song

 The Cuckoo: words are already on WCC website. Sound files now available. This is a lovely traditional song for Spring arranged by Sarah. But being a folk song, it has to have an element of tragedy in it, so it is really a song about lost love.

Anecdote: So a new round and new song to help keep up your spirits! You have the most amazing committee so make the most of the offers of help and keep safe! And have a lovely, hopefully sunny, Easter break! Normal service will be resumed at the end of April when I will send more rehearsal notes and songs! Meanwhile missing you all! Back to knitting the socks!




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