Make these ads go away.
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Finally - The Ball Is Rolling

  1. #1
    Senior Member FourPart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Southampton
    Posts
    6,256
    Local Date
    09-18-2019
    Local Time
    05:06 PM

    Finally - The Ball Is Rolling

    As many of you may be aware, due to a combination of things - in particular my contempt of the Assistant Musical Director, I found it necessary to quit the choir which I had been a member of for over 30 years. This, understandably left me with a void in my life for my weekly music fix. I tried out several other choirs, but none were really what I was looking for. I did, however, find one Community Choir, which was very good, despite being miles away from where I live, and only fortnightly rehearsals.

    However, quitting the New Music Makers inspired me to revive the notion that I had in the back of my mind for several years. To put together a Community Choir in my own neighbourhood. No small feat, seeing as I'm not one for socialising & hardly know anyone. So, back at the end of March / beginning of April, I began promoting the idea & got a great of support from people who said they would be interested in getting involved - once it was up & running. This, of course, is the Chicken & Egg situation. You need the support to get it up & running, but it needs to be up & running in order to get the support.

    Anyway, after 4 months of promoting the idea, I finally got 8 people in the Facebook Group to commit themselves to the venture, as well as a couple of non-Facebook people, so I thought I'd go for it & hire a hall, at £15 / hour, for 2 hours (£30 for anyone whose maths isn't too good). I was expecting 8 people, or 10 if I was lucky, so it was agreed that everyone would contribute £3 towards the cost. I was still rather concerned that I would still have to fork out the difference, but come the night (Last Monday) 23 turned up (plus myself). I was totally blown away. With all those contributions we now also have enough in the kitty to book the next rehearsal, with a little bit left over.

    None of them have ever had experience of singing in a choir before - and all but one there were women (and even the one man had to go home at half time to pick his wife up), so the first thing I did was to get them to do a few rounds of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat". I found the look of terror on their faces rather disconcerting, but rather comical as well. Once they had finished they were looking rather puzzled as to why I was getting them to sing that sort of thing. Then I asked them if they found it difficult, and they replied that of course they didn't - they teach that sort of thing to their kids. Then I told them to analyse just what they were doing. Although they were all singing the same tune & words, they were doing it all out of step with each other, so not only were they singing different notes, but different words & different timings & still managed to hold it together. At this point things went quiet while they took that on board. Then you could feel the level of confidence rocketing.

    After that I divided the voice ranges by playing a few scales, gradually increasing in pitch, telling them that once they were finding it a bit of a strain to step out & line up. Once they were all there I just split them into 4 parts.

    For the rest of the evening I didn't bother going into harmonies, just basically a singalong, starting with the Marley "Three Little Birds" (Don't Worry 'Bout A Thing), "Wake Me Up" (When It's All Over - theis year's Gareth Malone Children In Need number) & a Queen Medley, consisting of "We Will Rock You", "Another One Bites The Dust", "We Are The Champions", Bohemian Rhapsody", ending with a "We Are The Champions Reprise", which everyone really seemed to enjoy.

    I've now been working on a dumbed down arrangement of the Queen piece, putting it into a simple 2 parts (instead of the 7 the version I've got was originally written in). At next rehearsal I'll be working on the harmonies to it & have published a few Training Files & words for them to learn as their Homework in readiness for the next rehearsal in a fortnight's time (10/8/15).

    I've set the rehearsals fortnightly on Mondays so that I can synchronise it with the other choir I'm now with that also does Monday fortnightly rehearsals.

    The funny thing was that I was on so much of a high when I got home, I couldn't get to sleep, and what with being on the early shift in the morning, I was nodding off all day at work. Then I had to go straight from work, in Fareham (near Portsmouth) to Christchurch (near Bournemouth) - about 60 miles on Marcus (the new 125cc bike) to see a Libera Concert at the Priory. I didn't get home until about 23:30 - and even then I was on another high.

    This has been an eventful week.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Smaug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Midlands
    Posts
    1,599
    Local Date
    09-18-2019
    Local Time
    04:06 PM

    Re: Finally - The Ball Is Rolling

    Quote Originally Posted by FourPart View Post
    As many of you may be aware, due to a combination of things - in particular my contempt of the Assistant Musical Director, I found it necessary to quit the choir which I had been a member of for over 30 years. This, understandably left me with a void in my life for my weekly music fix. I tried out several other choirs, but none were really what I was looking for. I did, however, find one Community Choir, which was very good, despite being miles away from where I live, and only fortnightly rehearsals.

    However, quitting the New Music Makers inspired me to revive the notion that I had in the back of my mind for several years. To put together a Community Choir in my own neighbourhood. No small feat, seeing as I'm not one for socialising & hardly know anyone. So, back at the end of March / beginning of April, I began promoting the idea & got a great of support from people who said they would be interested in getting involved - once it was up & running. This, of course, is the Chicken & Egg situation. You need the support to get it up & running, but it needs to be up & running in order to get the support.

    Anyway, after 4 months of promoting the idea, I finally got 8 people in the Facebook Group to commit themselves to the venture, as well as a couple of non-Facebook people, so I thought I'd go for it & hire a hall, at £15 / hour, for 2 hours (£30 for anyone whose maths isn't too good). I was expecting 8 people, or 10 if I was lucky, so it was agreed that everyone would contribute £3 towards the cost. I was still rather concerned that I would still have to fork out the difference, but come the night (Last Monday) 23 turned up (plus myself). I was totally blown away. With all those contributions we now also have enough in the kitty to book the next rehearsal, with a little bit left over.

    None of them have ever had experience of singing in a choir before - and all but one there were women (and even the one man had to go home at half time to pick his wife up), so the first thing I did was to get them to do a few rounds of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat". I found the look of terror on their faces rather disconcerting, but rather comical as well. Once they had finished they were looking rather puzzled as to why I was getting them to sing that sort of thing. Then I asked them if they found it difficult, and they replied that of course they didn't - they teach that sort of thing to their kids. Then I told them to analyse just what they were doing. Although they were all singing the same tune & words, they were doing it all out of step with each other, so not only were they singing different notes, but different words & different timings & still managed to hold it together. At this point things went quiet while they took that on board. Then you could feel the level of confidence rocketing.

    After that I divided the voice ranges by playing a few scales, gradually increasing in pitch, telling them that once they were finding it a bit of a strain to step out & line up. Once they were all there I just split them into 4 parts.

    For the rest of the evening I didn't bother going into harmonies, just basically a singalong, starting with the Marley "Three Little Birds" (Don't Worry 'Bout A Thing), "Wake Me Up" (When It's All Over - theis year's Gareth Malone Children In Need number) & a Queen Medley, consisting of "We Will Rock You", "Another One Bites The Dust", "We Are The Champions", Bohemian Rhapsody", ending with a "We Are The Champions Reprise", which everyone really seemed to enjoy.

    I've now been working on a dumbed down arrangement of the Queen piece, putting it into a simple 2 parts (instead of the 7 the version I've got was originally written in). At next rehearsal I'll be working on the harmonies to it & have published a few Training Files & words for them to learn as their Homework in readiness for the next rehearsal in a fortnight's time (10/8/15).

    I've set the rehearsals fortnightly on Mondays so that I can synchronise it with the other choir I'm now with that also does Monday fortnightly rehearsals.

    The funny thing was that I was on so much of a high when I got home, I couldn't get to sleep, and what with being on the early shift in the morning, I was nodding off all day at work. Then I had to go straight from work, in Fareham (near Portsmouth) to Christchurch (near Bournemouth) - about 60 miles on Marcus (the new 125cc bike) to see a Libera Concert at the Priory. I didn't get home until about 23:30 - and even then I was on another high.

    This has been an eventful week.
    Good for you, FourPart! Sounds like an exciting project, just try not to let the "highs" keep you awake all night, especially if you're going to be riding a bike to work next day. With the increasing popularity of choirs these days, you never know where this may go! ( Bang goes another night's sleep! )
    " To finish first, first you have to finish!" Rick Mears. 4x Winner Indy 500. 3x Indycar National Champion.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Patsy Warnick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Golf Course
    Posts
    4,567
    Local Date
    09-18-2019
    Local Time
    09:06 AM

    Re: Finally - The Ball Is Rolling

    Good story
    Glad to hear you had a good turn out.
    Patsy

  4. #4
    Long Time Member cars's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Winter months-Florida, Summer months- New England
    Posts
    9,741
    Local Date
    09-18-2019
    Local Time
    12:06 PM

    Re: Finally - The Ball Is Rolling

    Wow FourPart, you sound like you're really a capable music director, no wonder you had problems with your old director. You were a threat to the old director, so you were given a hard time of it. Well hope all goes according to your plans, well done so far, keep it up and eventually you'll have yourself a winning choir.
    Last edited by cars; 08-01-2015 at 04:45 PM. Reason: addded word
    Cars
    <"LIFE is SHORT, Make the most of it!!!" GET OUTTA HERE!>
    <Love living Large!>
    <Home is where you're treated the best, but complain the most!>

  5. #5
    I think, therefore I post chonsigirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Nirvana
    Posts
    33,616
    Local Date
    09-18-2019
    Local Time
    11:06 AM

    Re: Finally - The Ball Is Rolling

    May you have many musical adventures ahead....

  6. #6
    Senior Member FourPart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Southampton
    Posts
    6,256
    Local Date
    09-18-2019
    Local Time
    05:06 PM

    Re: Finally - The Ball Is Rolling

    Quote Originally Posted by cars View Post
    Wow FourPart, you sound like you're really a capable music director, no wonder you had problems with your old director. You were a threat to the old director, so you were given a hard time of it. Well hope all goes according to your plans, well done so far, keep it up and eventually you'll have yourself a winning choir.
    I was actually never a threat. I would much prefer to be one of the singers than the leader. This whole project is totally out of character for me. I'm a natural submissive / recluse. I just couldn't take his inconsistencies, then blaming all his screw ups on everyone else when he couldn't remember what changes he had been making. Yes, things need to be changed from time to time to suit the circumstances, but once done, it needs to be kept to.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bruv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Kent..... South East England
    Posts
    12,178
    Local Date
    09-18-2019
    Local Time
    05:06 PM

    Re: Finally - The Ball Is Rolling

    You must be FG's very own Gareth Malone.
    There has been a growth in popularity in choirs since his TV shows, so I suspect thats where your recruits are from.
    Well done for stepping outside your comfort zone, you will adapt and it will become easier, the first step is always the hardest.
    I thought I knew more than this until I opened my mouth

  8. #8
    Senior Member FourPart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Southampton
    Posts
    6,256
    Local Date
    09-18-2019
    Local Time
    05:06 PM

    Re: Finally - The Ball Is Rolling

    Register to remove this ad.
    Gareth has worked wonders for Community Choirs. He's brought it to the awareness of the masses that choirs are not all about Religion or Grand Opera.

    I've also just had a notification that I've just sold a copy of my arrangement of The Lost Chord - my first sale since transferring my publications from being in the old choir's name to my own.

+ Reply to Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts