11 January 2018

Happy New Year to DFS Weymouth and Portland who were happy to back in the hall again at All Saints school. We will be in the hall for all sessions until half term, so with glee we launched into a warm up, a Dum Dum Diddley Diddley!

But Ed, without the right end on his lead, had his piano turned up so loud that he couldn’t hear us at all so a huge chair shift took place so we could snuggle up. Amen ..

In announcements we met our list of brand new songs. A member of MV Freedom gave a vote of thanks for the money raised at the Christmas concert. 

We started proper singing with The Rose and a brief reminder of the harmony because this song is quite well known to seasoned members of DFS. And then, with Ed conducting, we flatly began to sing Al Fresco. A note about sssssss and another note about syncopation were made, and a note from the piano got us unflattered again. A smiling DFS sang again as our lifted cheeks lifted the sweet little tune right out of the durge it had fallen into. And I smiled too in support, although I’m not yet singing. With some extra work on the harmony parts this song was beginning to sound a lot more confident, as choir stood to perform it. 

We also revisited Build Me Up Buttercup and a fantastic bum note or two and because Ed wanted some more lively numbers this term. Someone was doing a Billy Ocean. Ooooohs are so hard to get right. There was no backing track to work with so Al Fresco again it was to fine tune a thing or three, and back to the piano to refine the second to last HEART ... the C# one before the key change. Oh dear. It’s going to be a looooong term .......

Then we moved to whizz through the rest of the songs beginning with Voulez-Vous and a nice bit of disco rhythm to boot! Choir had to split into AH-HA people and THE INBETWEENY BITS people. Fantastically upbeat, Ed left both Jack and the choir behind!  The beat sure needed sorting out and the French pronounciation too! 

And then to calm things down, Say You, Say Me. And breathe. Wasn’t this once an advert? 

And then to finish, I Am What I Am to see how the key fit. Ed broke the piano. 

Well done everyone, do your homework and keep singing xxxx

7 Dec 2017

As choir starts up again this week I look back at our concerts performed at the end of term. I was not at DFS Dorchester’s do, but I bet it was as good and enjoyable as last year and choir realised £275 for the MS Society. Well done DFS Dorch. I would have come but was having very special family time and saving myself for ....

DFS Weymouth and Portland performed on the next night, a good and varied bunch of songs, some brave soloists, and of course a Christmas medley with real jingle bells. I like it when props make an appearance! At one point a sheep showed up! Solo songs included two really funny numbers, ‘Cheep Flights’ and
‘Earnie’, something I vaguely remember from the olden says. 

Along with a glittering and fabulous raffle and some fun games we managed to raise £814.95 for MV Freedom, and I sang my last song for a while which was written by Hintze and Greenaway, and I’m afraid there was no time to write a blog the next day because of rushing to Poole Hospital for 7.15am. Without, may we add, even a half decent breakfast. I’ll be back blogging for you all again tomorrow but I won’t be able to sing. Enjoy the break, and hope too that you enjoyed the Christmas break and felt loved, free of man flu and other yuck things like that. 

Keep singing, I love you, Cat The Blogger xxx

30 November 2017

We entered the dining room serenaded by the backing track of So Happy Together. All backing tracks were present and correct, in perfect key and correct tempo, and the running order is finalised. And that was our first song, straight in without a warm-up. 

The dress code for choir could be ‘summery’ with Bermuda shorts and bikinis but we decided to go Christmassy after all. Festive jumpers very welcome, as is sticking tinsel anywhere you like it. Remember the concert starts at 7.30pm sharp. There will be no bar, but feel free to bring you own.

And as we scurry to order our folders, we start the second song Make You Feel My Love. 

Don’t forget your harmonies when you Walk Right Back. We sang it with great aplomb, and slipped into our sea legs for Song Of The Sea. Coming together beautifully. 

And Christmas Medley was upon us again. Shall I bring Ben the singing rat or Elf on a shelf? So the interval is and then we will be Keeping The Dream Alive and remembering the right time to go up and down. More highs everyone. Across The Universe we sang to see if like DFS Dorchester we would keep it in. Let one go at the end of you please, improvisation. Adele, When We Were Young, well we are good at this one! Lovely, lovely. Did anyone notice this little number was more up tempo? 

And down tempo, we Bring Him Home ... our next song will bring them near, O Holy Night. Then our concert will end and we will sing our encore Fairy Tale Of New York. Drunk men to start, then everyone, and the audience to sing too. We will make them. In housekeeping, Ed reminded us not to talk to each other between songs, and to arrive at school early if you want to run through your solo. Ed said there would be some surprises, and I asked if we could eat them. Possibly because I’ll be nil by mouth from midnight on concert day. Then we had some time for revisits, vote by mumble, so we did that, until we were Song Perfeft. 

We meet again on the 11th January all full of sprouts and raring to go after crunching through the frost up to the hall. Yes we will be back in the Hall. Everyone cheered. See you next week ALSO IN THE HALL for the concert. I love you, keep singing. XXX

23 November 2017

And greetings from the dining room where Ed was only armed with a screen and a music stand, and a huge catalogue of fresh backing tracks to boot. 

Dress code for the concerts is a little festive. Think tinsel. Bring your own food and drink and money for the usual fab raffle too. 

With out a sniff of a warm up, we started with Walk Right Back but not before wishing Mike and Cat a very happy 3rd Year Wedding Anniversary. Wait, that’s me. I’m still honoured that DFS came were there that day to sing and break bread with us. Ed suggested you might like to watch the wedding video ...

And quickly on to Make You Feel My Love and followed on with So Happy Together with barely any time for me to paste a link from YouTube ... and decided to swap this together the number one song, and pressed on with song number 4, Song Of The Sea. Did you remember your timing? 

And thus marks the end of part one, and the start of part with the Exciting New Christmas Medley which you may recognise from last year. It was the toy piano version. Mind the gap in Mary’s Boy Child. 

And we sang Keeping The Dream Alive without a backing track. Next. Across The Universe. Kangaroo Diva. That’s me. Ed wanted to take it from the top again. So we did. 

When We Were Young will get a new backing track with some drums. Bring Him Home brought us to O Holy Night and Faiytake Of New York that sounded much better with drunk men. I’m excited already. 

Singing Do Wah Diddy Diddy without a backing track was an experiment to say the least. There might have been issues with timing ...

I love you. Keep singing. The Cat xxx

9 November 2017

We were in the hall again, with a mysterious note and a cheerful glee type crowd, pleased that we would be having a concert in this hall because the rest of our practices will take place in the dining room. 

And so to warm up, but Ed hit the keys too hard according to Jack so we had to do it gently. Dum dum didly dum ... 

We also used Across The Universe as a warm up. It won’t spear in our Christmas concert after all. A concert looms on Friday 8 June, our 10th one at All Saints church on Portland. We have been asked to take part in a ‘big singing day’ in Brewery Square in Dorchester. Much more pressing is our concert on the 7th
December here at the school at 7.30pm. 

In breaking news, Ed’s wife has booked him to do a party in Osmington Village Hall on New Year’s Eve. And then it was time for a jolly good sing. 

Walk Right Back kicked us off nicely, it lacked a little harmony so we looked under our chairs and it. 

Moving swiftly on we got ready to make corrections to O Holy Night immediately deleting the last two lines and doing a copy-and-paste job with some other parts of the chorus. We were over singing it at the beginning a bit and must remember not to ‘go high’ during the first round of the chorus. We had another go, this time with a gentle start, building in some drama. 

And so we had a listen to how Keeping The Dream Alive was doing, well not really, Ed listened and we sang. Our diction could do with some sharpening, so we ran a bit through without the piano, and we delivered energy too enabling us to swiftly select The Song Of Sea, but here we found an issue of timing or syncopation for those who might have swallowed a wikki or something. 

I’m other breaking news, we may be singing on the harbour side to serenade MV Freedom on radio solent. Watch this space. 

Dictation may follow if Life’s About To Get Good if the three parts aren’t evenly represented. And it’s got to be good because it will be a capela. Anyway, it was nice when it got going.  

And for Bring Him Home we had a very special large-print edition so we all whipped off our readers. Careful now. And Ed said we just get better and better, but if you weren’t here tonight ....

In other breaking news, there hasn’t been a trip meeting but there will be an opportunity to hang on next week to discuss tour matters. Then we voted for a final song and Run won. And we stood to perform. Oh yes.

Well done DFS you worked hard and sang your seasonal-socks off. Fabulous. But that’s not why I love you. Keep singing. Cat xxx

2 November 2017

On a busy campus in the common room did DFS meet after the half term holiday. We had a big chat about that, instead of notices, like where to meet in future and even using our concert hall hire fee to go straight in the charity bucket. Should we stay or should we go now? 

‘‘Tis only 5 more rehearsals until our lovely Christmas concerts, and we will wait and see if DFS Dorchester will do a stand-alone concert or will benefit from the support of us lot, like last year. It is said they have recently grown somewhat which is nice. 

In the middle of the warm up jack was employed to search the internets for instructions on how to pitch transpose on Ed’s organ of choice, as it lacked a straightforward button. We love it when we have working internets, and we could be Keeping The Dream Alive in the right key. The last ‘note’ was fabulous. 

The snakes came out for a rendition of Make You Feel My Love. Some people ... well ok, most people, had forgotten how to fit in some of the words so we rehearsed that and added some ‘aaaaarghs’, and went a bit jazz. Very nice. 

Then we were jealous because before singing So Happy Together our choir master showed us the lovely booklet he had created for DFS Dorch, with a posh logo and everything but then we had to let them off because they don’t have internets or screens like how we ‘always’ do. We all worked very hard on some very lovely Baaaaaaaaahs. All layered and long lasting. 

And a nice Carol next, O Holy Night, when Ed started by explaining which ending we will be using. The posh ending we hope. Ed found himself a bit confused, and explained a harmony that wouldn’t actually work as there wasn’t a bit that went up where he thought it did. He blamed the fact that the common room makes him lose so much weight in sweat that he was all delerious but just like the meaning of the song, we instantly forgave him and bravely sang onwards with a new harmony part. This song made the men sound powerful when they sang ‘fall on your knees’. Happy Christmas. 

Walk Right Back was our next song, and easy peasey and followed by Life’s About To Get Good. Who had done their half term homework? Mike had it as an ear worm, and consequently, so did I! I also had an ear worm caused by mine and Ed’s new baby, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. When we got to the three part harmony, did you remember which part was yours? I didn’t. 

S.O.S apeared on the screen, fresh off the internets, and we sang it loud and proud. It’s a pity that the common rooms adsorbs so much, because we sang our socks off. And not because it’s too hot up there! Staying with ABBA we sang Money Money Money one we haven’t tasted in a long time. 

And finally on extra time, Bring Him Home, all nice and gentle like a kind of cool down in the stuffy room. 

Well done DFS, and everyone else who helped get it together on last-minute-room-changes-dot-com. Keep singing, I love ya! The Cat xxx

19 October 2017

Ed welcomed those of us that came to Thursday night choir instead of going to see The Nutcracker Suite. Many apologies from sugar plumb fans were registered tonight. 

Our choir master has been with the WI this morning, and it put him in the mood for a sing-a-thong. Jack had all the tracks lined up ready to share on the big screen after a stimulating warm up with a Dum Dum Diddley Dum and some long vowel sounds...

Make You Feel My Love launched the sing-a-thong. And no the blogger does not have a lisp, Ed made it very clear to the blogger how to spell tonight’s extravaganza. 

And with the piano again for Lean On Me, for it won’t be long, til we need a backing track from backing Jack...

We love nights like this, laughing at the choir masters puns, So Happy Together! We got confused in the second verse. 

I Only Want To Be With You coz it’s the best choir in town, we are the only people to get to sing Song Of The Sea and fantasize about waving gills around. Mike gets a yellow card for singing ‘blue eyes filled with emulsion’ and more than once. 

And a new song for choir, O Holy Night and we got our Christmas on ... which can only mean Santa’s coming and Life’s About To Get Good. So Bring Him Home we prayed and filled the hall sounding like a proper nice choir. It was pure chips and gravy. 

Rosé was missing it’s meaningful gap. How many times do I have to blog it? 

Song number 10, Walk Right Back and we had half an hour of the night left! Keeping The Dream Alive was preceded by The Impossible Dream and this gave us Wings, and we nearly took off in the wrong key! We should try to walk before we Run. We sang that When We Were Young and I wrote that down exactly as Ed said it! 

And finally, to our feet we got. We may not Rule The World we really are, We Are The Champions,  W ow, well done DFS, that sing-a-thong was a marathon and you all deserve musical medals. Then we would really have the bling-bling. Remember this cheeky blogger loves you xxx

12 October 2017

Once more into the hall dear friends ... to begin our practice with a nice little scale, and a none-word version of You Raise Me Up. 

In notices, Ed said he does appreciate when choir give him feedback, and some people have voiced opinions on some of the songs, and also a preference of singing with Ed and his piano as oppose to karaoke tracks. 

We may not use karaoke tracks for the next few weeks, but we will still be using YouTube as we did next to listen to Life’s About To Get Good. And life in DFS is about to go into three parts. Our dear choir master broke these down for us! Concert Ready? Not quite. The middle part seems really hard to grasp onto, but we stood to perform it as we sounded ‘proper choir’...

We didn’t do the crooning version of Walk Right Back, just a nice jolly Ed-and-piano one. He spent some time breaking down the harmonies, which is good coz I think a few of us need to hear it more than a few times! Suddenly we ended up a little harmony heavy...

And next in support of this years nautical charity, we got Jack to dig out Song Of The Sea and Ed tried to remember the song that he wrote some years ago. I must ask the choir master if I can bring my seagull-on-a-stick that I made in 2010 inspired by this very song. We stood to perform and moved onto a slightly more uptempo version of Across The Universe, and the naturally up tempo I’m Into Something Good, right after someone who hadn’t read the blog asked what ‘jai guru deva om’ meant. 

We are just Keeping The Dream Alive when Ed explained which end notes go up and which go down and to encourage a bit of a fluffier flutter in the middle - I love you-ooooo! 

Soon choir will be having a lovely meeting to discuss choir plans and a future tour of course, and we finished with Bring Him Home with Mike’s love and blessing and the healing hands of May on my shoulders as she sang behind me. Choir sounded fab. 

So keep singing amazing choir, even when you’re not in the bathroom... love from Cat Blogger xxx