Notes from Rehearsal with Carolyn – 27/11/18

Published on November 28, 2018,

I’ll try to keep the update a bit shorter this week!  First some notices from Wenda at the start of last night’s session …

Care home singing:  This is on Saturday 15 December – we will be singing at The Grange in St Cross at 2.00 pm and then at Sunrise in Stockbridge Road at 3.15 pm. Cath has kindly agreed to conduct us and we’ll be singing mostly well known carols, with perhaps a few songs from our current Christmas repertoire added in.  If you would like to take part there will be a column for this on the tick sheet at next week’s rehearsal.

Performance folders:  Let Wenda know by replying to this email if you still need one and haven’t already said so.

Next week’s rehearsal is our final run through before the concert – we expect the rehearsal to take a bit longer than usual as we will be including all songs and readings, so please arrive promptly at 8.00 pm and we will finish by 10.00 pm.

Seasonal health tip:  Carolyn gave us some advice on colds/singing – we learnt that a head cold isn’t usually a problem for singing but if you’ve got a bad throat singing will make it worse (as will talking, or whispering which apparently is particularly bad for throat problems!)

For those would like a reminder about what we sang last night, or for anyone who wasn’t there, specific info on each song practised is at the end of this email.  In the meantime Carolyn has this message for us all:

Really impressive sound last night, lovely phrasing and dynamic range!

Please could you visit the sound files if you are not sure of any phrases e.g. basses in “to our hearts full desire” in Ceremonies for Christmas.

Ensure good attack at beginning of all songs but esp. Awake Behold!

Try to learn all choruses and refrains from memory so that you can look at me for timing.

Try to familiarise yourselves with words of Darkling Thrush verses. 

Cradle Song (Away in a Manger) was exquisite!!

Thank you all for your hard work and commitment!

Carolyn x

Songs we practised last night:

Awake, Behold:  We need to concentrate on a clear/synchronised “Awake” at the beginning (men need to remember we come in second).

The Darkling Thrush:  Watch Carolyn for timing of when to come in.  We need to avoid slowing down at the end of each verse and follow Carolyn to keep the tempo up.  The pitch was dropping a lot – Carolyn reminded us about ‘biting the apple’ (mouth shape) to keep the sound bright and in tune.

Cradle Song (Away in a Manger):  All good.

Goodbye, Dolly Gray:  We need to remember to hold on to notes at the end of each line of the chorus.

Home Lads Home:  At the performance Moira may sing the first two verses run together (ie. with no chorus in between) but we will confirm this at a later date or on the day.

Mary Had a Baby:  At the end of the final verse (which is a repeat of the first verse) we need to remember to sing “The people keep a-comin’” three times, getting louder each time.

Christmas Again and Ceremonies for Christmas:  All good.

See you next week for our final rehearsal!

All the best,


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