Welcome to 2021!
Hello – this is a page for our special virtual choir, which is happening on Monday evening via Zoom, starting on January 11, 2021, until we can meet safely and sing together again. It is our aim to stay connected and share music as much as we can. It’s not like singing together in person, but it helps to check in with each other and keep the choir going. Virtual choir is a bit like herbal tea – it’s a really nice hot drink as long as you don’t expect it to taste like tea! It’s sociable and we include the usual physical and vocal warm-ups, learning new songs and revisiting some old ones.
Great things about virtual choir rehearsals:
1. Minimal travel time.
2. No trouble parking.
3. The dress code is very relaxed – trousers optional, unless you stand a long way from your device for the warm-up.
4. Pets are very welcome.
5. You can eat extremely garlicky things for tea before rehearsal.
6. You can bring a glass of wine with you.
7. No need to get a baby-sitter or carer in.
8. Only you can hear yourself sing. This helps you make friends with your voice.
9. You don’t have to live locally – dial in from Vladivostok!
Everyone is very welcome – do get in touch if you would like a link to join the group.
Here’s how a Zoom rehearsal works:
- We can’t sing in harmony in real time, so no four-part harmony for a while. I will teach at least one harmony line – if you love to sing a harmony you can harmonise with me!
- While we sing together you’ll be able to hear me, and you – nobody else
- To help fill out the sound, we will be singing along to the sound files. This will help to give the illusion of singing with a whole choir. Sometimes we sing along with a video as well.
- From time to time I may add some guitar to give more depth to the sound
- Sometimes we have a “relay song” where we take it in turns to sing the lines of a song – this way we can all have our mics switched on. It’s entirely voluntary; just opt in if you feel like it on the night.
- We have a “tea-break” at the beginning of the session so that we can all have a little chat and connect before we start to sing. (If we had it half-way through I imagine a lot of people would disappear to switch the kettle on.) Get a cup/glass/ bottle of your favourite drink and join us from 6.45. We break into smaller groups at 7, or when it gets busy, and have a 10-minute chat before re-convening at 7.15 to warm up.
I’ll upload recordings of the songs we are learning here: you can sing along at home and get used to the tune and the words. I’ll add words and sheet music which you can print, or read off a tablet.
Light One Candle
Here’s a song I wrote in the autumn – based on the idea that it’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.
Accentuate the Positive
If ever there was a right time for this song….
Here’s a score for those of you who like that kind of thing:
And some words for those of you prefer them:
Give Me Wings
A lovely song written by Alison Burns. Here are the words:
and here are the sound files. There are 4 parts and a descant, which I’ve put in from the second time through. The third time through there is a slow ending.
This fabulous song just uses the two Zulu words Zidele Amathambo, which means “Give yourself up, bones as well” – jump in, commit, do whatever you do with your heart and soul. The parts stack up from bass to soprano and then separate again – each part is quite easy to follow, and each repeat is quite short. This is one to learn by ear and by heart.
The Sloop John B
This folk song, famously recorded by the Beach Boys in 1967, is a great example of a cheery song about having a horrible time. Here are the words: NB correct version uploaded 22/1/21
and here are the sound files. The alto sings the tune throughout and the verse is very like the chorus. Sopranos sing the tune in the verse and a higher harmony for the chorus. As always, female voices can sing the bass line an octave up; it includes some great harmonies you don’t get from the other lines.
Here are some Indoorus songs from last year.
Don’t Fence Me In
Feeling a bit claustrophobic? Want to stretch your wings and get away from home? Join in with this classic Cole Porter, arranged by Jane Edwardson:
We will also be learning
Lovely song written by Janis Ian, early in lockdown.
We’ll be singing this version by Penny Stone from Edinburgh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkyE5PqW1Iw
Somos el barco
This is a song we learnt for the first time at the beginning of lockdown and I love it. Another one about how connected we all are, and how we can get through tough times together.
Here is a link to Peter, Paul and Mary singing this:
- Their tune in the verses is slightly different from how I’ve sung it, and the lyric in verse 2 where I’ve gone for “many sands” which I think is the original, they sing “every land”.
And here is the sheet with words and music:
Songs from previous weeks are still on Rehearsal Notes