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Well done everyone

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Sally Laird - Chairperson of South Devon Choir
Sally Laird – Chairperson

Sally says

“I have to say a huge well done to everybody in the Choir who was there to enjoy our wonderful concert last night.  We sang our hearts out – and I think our audience really enjoyed themselves! And as for Trevor – we will certainly miss his twinkling fingers – he was the star last night.

A big thank you to John Hobbs too – he looked so happy – definitely pleased with us and thank you to Margaret Hobbs too – her commentary was excellent.”

Wishing you all have a wonderful summer and we look forward to seeing all choir members, both old and new, on September 3rd for the start of another term of glorious harmony together.

Rhythms get stuck in our heads

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When George Gershwin wrote ‘Fascinating Rhythm’ he was describing what we all can identify with – when one of those tunes gets stuck in your head and you just can’t stop it – “Got a little rhythm, a rhythm, a rhythm, that pit-a-pats through my brain”.   In fact, it’s “So darn persistent, The day isn’t distant, When it’ll drive me insane.”

Of course the Choir’s intention on Saturday 11th July is not to drive you insane but to entertain you with our concert of Gershwin music – Fascinating Rhythm.  Tickets are available online and on the door.  The performance starts at 7.30pm at Central Church, Tor Hill Road, Torquay.

And if you’ve wondered about this strange mind phenomenon, known as an ‘earworm’, perhaps this little video from TedEd will illuminate what might be happening.

Got the Gershwin Blues

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Which way to turn ... the page?
Which way to turn … the page?

Has Chorally Confused got the mid-term Gershwin singing blues?  Learning songs for our next concert, Fascinating Rhythm, has been a challenging and steep learning curve.  The harmonies are complex and very different from the classical pieces of choral music the Choir has learned recently and the rhythms are well, fascinating.

The score for this concert has been hand written in places and this makes for an appreciation of what singers might have experienced before the advent of printed music.  Think Handel with a goose feather quill and octopus ink, a shaky hand after a pint or two of good German lager and you begin to get the drift.

Chorally Confused, who has never learned to read music but can now follow it (as she thought) pretty successfully, is suffering from repeatitis.  For those of you who spend time with your head in a stave this might be just run of the mill but for those of us with a big red L-plate on our back in the musical reading department repeated repeats can become confusing and the score for this concert is full of repeats: repeat: full of repeats!

Not only are there simple repeats, sing through to the repeat mark(:) turn back and sing it again, but there are repeats inside the repeats.  Sing to the repeat mark, turn back and sing it again, carry on after the second time to the repeat marks, and go back – Where!?

The most useful musical term learned so far is “Thumb”, written at the point where Chorally Confused must insert her thumb in order to go back to the first repeat.  It  may not be the correct classical music notation but its the easiest way  to navigate successfully.  One wiser and more experienced member of the Choir said use a paperclip, which is a good idea, and anyhow Chorally Confused would need to have a thumb in the score to find the paperclip.

Spot the repeats :
Spot the repeats :

Chorally Confused sings soprano, the top line – the previous user of the score, who sang alto on the next line down, wrote some instructions too, although not quite sure what auburn refers to…. faster is perfectly clear.

Come what may the Choir is very grateful to the North Devon Choral Society for the loan of the scores and to Robin Page, who painstakingly and beautifully arranged the music in SATB parts for Choirs like us to sing.

A Hadyn to nothing

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Haydn Poster
Haydn Poster

This term we are learning ‘The Creation’ by Joseph Ha…  and that was where the problem started.  The correct spelling and the pronunciation are not quite the same.  Just three letters of the alphabet and as Eric Morcombe once famously said “…. not necessarily in the right order!”

The posters were drafted and distributed to the Committee for feedback and back came the reply – “You’ve spelt Haydn wrong”.  Well its a tricky and unfamiliar name, not like Smith or Mitchell and the speller didn’t know how to spell it either.

How many variations on a theme can there be? Hadyn, Hydan, Hyden, Haydn.  The trouble is once a word is spelled wrong it then sits quietly in the brain waiting to jump out at every opportunity.  Every time it goes into the public domain, like on our Facebook page, yours truly gets a bit of a twitch and has to go and check it out just to make sure its right.

Anyway, I hope it is now correct as the posters are in print – otherwise I’m really on a Haydn to nothing.