a happy new year, dorset for singing!

i have been busy putting all the past 12 months choir blogs together on this bloggery blog, for your enjoyment ...
has anyone got any god pictures of choir they we could use, too?
i think we need lots more!

i hope you are keeping singing? cat xxx

3 december 2009

Term one year 2 week 10
Getting better…

Now its time for some feedback, the kind that wont hurt your ears. I think Dorset for singing just gets better, and better. Every time we finish a concert and go home, I feel a little twinge of sadness knowing I wont see my 100 best buddies for a few weeks … and last year there were only 80 of you! But this busy mum-of-many does enjoy the rest, too, all this frantic blogging that no one else has the time to do …

Gasps last night, as the phantom blogger was unmasked, yet again, and more then once! Ed’s cheesy jokes will be told on the BBC (website). Michael has lost his on-stage job as we have a new charity and it was nice to hear some words from the local man for the Alzheimer’s society, but for the life of me I can’t remember his name. Erm… oh well at least I can remember most of the song lyrics when they are hidden behind a Christmas tree. Last years tree in the school hall wasn’t that tall. It only affected the bottom line. Thanks to Dave for shifting all the words over to the right, for the second half!

And talking of bottoms, I suppose you all had a good look at Ed’s after I pointed it out. I don’t suppose he will leave me in charge of the microphone again. I am very proud of him for being honest about his mistakes. Sorry there were so many everyone! But well done choir for keeping smiling and keeping singing … that’s all I ever ask of you, isn’t it?

I know im always nagging you to practice, and read my blog of course, but now im feeling generous. Once the turkey sandwiches and chocs from the tree have vanished, and its time to think about the new year, I would like to give you a present, so send me an email after Christmas (coombes6@btinternet.com) and ill tell you were to find it. And pop into the new Portland Arts Centre’s fund raising exhibition, coz I’ve got some art and crafts in there from 6th-29th December. ‘Cause I do love you, you know! Cat xxx

here is what i wrote for the local paper, and sent to ruth meech ...

"Dorset for Singing’s big Christmas Concert, number two
Review by Cat Coombes, AKA the choir blogger …

Weymouth’s biggest community choir does exactly what is says on the tin. The choir gives its members the opportunity to perform, and if any want to, to stand up there and sing alone. And last night again we brought good people of Weymouth and further affield together for an evening of song, and as more than one person said to me afterwards, there was something for everyone, in our audience of 180 people!

If you enjoy singing all kinds of songs, then this is the choir for you, and the concert is an option of course, but to make sure everyone is welcome we have our words on a screen at the back, and often some seating. We even have a naughty corner, but this year they redeemed themselves just in time for Santa’s visit by handing out refreshments in the interval! Having the words on a screen can be interesting when they are half hidden by the All Saints school hall Christmas tree, but members of the audience laughed along with Director Ed Hintze when he pointed out some mistakes, and some said they loved how friendly and informal the evening was.

We sang a bit of everything, from Abba to snow patrol, show tunes, and old favourites, with a handful of Christmas ditties this year too! There were solos from familiar faces and a new choir member too, some of them beautifully and spontaneously backed by the rest of choir seated on stage. When I joined Dorset for Singing I had no idea it would take me to centre stage for solos, but what a great opportunity that is, all ears upon you, bright lights and your own pianist, nerves and wobbly notes, and all! And the applause! Oh yes, and the mince pies at half time.

Of course we also worked together to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society, voted as this years charity to benefit from our termly concerts, and Malcolm Cumber from the south Dorset branch, came on stage to talk to us about ‘singing for the brain’, therapy for people suffering from Alzheimer’s. The concert raised a fantastic £462.83! Go Dorset for Singing! To find out more about our lovely choir, and catch up with the choir’s blog, go to www.dorsetforsinging.co.uk, and have a lovely Christmas, from all of us!"

26 november 2009

Term one week nine!
On your marks, get DORset ….

Ed was at the clavinova compiling a list of songs and picking our brains for ideas. Michael was nowhere in site, but we had Dave in attendance of course.
This was our longest practice ever, and was a very good idea, as finishing at roughly 8.45pm gave us enough time to sing 14 songs, laugh at Ed’s cheesy jokes (I mean it, they were REALLY cheesy), and have a break too.

The evening passed by in a blur, probably because May opened the bar at half time, and we were warned not to slur our words. Michael, Carol and Catherine did arrive, and good job too, because M’s laptop often fills in when the school PC goes on strike!

We are getting lots of complements from Ed, about our tone, which is good now, and we are singing a lot of songs which require LOTS of energy and power…at this years concert, we will have been practicing together for over a year, so we cant get the sympathy vote we had at our first concert when we had only met nine times!

I wasn’t choir blogger in our first term together, having followed a friend to Dorset for Singing, and joined at week 4. In January when days are short and nights are long we will start practising again, and I will have my choir blogger first birthday. Perhaps May will open the bar, again!

Have a GREAT WEEK, keep singing, and be in the hall ready for the concert at 6.30 please, mince pies in hand. Does it matter if they have toddler finger prints in them? Cat xxx

19 october 2009

week eight ...
The penultimate practice

Ed scared us by reminding us that this was our last practice before our ‘technical’, and then the concert the week after that. Although technically, we wont be getting in next week, as the hall is yet again in use. Never mind, we may not be able to tread the boards but we will be able to stay longer, running onto 8.45pm, and all squished together in the practice room. I wish we could put the words on the ceiling, so we can stand up and give it some welly…

Michael was back in charge of words and music this week, with some help from Dave, and chose the songs for us to rattle through. I won’t list them in dreary succession, but I will make a few points…

The biggest surprise was how lovely ‘chasing cars’ sounded, esp. after all the grumbling and booing last week! Well done choir, you really have been listening to me nagging you to go on you tube! The same could be said for ‘river of dreams’ where all those jumbly up lyrics seemed to fit on the right lines, at last!

We will need to watch Ed for the timings of ‘higher and higher’ so perhaps we had better practice it next week, along with ‘I wanna be the only one, the only one’ which we adore so much. We changed the backing in the second verse to more ‘yeah-yeah-yeah’, a very positive move indeed.

Keep singing choir, not long to go now. And remember, unlike this time last year when it was out first time, this time we really need to impress the punters. But don’t worry too much. I’ll still love you, whatever happens xxx

12 november 2009

Term one Week seven
Shaa la la la laaa ….

Ed came in the car this week, and brought jack, who had put together the words of a new warm up, so we sang a rousing chorus of ‘he’s got the hole world in his hands’, just one of the many songs we tackled tonight.

Kicking of with in the bleak midwinter, it didn’t sound like a dirge at all, which has been the suggestion of some members, until the second version of the tune was tested out, and hurriedly voted off! We need our ‘Jerusalem’ voices for this, and just watch those timings, hit up the choir boys on you tube to see how the words fit in.

We spent over ten minutes listening to bony m’s Christmas song, and singing the first part of it. Then some choir members got very silly and sang ‘brown girl in the ring’ although I have to say it fitted rather well…

There were grumps and grumbles about ‘chasing cars’, which is mostly about lying down in the rain, but comes after a forum request for a more up-to-date number. The bit about ‘grace’ isn’t in the you tube version, and if we take it out, it might sound a bit, well, shorter.

Then we rattled through ‘the river of dreams’ it really needs some homework done on it, for the verses. I said it last week. Just do it.

And the treat, for working so hard? Singing ‘bridge over troubled water’ most beautifully. Didn’t we do well?

Disclaimer – the ramblings of the choir blogger may bare no relation to actual options of Dorset for singing itself, its members, or administrators. Cat loves you, keep singing XXX

5 november 2009

Term one Week six
Dvds are here!

Sorry if you missed your Sunday blog read, choir fans, as I rushed out on Friday morning, whirled through my weekend, and realised Monday morning I had forgotten to blog. Many of you know that my youngest children are 3, 3 and 18 months, and rumour has it I fed them all my brains for breakfast one day in lieu of scrambled eggs. As Ed would say, it’s easily done.

Chris was present for tonight rehearsal; with a bag of dvds … so that’s our summer concert and our very first one last year all edited and accounted for. We need to look to Michael soon for the Easter concert. Will it happen before baby Anders pops out? I do hope so, then I can complete my Starlight box set made from recycled weetabix boxes.

Our new warm up exercise is fun. Basically try to sound like one of those sliding whistles, across an octave – the one that covers your breaking point. Don’t try it in Asda. I actually discovered my breaking point, once, in Asda.

We tackled our new song today, back in the hall, and with Ed conducting made parts of ‘the river of dreams’ sound quite good. There are some jumbly bits with too many lyrics in the lines, and dear choir, we must learn these in our bedrooms so that we can impress everyone else this Thursday. I will be there with ‘youtube’ while I peal some vegetables. But the bit where we all do backing parts, a capella is good. Ed was really impressed.

Keep singing! I still love you, even if I forget to blog you … Cat XXX

22 october 2009

Week five
Hands up for …

This week, as well as our meeting at the pub, we had lots of business to cover before we started singing, and meant that we will only do our new song by Billy Joel next week, when we will be back in the hall again. We fed back to the choir about the meeting, as Michael was too busy fiddling with computers to put up the blog entry for members to read. I am getting some good feedback about the blog, so thanks for that, dear choir.

A few members, and Ed’s wife Jenny put in their bids for this years charity, and then we had a vote, and will support a local Alzheimer’s project, for which singing has become an important part of the therapy for project users. Expect special guests at our concerts!

Im still getting used to Ed having backing tracks so he can conduct, but its great being able to see when to sing some of the more tricky phrases, ones with syncopation, and when to do your ending sound, s or t! We tackled ‘Money, money, money’, and ‘I’m a believer’ but we forgot to add our American drawls. ‘Bridge over troubled water’, had a drawl added to ‘can’t’, which amused Ed no end! We also had a go at that new song from last week that I don’t think anyone likes, or is that just me?

We over-ran to squeeze in an extra song, then went to find our cars buried in the busy car park. Back in the hall next week folks, so keep singing, and keep off the grass! Cat xxx

tuesday 20 october 2009

The pub meeting, number two

A nice small group of choir members bought drinks and snuggled up together in the spa pub, it was nice to see some new members come along with offers to help and eager to find out more about Dorset for singing.

We discussed our room change, notably from the music practice room to the hall, in some ways its big, cold has us spread out, but it does fit us all in now. This week though we have to squeeze back into out old room, as the hall is in use. Choir still remains flexible on where you sit, which is great for little folks like me who don’t fit into any particular demographic at all, even when it comes to voice range.

This Thursday the whole choir will have the chance to say whether we should all simply wear blue as our uniform, and any shades of will do. Unless there’s a mass vote for orange, which I doubt. I have a suspicion that the naughty corner are still hankering after a set of polo shirts, so that they can be seen as proud choir members wherever they may wander. They could get back to me with numbers if they wish, I spent some time in the polo shirt shop last summer …

The edits of our Christmas and summer concerts are available now, and will be for sale by an ordering system and a pound from each going to starlight. £3 for Christmas and £5 for summer, please.

A concert, which may be recorded, may take place in late January or early Feb, at All Saints Church, Portland, when everyone has gone flat after Christmas. It will be a live recording; so don’t come if you have a cough. Just kidding.

Our concert on the 3rd December will cost £2.50 for adults and £1 for children, as at out summer concert. No burgers this time but it was thought that choir members could hand out mince pies during an interval … when they are supposed to be having a break. We talked about possible outlets for tickets since Ed no longer has a shop in town, and came up with a few ideas to follow through. Remember to bring your bit of paper with your charity suggestion for this year, and yes, keep singing!

15 october 2009

"Week four - 15th October 2009
Unfortunately there will be no blog this week, due Cat being absent from choir. Please come back to this page in a weeks time, to see her next installment."

did you miss me?
i did miss choir ...

8 october 2009

Week three
Stuck in the middle with you …

We found the hall full of chairs, not in anticipation of a huge choir, but ready for assembly tomorrow. And if I heard right, we are back in our old practice room next week, as the hall wont be free. That will be nice and cosy, and it will be much easier to blog, since I became a bit buried in the rows and missed some of the best jokes … I was near the front until a mass exodus towards Ed, and even the naughty corner were where we could all see them!

Ed used backing tracks so he could conduct properly. He was much more professional than last week when he had too much fun playing with the barriers, and I think this reflected in our singing too. Ed even said we were good, and that doesn’t happen very often, does it dear choir?

‘Money, money, money’ had more …guts… this week, and ‘I’m a believer’ was much improved by the addition of some fine American drawls, which had to be erased again just in time for ‘bridge over troubled water’, and amazingly, it doesn’t sound like it will need too much work!

We over ran a little due to bad traffic, and were spared any work on ‘the prayer’ this practice, but rest assured that Ed has found all the proper Italian parts … talking of bad traffic im off to Yeovil, this blog is always created before 8am. Give your selves a pat on the collective back, look out for warm-ups on the website, and remember please to keep off the grass, other wise you will end up in detention, and that could be embarrassing at work … keep singing! xxx

1 october 2009

Term one – week two
Where is Ed? Oh, he’s over there!

We filled the school hall quite nicely this week, all seated on lovely chairs, apart from when the naughty corner stood to sing. Dave was there to press buttons and mix sounds, and Ed had a special hiding place under the screen for the times when he did actually sit down and play his organ. And a nifty barrier, against restless sopranos. In between, we were treated to a bit of foot tapping, and some proper conducting as he had both hands free!

Revision first, with ‘higher and higher’, which many people found hard work. We also played the you-tube version so we could hear the timings in the verses, and the correct place to sing ‘keeeeep on!’ in the chorus, and this gave us a better idea. You must practice this at home!

Ed remembered his ‘stick’ – see last week’s blog – but it did not have the proper Italian on it for ‘the prayer’, so we muddled through and also sang along to the you-tube version. It was sounding better and better! We had much more Italians this week. We really needed Ed to help avoid the hissing by telling us when to sound the s’s.

Money, Money, Money, made me feel like I was auditioning for Fagin, esp. since the main female vocal part is so low, but it sound good when we mixed in some singing an octave above, and the naughty corner added in the ‘aaarghs’, not that they sound like pirates, you understand. A great song for these troubled times, make sure you sing it with aggression but down frown!
Keep listening to you-tube, and keep singing! See you next week …

24 sept 2009

Term one – week one

Choir began a little late, with both doors wide open and people squeezing in even as Ed was telling his all about his summer holidays, new job and diet success! Seriously though, there was talk of moving choir to perhaps the hall at All Saints, or even to Wey Valley School where Ed now works as Head of Music.

After some quick warm ups, because luckily Ed could tell we have been practicing all summer, we launched into a new song, a request from Michael, and tried to sing ‘Higher and Higher’. We left it in the same key, as there are already some smurfs singing the backing vocals in the chorus. The naughty corner are sure to have some fun with this one. Ed had a new toy, his clavinova set to play a backing track, leaving him with both hands free for tambourines, air guitars, and generally keeping us in order.

Next came an old favourite, featuring some shocking Italian, and in impromptu solo by me, as most of the choir opted for the dodgy Italian. In the second singing through of The Prayer, most Italians had defected, but Ed promised to bring the proper spelling next time, if he can find his memory stick.

Then it was time for some roughing up. After singing so prettily we tackled ‘I’m a believer’, at 90mph, which was probably so we could fit it in. I have lost my voice, but I am sure I will be ok after a barrel of honey and some hot bananas. We shifted the key of this song, and now that we have established this, the songs from tonight will be available to download from the site, that is of course, when Ed finds that stick … Suggestions for new charities to support, and your preferred venue, plush how much you love my blog, all on the forum please.

Summer '09 ...

Random blog entry –
I dreamed a dream …

I must be missing choir as I had a dream about it last night. It was in an odd venue where the toilet had only pull-down blinds instead of a door, but that’s another story. Michael disappeared halfway through and there was no warm up, just Ed starting to sing a song and we could join in when we could. One woman sang the last line with him and we clapped. A few women had babies with them, and asked me if I was going swimming.

After the song, people got out musical instruments and I was miffed that I hadn’t known, as I would have brought my mandolin. A rather dishy male member of choir who was also in postman’s uniform played a balalaika, and had helped me to get into choir by pulling me in through the window!

Enough of my tortured mind, roll on September 24th! Mind you I did meet three other choir members last weekend, plus Robert, huge fan of Dorset for Singing and potential new member. Our Daphne and Robert asked me to sing a solo at Radipole United Reform Church last Sunday evening and I ended up singing two. It’s my lucky number. Sue and Jackie sang a duet together and Daphne accompanied me. The first verse of ‘Lead kindly light’ I did A Cappella. Scary!

Robert came to the last too concerts choir held, and thought this last one was the best, with a great atmosphere and very uplifting songs. He was very impressed, and it was lovely to get some feedback from a member of the audience and a singer himself. Daphne and I may yet pressgang him into choir yet, perhaps in the New Year, Robert hinted!

It’s super to see the forum being used for chat and ideas, well done ‘Dorset for Singing’, and thanks for the comments on the blog. Missing you xxx

11 july 2009

Summer Concert and BBQ – Hot Dog!

Well, our first year together as Dorset For Singing has ended, and didn’t we go out with a bang? We were bigger, better, brighter and blue-er than ever before, although of course I’d need to see footage of the first concert to confirm this! Perhaps soon, even if it means you all come over to my house!

The new seating, and food and drink flowing certainly seemed to create a lovely relaxed atmosphere, especially for soloists, and my fears of singing to empty chairs and empty tables as hungry audience members clustered round smoking coals were unfounded. Only a few issues with words on the screen this time, both of mine songs, and the words for starlight, which we haven’t been singing very long. Luckily, I am a true professional and kept singing!

Unfortunately I have now been unmasked to the general public live on stage, and can expect more stalkers to go along with ‘blog reader’. Thank you to those members that put me up to give Ed a vote of thanks, as it was a good idea.

I can’t believe that we won’t meet again until September; I am going to have to treat you to a few extra curricula blogs perhaps? But perhaps we can all also meet for a social, like some karaoke or watching that DVD …

A great ending to last night’s concert too, with an encore, not bad! And as we had relaxed and had a giggle, we really put some welly into it and really enjoyed it. Now then, remember I still love you, and have a great summer XXX

9 july 2009

Term Three

Week 11 – much ado about something …

Eeh, isn’t it exciting to get onto the stage again? Im thinking fondly of cooking under the lights again last night, while listening to Ed on repeat singing his ‘Song of the Sea’ – I just need to get the middle-eight fixed in my head and I’ll feel much happier. Got to do our happy choirmaster proud!

And talking of those hot lights, I couldn’t cool my cheeks down for ages when I got home. No not those cheeks, please. It is a tad uncomfortable, but remember what a great opportunity it is to be up there, wowing the folks of Weymouth ands beyond, smiling our toothpaste smiles! You will have to forgive this blog entry, for the approach of concert/solos/sausages is getting me all nervous and excited, and I’ve been at the red liquorish too, so big apologies for that.

No Michael last night but we managed didn’t we, dear choir? We had good news from Ed, he will be much more relaxed and professional next term, now he is head of music at Wey Valley School. We can expect fewer projectiles on rehearsal nights and more praise and cuddles (the bit where he ‘comes among us’). Well-done Ed. Ed the head. Just don’t forget to segway, Ed.

Now, don’t for get your orange tops … HeeHee … I am off to repeat-listen to ‘Starlight’ now. I will blog you after the concert, and ask you for any ideas of what to do all summer.

2 july 2009

Term Three

Week 10 – The colour is turquoise…

So says our Yvonne, and she leaned on me, so I would blog it so there you are! And before you go all dum-dum-diddley on me and say you don’t have any turquoise tops or frocks, there’s no harm in throwing yellow, blue and shades of into the mix, and imagine how amazing a smattering of cerise would look! And I should know, as I am a proper artist now. I will be showing some work along with ‘Artwey’ at pilgrim house for spirit of the sea, so do pop along, before or after the concert, either will do. Check out Dorset for singing on the Spirit of the sea website, and Artwey is listed next to us. Just another incentive to wear turquoise, and look all marine-like.

Sorry about that one big paragraph, but it was all deliciously linked. Thank you to those that said they enjoyed last week’s blog, see how good it is when Michael doesn’t edit any of my jokes out? I can’t work out why it was particularly enjoyed, perhaps it was the baby element, and everyone likes good news!

The big thing that stands out for me from this weeks practice, apart from Ed of course, was that our songs should sound different, and be sung in different ways. Pop songs poppy, and choir songs … well didn’t we have fun with Jerusalem? As a child I sat too close to the TV watching Songs of Praise with my sister, and we tried to put out fingers in the mouths of those people singing with them very wide open. Jerusalem should be sung on Saturday with these very same open mouths and the feeling that you are taking the Mickey out of [insert classically trained singer here].

And remember, if there are any very hard bits, funny harmonies etc, then just miss them out, and smile like you meant it. Im waffling a bit now, as I’m just getting nervous, as our concert looms. See you next week, when we ‘get in’, at 6.30 before Ed rushes off to some teachers booze-up. I love you all xxx

25 june 2009

Term Three

Week 9 – not panicking at all, now …

But we only have two weeks until our song-filled concert on the 11th July, when we will need to be able to sing sixteen choir songs perfectly. Tonight we looked at some remaining songs from our play list, and voted on those. It’s amazing what passion the choir can express when asked for their opinion. Try using this to give more oomph to ‘lean on me’ and Ed will be happy.

Choir got a little distracted by some exciting news, when Michael and Catherine shared the scan picture of their baby due in December. It looks like Michael got his teeth into more than just a new job this year, and im sorry to say that this section has been edited and isn’t the cats words! Michael had to employ his laptop today, as the school computers were down. Hooray for laptops and their funny keyboards! Some rapid typing was done to change things on the screen and stop poor old Ed from getting confused while playing.

It says ‘kiss me – Catherine’ in one of Michael’s folders … not as scandalous as first appears, if you remember it was my shy solo at our very first concert, the video of which we have not yet seen, before I became blogger. I fancy doing that one again. Ed hinted at solos again for this concert, but there will be more choir songs of course, to keep the punters happy.

Look out for a version of Ed’s new choir song on line, ‘song of the sea’, so you can practice. It was a nice easy one to pick up, and we enjoyed singing it. Please bring blue chiffon, seagulls on strings and ice creams to next weeks choir practice to get us all in the mood. Have a good week, and keep singing, this is Cat, at the keyboard, before breakfast…XXX

20 june 2009

Term Three

Preston Garden Party – doing it all al fresco!

Well done Dorset for Singing, not only can we charm garden party attendees away from the chutney stall, but balance almost our entire selves on a miniature stage and not fall off halfway through. Thanks to everyone who came to sing that day, and found the venue as well, I was certainly glad of the map.

We sang out hearts out and did our best to be heard, and I was interested to hear that Ed’s organ wasn’t heard very well at all, perhaps a little better towards the end. It isn’t easy to clap with printed-words in our sticky hands, and every time I tried to not have words I would sing ‘in’ instead of ‘on’ and other silly things like that, so sorry for looking silly while trying to be clever! It wasn’t very easy to move and I could see Yvonne hanging on for dear life during the swaying of Happy Day.

Did you see my small fuzzy children sitting at the front with their dad? And our choir member Stephanie currently on sabbatical to work on ‘Rock’ this year came to support us too. I’m hoping her pictures turn out nice and that she emails some to me soon. Thanks Stephanie!

And I would just like to add that not ever, never am I ever referred to as Pussy-Cat. Ever. Now keep singing, for the main event, July 11th!

18 june 2009

Term Three

Week 8 – we all stand together … in turquoise?

This week I learned how to spell turquoise, as the naughty corner, and a few others turned up looking lovely, in shades therein. This is their bid to take over choir and transform us all into a unified sea of gentle blue-green shades. Rather apt for spirit of the sea, and looks a lot like our summer concert poster. Well why not? I have a slightly darker top that would fit the bill, so I will try and have it washed for Saturday.

We sounded really good. Well done Dorset for Singing, just do it like that on Saturday. Im trying very hard to learn lots of the words so I don’t have to hang on to my words because it might put me off lifting my cheekbones and looking and sounding bright! And thinking of something to put in the blog of course.

There will be some changes in choir practice next term. Ed will provide printed words that we can make our own notes on, and also have some backing tracks set up so that he can – come among us! If you are singing it right you will be bear-hugged, and if you sing it wrong … well lets just wait and see shall we? I hope he doesn’t do like my old singing tutor and hold your belly to make sure you are ‘connecting’. Don’t worry though; Michael will still be at the front, putting the wrong words on the screen to keep you on the ball!

Michael has also added a map to our website of the garden party, and showed me the secret pack passages so we can park and avoid the main road. I will be bringing my three youngest fuzzies on Saturday and they will throw their banana skins if we don’t do very well! See you there …. xxx

11 june 2009

Term Three

Week 7 – keeping the river run!

Choir certainly involves a lot of singing these days, which is odd when you think we that meet to sing every week … and despite the grumpy mutterings that came to my ears, of a late start, and too much ‘wittering’ we covered quite a lot of the garden party songs and worked really hard.

I am not getting the blog to Michael for uploading on Friday mornings anymore, but im doing my best, juggling the activities of my three youngest children and being a diva star while doing the veggies. And I like to put in lots of hints and tips after each choir session, and have no wish to repeat myself, but it seems like Ed does bring up similar points when he is being sensible and giving constructive criticism. So I’d quite like you to re-read all the other blog entries, and if you still want me to keep blogging, drop me a line!

I don’t make notes for the blog, because I like to make extremely funny comments in between other choir happenings, and if I bent my head to write I might miss one of Ed’s saucy winks, etc! But we worked hard on many songs this week and I am ashamed to say I can’t remember which one we were told was sounding Great, especially as He doesn’t give out complements as a rule and almost had a funny turn! But I personally think ‘something inside so strong’ sounds like it’s got … much better. And yes I edited that myself before Michael got his hands on it!

One more practice until the Preston garden party, so please keep singing the songs at home as well, and remember parking at Carol’s will be £10, so just get the bus and give her your raffle prizes instead, and I’ll see you next week. xxx

4 june 2009

Term Three

Week 6 – What are we gonna do?

This week I came to choir armed with pen and paper. I collected a few names at the end of choir spouses, partners or others willing to help with food and drink and so on for our BBQ and concert on the 11th July. If you need to find out whether you know anyone who can help, please do so and give me their names next week, for passing to jenny. Otherwise please do post something on the forum.

Only two more weeks of singing before our Preston garden party concert, details on this website of course, and a full list of all the sings for you to sing while rubbing those new potatoes.

What fun we had with our new warm up this week – an opportunity to noodle your way vocally through two chords. Ed came up with some aahhing and I did some oohing and there were a few other sounds happening… you need to be brave for this one and risk a few bum notes! Then after some Mr Bean impressions we tried to hit a few high notes. Mr Bean was delighted with the sock balanced on a guitar mounted high on the wall. Perhaps it will still be there next week.

We did do some singing, and tackled seven of our eight songs for the 20th June, and after I pointed out that choir missed out a line in ‘pipes of piece’ was given it as a solo, for my cheek! I hope you can still hear me when the choir is singing full force!

We ended with Jerusalem, good choice as we can really sing this one; remember thought the art of shifting gears, and sing softly when it comes to Holy lambs. Remember the Big Swell at the end and don’t peek too early, and another big thank you to Catherine who was manning our PowerPoints, with Michael off to yet another wedding! Keep Singing!

21 may 2009

Term Three

Week 5 – ‘larve’ you really …

Choir does feel like hard work these days, with a bumper warm up from 6.45. Ed mentioned the Preston Rectory Garden Party and suggested we sing at noon, not too near the start, nor at the end of the day when everyone’s gone home. We can eat our packed lunches after our half hour slot.

Carol, Michaels mum, is going to collate raffle prizes for out summer concert, so get those tins of sprouts to her please. Prizes will be grouped in attractive ‘hampers’, which will also make the raffle easier to draw and the end.

Two new songs tonight, The Rhythm of Life, and Sit Down You’re Rocking The Boat, meant we had to concentrate very hard. Most of the choir were too young to know the second song of course! Ed never has the same music or words on his Clavinova that we have on the white board – when we gave a theatrical laugh where the words say (laughter) he stopped playing and berated us for our sarcasm. The (gasps!) were particularly enjoyed too!

Because we worked so hard on the new songs we had time at the end for a treat, and it wasn’t chocolate at the naughty corner had already finished it off, it was really revision of our favourite songs, by request.

Our pronunciation was corrected singing The Rose, as our ‘love’ sounded muddy and slurry, and that’s no way for love to be. So don’t sing ‘luuuuuuv’ but ‘laaaarve’, and it sounds a lot better. Yes, even to me with my lovely northern flat vowels. It did make me realise how easy it is to reinforce bad habits in choir, as we also sang our favourite wrong-note in rule the world, too. Its hard to sing against the majority, and easier to go with the flow. This half term, while working on your DIY projects why not listen to some of our songs, and do a lot of practicing. Sing a little everyday, and if you are good I might pop in and blog for you next week, too. Have a good half term holiday! xxx

14 may 2009

Term three
Week 4 – woofers and tweeters …

What a night! We had a really good warm up from about 6.45 to just before 7pm with hardly any talking from Ed, and then spent an hour singing seven of our songs. Of course all singing and no talking makes for a very dull blog indeed, mind you listing all the songs would fill a nice paragraph in my quest for 200-400 or so words!

Ed talked about harmonies, as it’s a little difficult to teach them in the context of a full choir, and without music. He hinted that there will be some backing tracks on the website soon, and would cover the different parts. I would like this as I need a lot of repetition to learn something and often abandon a harmony part even though I would quite like to sing it, because after only 2 or 3 listens the whole choir joins in too and one cannot hear the part so well, and it disappears. Does that happen for you too? Ed wondered if those interested could meet separately and work on harmonies, but as to where or when, he had no idea. I have offered use of my new Wendy House in the garden. It would make the choir a bit ‘us and them’ I suppose…

Those embroidered polo shirts were mentioned briefly; if you are desperate for some, please use the email here or forum to give some feedback. The prices were £8.50 for t-shirts and £11.50 for polo shirts and sizes 8-24, but would it look silly if only some of the choir wanted a uniform? Would a banner to stand behind or under look better?

Jokes from Ed were either rare, or unbloggable, but I fancy taking some photos of his facial expressions for use in the event of a quiet blog in future. Michael had to stay alert to remember just what and how much of ‘something inside so strong’ to remove, and click on the correct window for our many songs tonight. Even though we rattled through seven songs and finished on time, the naughty corner and the WI, were shouting for ‘Jerusalem’, and had to be told no. Have a good weekend, and keep singing! xxx

12 may 2009 - also Cat's Birthday !

The pub-party
Session 1, 12th May

In a bid for democracy and something Ed referred to as ‘social knitting’, the new pub-party met in The Spa for the first time, and plan to try and do this at least once per term. All choir members are welcome, but the jokes might be a bit ruder than Thursday nights. Jenny looked at me sternly, and told me to write a blog post for this night too! Ed said he didn’t want to be a dictator.

We talked a bit about a slot for performing at The Rectory garden party, Preston, and provisionally pencilled in 12 noon for that. We need to agree on our dress for that event, and are aware that there is a loose 50’s theme for the event. Rolling entertainment runs from 11am till 3pm of half hour slots not yet allocated. We will bag one for choir and one for Ed himself. Who is going to roll Ed?

The most time was taken up discussing our concert on the 11th July. We decided on tickets at £2.50 for adults again, and £1 for children over 5 years, and will sell BBQ food and drinks at a very reasonable price. The event will begin at 6pm and our raffle will be drawn at 8.40, with bundled prizes instead of lots of individual drawings. Carole Anders will take charge of gathering lots of goodies. We need some good, headed paper in order to go begging for donations. I will approach Wessex FM much earlier and use my super powers to get us some mentions.

I fed back to the group about my recent trip to Stylish Stitches, with samples, ideas and pricing, but we do need the input of the whole choir, so will mention this to them, but now we have a cost im mind, and may well be able to subsidise uniform. Jenny thanked me for enquiring about embroidered thongs.

We are still looking for a big fancy venue to sing, to publicise ourselves, and the special song ‘starlight’. Pretty Sherbourne Abbey is out, so we are looking at alternatives like Wimbourne and Christchurch. I bet we end up at Christchurch. I promised to tell May why that bothers me, perhaps at the next social knitting?

Everyone seems happy with our new 6.45 start, and we would all quite like some faster songs too, if only to watch the Naughty Corner get all out of puff again! They should really make good use of their pelvic floors and bellies.. For singing power, I mean!

The issue of charity to support will be brought up in September, perhaps voting on a new charity for next academic year, and could include more publicity if we do.

AOB consisted of the best rendition of Happy Birthday I have ever heard, nothing like a party with a bunch of luvvies! And we finished up at 9pm, as you can see we did a lot of talking! Thanks for my card, and the first beer I had in about two years … you know who you are XXX

7 may 2009

Term 3 week 3
Top Secret – watch this space! What is ‘Dorset for singing’ planning?

Not much time for warm ups this week, we had several notices and news of a fun mission, I think I went to a WI meeting again this week, by mistake. Ed is making the birthday posies for next month…

We started to lean a very new song this week, it was written by our own Ed and S Fretwell, and inspired by our chosen charity, ‘starlight’ and S even came along to listen to us singing it, I hope he comes to our concert when we will have practiced it long and hard and we can do it justice. Its on you tube in a different key if you would like to learn it by listening to it lots.

Next we revised some songs for our Christmas concert, Carly Simons big shoulder pads number, let the river run, and oh happy day! The Carly Simon number had the naughty corner out of breath, well it left them speechless and we know that doesn’t happen very often.

Back to admin again, there is a meeting planned for Tuesday 12th may, in the spa pub, to sort out things like branded clothing, the time of the next concert, and kebabs. If you want to come and join in the discussions please do, and remember it’s my birthday that evening. Cough. If you can’t come and want to raise any points please use the forum just like blog reader does. I may take minutes this time instead of blogging notes!

Next Thursday, in an attempt to maximise time spent singing, warm ups will start at 6.45pm and songs at 7pm, as its difficult to get to choir any sooner, or for me to stay awake if we stay longer.

Have a good week!

30 april 2009

Term 3 week 2
Cake – no cake was mentioned this week

We did lots of lovely warm ups this week, enabling us to really belt out a couple of new songs, and an old one, Abba’s SOS. It was nice to try a new warm up too.

We tackled SOS first, ed said it went a bit flat at the first concert, not enough emotion, so if we try to think along the lines of being jilted, love rats, and divorce papers along with a few pleas for reconciliation we should be able to get some emotion in there. But no eyebrows please, frowning just makes us look like the Muppets. Well, it does Ed anyway.

One of our new songs it a fantastic eighties number, keeping the dream alive, I expect its one that is very dear to Blog Reader, and it has lovely choir potential as there are many parts to be sung. We will probably need an Uber-Naughty Corner as well as the regular one, and some spare men would be nice to cover all those high and low parts.

Finally there’s news of our new fund raising ‘fun’, calendar (choir folders optional of course), and photos emailed to Ed please. Either that or we just sing Jerusalem very proudly - like a proper choir, with nice big mouths and cheekbones as usual! And as far as other fund raising goes, we will need some raffle prizes for our next concert, instead of a retiring collection to see if we can better our other two performances, so if you are or know of a friendly business willing to donate please let Ed or Michael know, and sorry for not putting that in last week.

Thanks for reading, Cat xxx

23 april 2009

Term three
Week 1 – Ay-way to a good start!
Weight loss – Edward has been eating birthday cake. Source – Edwards mother. Enough said there, I think …

Another term, and another couple of new songs, a few new faces and some very old ones, and choir is in full swing! Or sing …

We had some admin to do this week, voting off songs from our first two concerts so that we can have a mix of old and new songs, and a barbeque, at our summer concert. It is provisionally booked for the 11th of July, to accommodate the naughty corner, as usual. We managed to vote off some songs really easily, and then Shine was removed, much to Michael’s chagrin.

The numbers of solos in our other concerts will be missing, as we perform more choir material together, but there may be things like first verses sung by soloists for example.

Our new songs this week seemed to fit very well with us, and in the original keys too! Which should please the large number of blokes we have in the choir. The naughty corner got stuck straight into the harmony part for ‘something in side so strong’ and were a bit miffed that Ed didn’t notice. He was too busy trying to sing with his eyebrows I think. We must all try to sing aggressively but without frowning, eyes brows and cheek bones up, think ‘I’m surprised I’m angry’, and that should do it!

For choir homework we should listen to the ‘you tube’ video of this song, and learn some of the South African pronunciations, so that we won’t make it sound too British. I have just looked at the ‘pipes of peace’ video again, and we could chose whether to be British or German I think …moustaches optional.

Welcome back, from Cat, the phantom blogger.

2 april 2009

Table for 40 – our dinner at Enzo’s!

I arrived at the restaurant just before 7.15 and was pleased to find a good handful of choir members had already arrived, and sat down near some people I didn’t know. I think I knew them pretty well by the end of the evening!

Ed had given his apologies, he had another engagement, and probably a good thing too as it would ruin his diet that he has been so carefully adhering to. Jan pointed out how much cheese we were eating!

After getting some drinks, and everyone seemed to have arrived, Michael handed out a quiz, 25 real names of singers. This was great fun, getting people arguing and trying to tap Michael for clues. The naughty corner pooled their efforts, and Michaels Mum won the chocolate egg (suspiciously), and then gave it to Michael! But we gave him a round of applause for organising such a lovely evening and at fairly short notice too.

The food was delicious, with lots of choice from a ‘specials’ menu and we munched our way through three courses in between asking each other the answers to the quiz. May was given the biggest tiramisu I have ever seen; I wish we could have photographed it! We told May to leave at once; she had obviously ‘pulled’ one of the nice Italian waiters!

We didn’t sing much, just a few short rounds of dum-dum-diddley, and some songs from Carol and May, and it was nice to but more names to faces that we see every week at choir. I do hope we can all meet up again, perhaps one day even what the video of our first concert, and see how much we have grown. Thanks also to Enzo’s for being flexible and giving us a great dinner.

Have a happy Easter everyone, from Cat, the Blogger xxx

sunday 29 march 2009

The best of Dorset – treading the boards!

Today, most of the choir met outside the stage door at the pavilion theatre, for our 20 minutes of wider fame! We had a quick run through of ‘joyful, Joyful’ as we had to find the 8 voices for the solo lines, and replace Hannah with Jenny and Becky!

We couldn’t clap, or step and click, as we were holding big black folders of hastily photocopied words, and would have clouted each other with them! Generously, members of WOW in the front row clapped for us.

I found the folders a bit heavy and had to swap arms halfway through, although this could have just been the nervous tension in my shoulders! I also tried very hard to look up and sing out, glancing at the words to keep me from (mostly) singing the wrong ones, but I kept losing my place on the page and so used my finger to follow the lines. This helped Ed who got lost at one point but could see my little finger sliding down the page and all was saved again by the phantom blogger!

Folk trickled in as we were performing, those that could tear themselves away from the 12o’clock canon. We later heard that many thought it was fantastic.

After our stint on stage we got lost in the big black curtains known as ‘the wings’ before heading upstairs for a drink. There was much talk and a few chips, before Ed went downed a pint of cider, but whether this was Dutch courage for his slot, or commiseration for our performance, we will have to guess.

The naughty corner asked Michael and Ed about official Dorset for Singing clothing, encompassing for example hoodies, polo shirts and thongs embroidered with our logo. I asked them a bit more about it when I found them outside standing in the road, talking about using three or four colours for the clothes so we could still look colourful. A man approached us and said our singing was good and I grabbed him and demanded to know if he was Blog Reader, but he wasn’t, so I let him go!

We are all going out for dinner next week. Have a great Easter, if I don’t see you there!

26 march 2009

term 2, Week 10 – el concerto!
Weight loss – No comment. Seriously. See my solicitor and don’t mention it on the blog.

Weymouth’s community choir does exactly what is says on the tin. The choir gives its members the opportunity to perform, and if any want to, to stand up there and sing alone. And last night again we brought good people of Weymouth and further afield together for an evening of song, and as more than one person said to me afterwards, there was something for everyone.

When I joined Dorset for Singing I had no idea it would take me to centre stage for a couple of solos, but what a great opportunity that is, all ears upon you, bright lights and your own pianist, nerves and wobbly notes, and all! J is too young to join choir yet but performed with backing vocals from Ed, and I am glad he did it despite his nerves and hope he joins us when he can.

Choir was a bit thinned out due to illness, some gave apologies and some turned up anyway with croaky voices and gungy sinuses, myself included! More then one of us had been steaming our lungs before coming. Ed advised the addition of a lemon to the water, but all I had were some bananas. Apparently, Maria Callas used to eat tomatoes before singing, so I will try that for the summer concert and BBQ. A tomato at a BBQ sounds ok, doesn’t it?

Of course we also worked together to raise money for the starlight foundation, and they always send some real stories for Michael to share with us, and despite having a smaller audience than last December we still raised over £600. Go Dorset for Singing!

So there’s my review of the concert, and if you are reading this in the Echo under the name Ed Hintze then it means I’ve been copied and pasted! Never mind, I’m always edited as well, this being a family blog. And that’s all for now because I will drop you a line after Sundays performance too. And buy you an Easter egg too, if you like.

19 march 2009

term 2, Week 9 – come on, move your feet, everybody, to the right, click to the left!
Weight loss – 11.5lb

We ‘got in’, to the hall, and assembled on stage … this time in chairs. None of that waiting to get on stage again, and off again like the last concert. Instead, soloists will have to tread on the toes of the front row, and the front row will have to try not to fall off the edge when they try to dance like Becky, in buttercup. Or was it in joyful, joyful?

I think joyful, joyful will have some clapping, off beat only please, and buttercup will have some step and click, opposite legs and fingers, so we don’t end up doing the ‘dad-dance’. Ed is very god at the dad-dance!

We had to run through all songs and practice standing up and sitting down. Two ‘Catherines’ will be used for this purpose, of having the job of watching for Ed’s signal to stand. When only one Catherine was employed, the choir did a wonderful Mexican wave, but that’s not quite the effect we are after!
The second Catherine is me. I really hope I don’t forget to watch Ed, and then make us all look silly.

What a giggle we had when we realised that the wrong words for two of our songs were on the memory stick. We did quite well despite this, but it just goes to show, we need to learn our songs. This point was hammered home when both Michael and Ed grabbed radio mics to give us some critique. I wont repeat what they said here, as this is a family blog. We did decide though that
California dreaming, circle of life, and shine, will not be sung at the Best of Dorset.

Eventually, everyone apart from the ‘boys’ singing shine, and some soloists, shuffled off home. After singing shine with the lads, and running through a solo song, I too went home and was so tired I nearly forgot to drop Daphne off!

12 march 2009

term 2, Week 8 – bounce your buttercups!
Weight loss – Ed confirmed that 6lb is gone! Or was it £6 he lost?

This week I met Ed at the piano before the start of choir, to audition some options for a solo. I’m just not sure which Elton John song to do…

Eh? We rattled through our warm up this week, and complemented Ed in his weight loss. With mountains of music on the piano, we attempted a run through of all our songs for our main concert. Some of them sounded really good, and some of them had a few tiny holes in them!

We managed to sing ‘circle of life’ quite well in the wrong key, and talking of keys, most of the songs we sing in choir are in ‘women’s’ keys, with the exception of ‘shine’ which we are leaving in the original key. At the concert, our few men, and those women who wish to sing it too, will sing it. Not those grumpy women that said it was in a difficult key! This one isn’t for girlies!

‘Build me up buttercup’ needs to be a bit livelier, although it sounded ok, so please add more bounce to your buttercup, next time!

Last weeks post-choir auditions filled up most of the slots for joyful, joyful, and we filled the rest up. I’ve got one. We also heard the lovely solo in ‘the lord is my shepherd,’ and gave a round of applause!

Next week – we GET IN! the naughty corner liked this news and nodded. For the rest of us it means we will practice in the hall, and hopefully this year we will get on and off stage much faster. Ed has hired an inflatable slide like they have on aeroplanes. Take your stilettos off, and carry them on the slide please.

I can confirm that we will have our projected words at the concert, and songbooks for ‘the best of Dorset’ event. Phew! Have a great week songsters, and be sure to listen lots on you-tube, to those songs which still go up, where they should go down!

5 march 2009

Week 7 – when I nod my head –hit it!

Weight loss – unconfirmed - probably 0lb

Ed was cold. Very, very cold. So he wore Daphne’s hat, and soon he was toasty and feisty again! He switched the screen off in search of a buzzing noise and we had to wait for it to warm up again. The whole choir was filled with horror at the thought of practice without words.

Michael had brought some lovely shiny posters to advertise our next concert. A member brought her clarinet, and others brought words and suggestions for solos, and sang around the clavinova. I nearly brought a giant mouse head just for fun, but I didn’t.

We worked on the two songs from last week, joyful, joyful and the lords my shepherd, and we had forgotten most of the harmonies. Joyful, joyful is sung so fast it is beginning to sound like soup. That must have warmed Ed’s cockles…do remember that only Ed, who is conducting with it, is allowed to nod his head. We are not donkeys, even though we have to sing EEEE-AAAWWWW, each week!

The new song, California Dreaming, is well known to most of us, although there was squawking and clucking about the different words, mostly from me. Sorry about that. I do have the best of mamas and papas CD that I play a lot in the car… the instrumentals were good, I can see Ed really knows this one.
Michael tried to play us the song on youtube, to end the fighting, but it wouldn’t work. A member suggested this song. If you have any others please add them to the forum on here …or keep them to yourself for singing as a solo!

Some members gathered round the piano again at the end to try for a few solo lines in tonight’s hymns, and most of us went back out into what was left of the snow.

Sorry I f you are still waiting for a nice photo of me, Michael said he would do it as soon as he has finished his next cup of tea…in the meantime he’s getting some sets of words together for those without access to a computer. That wouldn’t be you, would it?

26 feb 2009

term 2, Week 6 – sassy, and good diction!
Ed’s weightloss – 0lb

After being heavily edited lin week 5 (all the best jokes were removed), I just couldn’t bring myself to blog last week. Sorry if you logged in on Friday just to read it. Choir practice was very quiet anyway, and Ed was much less theatrical…
But here we are, and im pleased to say that we all deserved a big kebab after working really hard on ‘joyfull, joyfull’ and the ‘lord is my shepherd’ (dibbly version). Eds warm ups were very food related. The poor man must really be missing his kebabs. ‘Im not sure we should all be singing about eating in the nude, so lets hope he’s got used to the idea of pumpkin seeds by next week.

Its great to have the naughty corner back again, to make the rest of us look like a propper sensible choir. Apparently they are all avid blog readers now, so a special wave just for them. Have you done your lines yet? They really enjoyed shaing their booties during joyfull, joyfull, because we are really beginning to ‘sass it up’, after working on the harmony part and putting the two parts together. It sounded pretty good, Ed was pleased.

Next, we tackled the lord is my shepherd, with propper upright english voices again, remember to try and look like you are on ‘songs of praise’, with big mouths, high cheek bones and good clear diction. We shall all look lovely, not at all like madge the baby sitter from ‘dame edna’. Thanks Ed. We will need some soloists for this song too.

Fancy a solo in the next concert? Just give your name and three choices of song on a piece of paper to ed at the next pratice, and bribes of pumpkin seeds may be included.
The tenor line (and the base line) for this song is lovely, and after only a few run throughs we sounded pretty good, but if you are not coming to choir remember you will miss all the best jokes about tenors as well as all the advice, but do get onto youtube and do your homework. Michael will fix the words so that it says WILL in the first part and SHALL in the comfort zone…Then there shall be no more mutterings in the second row…

12 feb 2009

term 2, Week 5 - give it some emotion!

Choir was lively this week. Rowdy and cheeky in fact. With the naughty corner missing (south pacific) it was a free for all, as nobody else thought they ought to be a good example!

We worked on getting the note change right in the OOOOOOO-ohs, of ‘rule the world’, which as my typing suggests, are right at the end of the ‘oh’s and not halfway through. Listen to you-tube a lot , and also listen to the line that goes ‘youv’e saved my soul’. Everyone (except me) sang it wrong as it has a different melody. Sliding the note down on the word ‘soul’ makes it very soulful. Incidentally, sliding ‘sometimes’ in ‘you raise me up’ is not allowed. Its why I never want to hear congregation sing ‘how great though art’, ever.

Ed gave us a serious talk about putting more emotion into our singing. Just like the late, great freddie mercury, meaning and feeling what you sing, can create contrasts in a song and keep our audiences awake at the end of march. Emotion can come across when a whole choir sings this way, so I hope the naughty corner are reading this blog, for their homework. Who knows what they will be like after two weeks off! Consider the two halves on the second verse in ‘you raise me up’, and if you can’t really feel those pent up emotions, just act like you do. Ed says faking it works for him. Lift your cheeks and your eyes brows and don’t frown.

The key change in ‘you raise me up’ is 1 – very high in places, and 2 - hard to pitch when it follows a gap in the music. Perhaps if we keep singing as badly as our side of the room did, during a fearsome competition, then ed will take it from our play list and give it to a soloist instead.

We didn’t sing ‘build me up’ this week. We were missing our naughty backing singers. And we didn’t touch ‘joyful, joyful’, either. Its going to get a full half-an-hour spent on it after half term, and some soloists will be able to have some fun with the last chorus … or is it a verse?

I’m pleased to report we have at least one more confirmed blog reader this week.Have a great half term, from the phantom blogger!

5 feb 2009

term 2, Week 4 – oh look, a lion!

A quick hard warm up this week, as we were set to rattle through five songs, adding in this weeks new one, ‘the cirle of life’, from the lion king. Ed transalted the talking bit from the start of the song. As if Ed doesn’t have enough to do, really, what with being so famous and dealing with his stalker, and fans on facebook. He confirmed that we will do a 20 minute set for THE BEST OF… which means time for one song, twice and one of Eds jokes. We will not have any words on a screen for this performance! Learn your words!

This week we worked quite hard again on your raise me up. Its got a GAP in it that’s very important, and a very high bit that we need to tackle confidently so it doesn’t disapear, so do your housework to the tune of ‘you raaaay, you raaaay’, this week, that’s a top E if I remember rightly and you want to check with your recorder. And about that GAP – its very simple; there are now some dots in the right place, and the words after the GAP are now on a new line. There’s really no excuses to get it wrong now, and every likehood that Ed with throw the whole clavinova at you if you get it wrong next week. So lets try extra hard, and get it in the right place, too! We are also dropping an extra corous.

Talking of trying hard, the naughty corner stood up during some of their harmony parts, and managed to earn a gold star for efforts. Well done naughty corner.
I would like to point out that this blog isalso very heavily edited between leaving my computer and arriving on our lovely website. I didn’t say half of the things writen here, at all. And if you are wondering who on earth I am, look out for some woffle and a stunning picture under the ‘about us’ section. I trust you have already admired the pictures of our concert in the gallery? All thanks to michael who maintains the site.

Have a good week, from the phantome blogger!

29 jan 2009

term 2, Week 3 – 4 in one night!

Ed told us the real date for THE BEST OF DORSET, its Sunday 29th March, and our next concert will be on Thursday 26th March. Iron your coloured top and your black trousers, when you have finished your parachutes (to the tune of “I Love You!”).
“I love you,” was this weeks new warm up. It was ok untill it got really fast. I think Ed chooses it because he really does think of us very dearly, for example, last week on ‘facebook’ he said, “What an awesome rehearsal! Left me feeling all fizzy and proud of the good people of Dorset For Singing.” Can’t wait to see what he adds this week, especially after the goings on in the naughty corner.

“I am learning how to sing”, was given a new fun twist when Ed added two lines referring to the choir blog – are you reading this as a consequence? I can’t believe some people actually managed to sing it. I laughed so hard I was useless for about 10 minutes…

We sang all the songs we did so far, working more on ‘build me up, buttercup’ adding more to the backing vocals and making sure we did the right OOOO-oooo-OOOO. This one is sounding good too, now.

Some forward placing, and opening of the throat is needed for ‘you raise me up’ which gets very high in places. See Ed for any technical clarification. If you don’t remember to put a gap in it, you too will have to duck all the things that will be thrown at you, so make sure you are on the ball next week. Don’t be like Hannah.

Then we introduced our new song for this week, ‘joyful joyful’, and Hannah and Ed sang though the soloists part at the beginning giving us a run through first. It has some very odd wibbley bits. And an easy bit where you sing “fill uuuuuuuuuuuussssss” quite a lot.

For the concert a soloist will be needed for the first verse, and Ed invited people to come forward and audition at the end. A cluster of youngsters gathered round Ed’s clavinova. I had to go home; some one sitting behind me pointed out that I wasn’t one of the youngsters. I gave Daphne a lift home anyway and that was nice. If you have space in your car, offer your services at the next choir meeting, or on facebook or the website, and we can also be a greener choir too.

22 jan 2009

term 2, Week 2 – Mama Mia !

We were promised a treat at the end of choir this week, and I think we really enjoyed it. More about that at the end of course, just to keep you in suspense if you weren’t there! In the news section, when ed stands at the front and tells us things he remembers at random, we learned that we had been invted to be part of “The Best Of”, which will take place at the pavillion, shortly before our next concert, in march. A bit of confustion about the date, etc – just look out for more information in the events section of our lovely website.

Best warm up today was the Dum-Dum-Diddley-Dum, there was another new one too, but its disapeared from my brain. Why did I volunteer to be blogger? Singing Dum-Dum-Diddley does seem to fit with the ‘pop’ songs we are now tackling.

We dived into the take that number, ‘rule the world’, with gusto, especially as we knew would have to be extra good to get our treat. Ed had forgotten how many couruses we were doing but we soon added those all back in. some ‘lose women’ at the back enjoyed singing it so much that they said it was better than … a cup of tea …
Onto you raise me up. We are singing this one quite high, and have to be very clever and start the key-change courus on our own. We did ok, ed was still pleased and we were still on schedule for our surprise! I have to say thins song confuses me. If I try to sing it without any youtube, I end up halfway through ‘danny boy’ before I have finished singing the verse. Does anyone else do this?

We had a quick run through of ‘build me up, buttercup’, I think this one is going to be good fun too. One of the comments I heared at the concert was that my song upped the tempo a bit and made a nice change. We wont hear that comment next time!
And our treat? Singing MAMA MIA with the propper music, right through! It felt like a workout. We can tick off aerobics then for this week.

15 jan 2009

term 2, Week 1 – your mouth is a cathedral!

Hello and welcome to the new regular choir blog! And also, welcome to choir, old members and new. We did sound good considering our long break since the concert. Some one suggested it’s the carols.

Ed talked about how we might learn songs this term, by revising an older one each week and adding in 1 new song, instead of chucking in new songs a few weeks in a row, then re-capping for a few weeks, meaning we had left some songs unsung quite a while when we came back to them. Our concert was a success and Michael gave us the total money raised for Seb’s odyssey, to cheers! At the concert we also proved that we had a nice young fresh sound, with not to many warblers! (Cough, shuffle).

Ed stressed the importance of practice, preferable a little a day, rather than 2 hours on a Sunday while ironing ones parachutes. I have to admit, I don’t yet wear parachutes but im sure my time will come … work on your head voice, and your chest voice will follow! You really need to come to choir to see Ed demo that difference! This is the way to get a strong head sound, and a firmer chest … or something like that. We get plenty of exercises and tips at the start of choir, you just need to sing ‘if you’re happy and you know it’ every day like me, and you’ll be fine!

So we moved to our warm ups and started with some humming. This is when we found out that we were cathedrals, our bucal cavities merely vast caverns to reverberate rich sounds! And our lips must tingle as we try to make a good strong loud hum. Did yours? Sorry about showing of with my long hum. Good job Ed made me laugh as I would have kept going!

Ed also talked about shifting gears; now please don’t look up ‘the art of shifting gears’ on ‘youtube’ because he doesn’t mean that at all. Just start singing in first gear, and save your bigger sound for the bigger sound bits, ie a later, juicier, chorus! This technique was def needed for our first song.

We tackled the take that number, ‘rule the world’. Ed said it might be a bit low for most of us, but it didn’t seem to be. Added in a nice harmony, and a really lovely overlap, and we were cooking on gas! We over ran on this one, I think Ed gets very excited. We stood up to perform but there were many protests of ‘we can’t see’, so we cat down again.

The second song we ran through briefly was ‘you raise me up’, sung solo at our concert but now it’s the whole choirs turn. Oops, Ed emailed the wrong words to Michael so we sang the verse twice.

Suddenly it was kebab time. See you next week, and perhaps give thought to whether our next concert should be on a Thursday or a Friday evening?

Cat xxx

4 december 2008

week ten - our first concert!

And didn't we do well after such a short time together? There were 8 choir songs and several solos, in fact quite a lot of solos including a couple from ed too. We had found a charity to support, 'starlight', getting behind local lad Seb Green whose coastal wide walk was drawing to a close.

Having a termly concert is a good way to provide regular focus and a goal and supporting a charity makes up feel good, as well as encouraging people to come and see us..

Cat offered to ‘do the blogging’ for the website, and the offer was accepted, so the next entry is Cats first official blog. Mind you, it may differ a little from the one you remember, as Michael did like to do a bit of editing…

6 october 2008

Term one, Week 4 … UH-OH!

Cat joined Dorset for singing – she had to, after listening to Ruth harping on about how good it was for a whole week!

Cat noticed the BLOG tab on the official choir web site, and read the one entry. Hmmm, she thought …

25 september 2008


the birth of Dorset for singing ...
and the very first song we sang?