Fish gotta swim..

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It is funny how a snatch of music can sometime just spring into your mind. I was just thinking about the fish in my hubbies pond and if they will be OK because of the frosts we are getting.

I just remembered the phrase ‘fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly’ and ‘can’t help loving that man of mine’. I know I like the song, but I can’t remember the singer although I think I know the title! And is it from the opera Porgy and Bess? I might try and learn it.

I am normally an alto when I sing, although I have hardly done any singing recently. I miss choir practice and my friends. I was saying in a previous post I’m not that keen on people, and yet when I think of my friends… Perhaps it’s just strangers I don’t like?…..

Anyway. I might go and look up this song.

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Choir practice

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Learning new songs tonight including ‘Summer is a coming in’. That was the song towards the end of the film ‘The Green Man’. Its a joyous song of the coming of summer, but I can’t get the image of Edward Woodward being captured and killed at the end of the film out of my mind.

We also started learning a wedding song but I left the words behind so can’t remember the title. I know it was sung by the Copper family, who are a folk singing group. We also continued to practice ‘Ay waulkin oh’ by Robert Burns. It means I’m still awake, and does not mean I’m walking…. Its about a woman worrying about her lover and when he will come back to her I think.

Talking about songs I still need to remember the words to ‘Prince Ali’ for the panto. I think it’s from the film ‘Aladdin’ with Robin Williams? Anyway I’ve got two days to learn the bits the chorus sing, so that’s OK then….

 

Robbie Burns songs.

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After singing ‘Green grow the rashes o’ by the Scottish author and musician Robert Burns, we started learning a new song at choir tonight. It’s called ‘Ay waukin o’. It’s not about walking, but about waking or being awake. Not being able to think because of thinking of her dearie.

The melody is beautiful, rising and falling in sweet harmonies. Singing about lanely (lonely) night. Everyone else sleeping, and she sings ‘and bleer my eyes wi weepin’.

So beautiful. Its music I’ve never heard before, I’m pleased we are learning it.

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Stoke Sings choir festival.

Sixteen Choirs, including the Deaf links Choir and the Intertheatre choir got together in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent today at the Victoria Hall. The reason? It was a splendid Choir festival for choirs around Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire and Cheshire.

Workshops on sea shanties, music from the shows. Gospel singing and African music were some of the wonderful things we learnt. The teachers were so enthusiastic and so we’re we as pupils. Then later we learnt a new song to sing at the Finale.

There was a concert in the evening when all the choirs performed. An eclectic mix of Bond themes, a song from sister act, old songs by Robbie Burns because it is Burns night tonight. Lots of beautiful melodies and friendly people. Finally we sang  auld land syne and said farewells to new friends. A grand day out.

Join a choir!

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I pinched this image off my friend on Facebook. I really agree with it.

About 14 years ago I decided to have singing lessons, I’d always wanted to sing, but I had a loud, untrained voice. I could deafen people but not entertain them so I thought learning to control my voice would help.

The lessons were good, they helped, and I went on to get a grade one in singing. But it was expensive. My friend kept saying come to the choir she was in. So I decided to go to the choir one week and the lessons on the following week. It was a great way of getting in to it. I realised I was enjoying learning new songs, and in different languages. Eventually I finished going for lessons because my tutor was going abroad. I stayed with the choir and am still with them. In the meantime I also joined another choir, and have performed with other groups. I have to say it has helped my mental well-being and boosted my confidence.

The choir I joined does not do auditions. You don’t need to be able to read music. You just come along and have a go. So like the picture says, join the choir, you’ll be glad you did!

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Christmas lights switch on.

Christmas lights switch on up at St Thomas’s Church, penkhull.

There was a fair crowd as we,  the panto  cast, and junior cast members stepped outside to sing in the choir. The wind was blowing coldly up over the hill. The Lord mayor lit the lights and the tree and we sang many traditional carols including Silent Night and Hark the Herald Angels sing, which are both favourites of mine.

Penkhull village brass band were playing up a storm, and Father Christmas mingled with the crowds.

One thought as we sat there was how cold it was. An hour sitting on a plastic chair, starting to shiver and shake. Makes you wonder how homeless people cope. How do they survive. In this season if goodwill to all men, let’s have some real goodwill to all men and women!

PS sorry about the photos,  it was difficult to take photos. Had to concentrate on singing….

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Choir practice

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The choirs I’m inlearn mainly by repetition. We usually have the choir leader teaching us a line at a time. Some songs have simple repetitions, others have verses and choruses. We can sing in unison or are split into high, low and middle parts. We are kept in tune either with a melodion or a guitar. I actually find it harder to sing along with a guitar because it can be drowned out by our singing.

A new choir member asked how we can just start singing a song that we have never seen BEFORE. When that happens it’s usually because we have sung it in the past and it’s part of our old repertoire? Our song book is extensive and covers old and new songs and many languages including African songs, European and Indian.

I think joining a choir is one of the best things I have ever done.

Louds

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The choir were there but I decided not to include us in the photo. We have two more meetings of the choir before we break up for August then return in September.

Loud Mouth Women is an a capella choir, who meet at Newcastle Baptist church in Stafford Avenue, Clayton, Newcastle-under-Lyme on a Tuesday evening. It is made up of female singers who don’t audition or have to read music and is open to anyone woman who wants to sing. It improves confidence, allows you to socialise, and gives you the opportunity to learn a new skill of singing in different languages. To do this we learn by repetition, learning songs phonetically.

Tonight we learned an arab song about friendship, sang an old favourite “moonriver” and had the pleasure of being taught by Caroline who was deputising for our normal musical director Kate.

We have also recently had the enormous pleasure of going to a Yoga group run by one of the Louds, which is run an hour and a half before we sing. I was so relaxed tonight I almost fell asleep in the choir.

Music and singing

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I’ve been to a choir workshop on Sunday where we learnt songs and short pieces over a four hour period, then tonight I was learning songs for the penkhull mystery play which is being accompanied by Clay Chorus, a choir I’m part of. I’m a member of the cast of the play, so I might not actually be singing all the songs but it’s good to learn them.

It is quite tiring doing so much singing. It takes concentration and the ability to listen closely to your fellow choir members and the choir leader. We learn a capella so we often don’t have any accompaniment.

I also went to a concert on Saturday night and later today I will be watching a live broadcast of the Pirates of Penzance at our local cinema.

Music can transport your mind, calm stress, but also excite and enthral. Music can be raucous, noisy, loud, rhythmic and ugly. It can also bring tranquility and peace.

I think music should be taught more, to all ages and abilities. It should not be elitist and should not be for the privileged few. Music broadens the mind and the senses.

Night out at Keele

Keele University not Keele in Germany!

There is a choir called Keele Bach choir who do regular concerts of music by Bach and other composers each month or so.

We arrived on time but struggled to find a parking space. There are lots of spaces for approved permit holders only. Plus ones for electric vehicles, spaces for thirty minutes only and of course disabled spaces (which I would never park in) in the end we parked in a permit holders space, only to find out they are not policed after 5pm!

To the Chapel where the concerts are held. Lovely music, wonderful singers and beautiful organ laying. I didn’t get the titles of the short peices because we didn’t have time to get a programme, only getting there a minute before the performance. But there was an Ave Maria and then later an Ave Maria Stella.

During the interval I tried drawing the asymmetric windows in the Chapel above where the choir were singing.

When we came out the clouds were looming again. Pink edges to the clouds did seem to signify a slightly better day.

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