21 May 2015

Mind The Gap, or - The One Without The Screen ....

Also quite possibly The One With The A-Capella-Pack-A-Mack, The One With The Auto cue, The One Where Ed Got All The Attention and most importantly - The One Without His Organ!

Seriously, you couldn't make up the happenings that make up the delight that is Dorset For Singing! Because of the lack of organ our warm up consisted of one stolen from Lemon Otter, and more stamping and clapping than singing! Then in notices, Ed praised his choirs efforts during the Canterbury Adventure, and said what a genuine pleasure the trip had been. 

Using folders, with many sharing, we ran through our current running-order songs which we will perform together three times before we meet again after half term. So don't come next week. There will not even be a dining room without a screen for you. 

We did really well tonight, even sorting out the old TOWN TO TOWN problem, and yes I did say that loudly so that you won't forget. Haha!

Most noticeable was the intersting key change during Lean On Me which happened for some people and not for others. Jack looked up to say, 'That was out,' and everyone agreed! 

As well as a missing organ tonight there was a certain missing eyephone left at home on charge. So this blog has been totally made up, off the top of my head. Keep singing, have a good half term, and come and see me on the Artwey Trail, and Carol too. Love you muchly, keep singing - Cat xxxx

Dorset For Singing - Canterbury Tales

Last year we all turned up at Wey Valley School at the designated time, but no coach and after much waiting around we left for Oxford in a fleet of mini-buses, so it was with great relief that this year the ever-reliable Bluebird coach awaited us. All were on-board when the Hintze clan arrived right on time! So, off we went on-time and with a fridge and loo. I’m still unsure of the driver’s name, either Jack, Mike or George. Anyway he was an amiable fella, who got us out of some challenging  situations with skill and imagination.

We had a very good journey, meeting little traffic and reached our dinner date on time. They clearly thought we’d be late as the carvery wasn’t ready, still this gave us plenty of time to enjoy liquid refreshment, which Jenny, Ed and myself had already done on the coach, utilising the adjacent fridge, but not the loo (fortunately, as I was next to it!). An added bonus was the summer specials drinks menu, which suited some extremely well! Eventually we were all served generous meals, of turkey, beef and gammon and some had puddings as well.

Next we were off to the Whitstable Travelodge, via not the Beatles ‘Magical Mystery Tour’, somehow arriving by our destination on a dual carriageway, before crossing it and having to drive a few miles to the next junction before having a more successful attempt!

After a decent night’s sleep (at least for Rosy and I), I walked the route we should have taken to ensure we’d be able to find our way back after the day’s festivities. We left on time for the short drive to what could have been called the ‘Peter Cushing Museum’, Wetherspoons pub in Whitstable, for breakfast. It was full of pictures and memorabilia. Alas their staffing levels were insufficient and some waited 45 minutes for their food, which was very good. We were to return the following day, so they knew what to expect!

Then we headed off to Canterbury for the day. Some went shopping, while others walked along the river, explored the Cathedral, or had a long lunch in ‘Spoons!

3pm was  the time for the re-union with Lemon and her excellent choir, the Lemon Zingers. Lemon, like Ed, is clearly a very talented musician and the two choirs blended seamlessly. There was about 90 minutes of rehearsal, including getting in and out of rows of seats, followed by a break of about 90 minutes, prior to the concert. Alas the pubs were a little far away, so we mostly lounged about, awaiting the ‘big’ event.

The auditorium, a converted church, soon filled and we were off. The atmosphere was fantastic and the audience played their part in what was a wonderful concert. Each choir did a few songs and then joined for a few more. Each choir applauded their counterparts with much exuberance, which added to the occasion. A grand total of £469.50 was raised for the Samaritans. Afterwards we filed through a back entrance to the Cathedral Courtyard and into the ‘Lodge’ for supper. It was akin to a banqueting suite, all sitting around large round tables and were joined by Lemon and some of her choir. We then enjoyed a healthy meal, with quite expensive drinks, before filing back to the coach.

Rosy and I had just ordered a jug of some delicious cocktail, when Ed arrived to inform us that the coach had arrived early and everyone was less keen to join us, rather than us joining them, so I gulped down my share of the Strawberry Daiquiri and Rosy tried to leave with hers, but some unkind door staff said ‘NO’. We thought we could return our glasses to the Whitstable ‘Spoons!

The journey back to the hotel didn’t take long, but having left the dual carriageway at the right place, the driver inexplicably missed the hotel and drove down a country lane! I shouted (from the back) ‘Wrong Way’, but to no avail as he kept going, so I ran down the coach and advised him to turn around, which he duly did and we found the hotel! Of course, everything looks completely different in the dark.

After the previous day’s breakfast experience, we decided to leave earlier and those lucky enough to enjoy a quick breakfast could enjoy some time browsing some interesting shops, in the charming seaside town of Whitstable. Once again the staff were hopelessly unprepared, apart from reserving some tables and some, again, waited 45 minutes for breakfast. So, no time for browsing, as it was now 10am and we were due at Chartwell (Winston Churchill’s home), for lunch at noon! We arrived at about 11.15 and after establishing how we could utilise membership benefits to save us all money, we had time for some shopping an exploration. Rosy and I found some wonderful rope swing in the trees, one was a his and hers kissing swing, so we thought it would be rude not to.

Lunch was excellent and enjoyed in the private ‘Mulberry Room’. Most had bangers and mash, whilst some had a delicious looking pie. We all enjoyed a delicious rhubarb pudding, which was similar to Creme Brulee.

Next we had tickets to explore the house, prior to boarding the bus for the drive home. We were entertained by a comedian (guess who!) and a sing song. We arrive back at about 18.00 hrs, having enjoyed wonderful weather, great fellowship and great organisation / leadership, looking forward to our next trip.

Grateful thanks to Ed, Jenny and Jack.


15 May 2015

Ed thanked us for the wonderful concert last week. Then started with some breathing, after pointing out some important information for Race for Life. We need to be in position to sing at 10.30 by the lake. Arrival at 10am is recommended as is car sharing. Park in the volunteer sector!

Ed asked for feedback about the concert. Mike asked for monitors for future concerts. Also Ed to find ways to raise himself up for better viewing. Some one had said to me, 'at least you only sang one song' which you could either take as a desire for more variety, or more about my voice. Answers on a postcard please. 

Canterbury singers are to enjoy three hours rehearsal on Saturday, meaning we can leave out singing Reach Out and A Little Help From My friends. So we kicked off with The Street Where you live. 

It sounded a bit flat, a bit low-cheek-bones so Ed sat at the piano and ran is off at twice the speed. That woke us up!
Our volume went through the roof! Like a good syringing apparently. 
And as to curry favour with our audience, Chicken Tikka will no longer be refered to as such. That means looking up the spelling of chiquitita eveytime we sing it and trying to stay one step ahead of Autocorrect. Phew. When we sang it Ed declared it almost perfect, and well done for not looking at the screen at the end when the line repeats anyway...

Our Get Around surprise success next.  Ed thought the clapping might have been an issue. We had to speak out the song to get the timing right, before the town-to-town side singing it again. Then we were taped, as they say in the old days wen the tape was rollin'. 

Can we sleep in the subway please?, said Ed without letting us listen to the recording, and woke up Jack to do the words for another taping! NOTHIN' sould be sung with a nice, short, punchy NOTHING! (More anger. But without punching anyone please!) But the men turned into The Wurzels!

Lean on me, you will need to when you have tears rolling down your face at choir. It sounded nice but Ed stopped us to start us again with more blues/soul/gospel/Wurzels. Tick one. Then we split the room to make sure we have enought leaders... Ssssssses ...
Careful now!

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do right said Ed. We lack confidence a bit. And maybe timing is an issue again!

Finally choir stood to sing Waterloo. 

Really well done DFS, keep singing, love you loads, Cat xxxx 

8 May 2015

At possibly our 5th concert at All Saints Church, Michael took some lovely atmospheric photos and let me share them with you. 

Setting up with Ed, Jenny and Jack was peppered with quotes from my recently released wedding video. That may just get an airing at a choir social in the future!

The lovely people of All Saints church always make us welcome and tonight was no different, with very organised raffling, refreshments and a fine result for our charity The Samaritans. I am sure we will be back next year, given the fine vote of thanks from the Reverend Mr, and the livley joining in during our encore!

This years solos-slot featured a smaller number of choir members along with a set by Ed and Julie who are forming a duet act ready to gig! Nice song from new pairing Mike and Linda and a debut appearance by my dental appliances which didn't make a funny whistling sound once! Phew!

Feedback said that we sounded very good, so it looks as though age is a good thing for DFS. We will be 7 in September, and the blogs 7 in January. Such fun! Some of the songs we sung really challenged us this year and I think the audiences choice for our encore really took us by surprise!

Last year this Friday was the 9th May, not the eighth, and I pointed out the appropirately dated hassock that my other half was using to sit on in the pew. For it was on Friday 9th May last year that he asked me to marry him, and choir said they would sing at our wedding! Happy happy! 

Almost as good as raising a neat £200 for The Samritans, bless em! Well done DFS see you Thursday xxxxx

7 may 2015

The one where jack's updates went live as we gathered to sing. So we can all have words ready for Friday!

Ed handed out words for people whose computers won't talk to their printers. He also had some sweet fliers advertising the garden party were we will perform on 30th may. We are headlining so you might want to pick one up just to frame it afterwoods!

The street where you live Was first with Ed conducting, just as we like him! It sounded rather goo.

Chiquitita and not the curried version this time, so you know that we mean business the night before our concert! Ed said this one sounded lovely! Patch gap!

I get around, said Ed. And we smiled. Rhythm. 

Don't sleep in the subway. Was beautiful but echo line louder please! After a run through Ed slipped behind the piano to ...

Lean on me! Which will have no backing track, just a little backing track! Don't hold onto the 'some' too long. 

Breaking up has a rather funny backing track! Wednesday DFS got to taste it's wonderfulness last night, tonight was our turn! Gentle men don't sing the verses. 

Reach out. Ed tried to point out a missing word but at first couldn't find it. Funny that. It's the word 'most'. Jack quickly rewrote the ending too. That will need to go love before I do my last minute printing tomorrow!! Hah! Or rather, 1 2 3, Hah! Hmmmm said Ed. 

Another run through please said Ed. So we reached out and no, darling! Ed divided the room. Some of those words really don't seem to fit the lines!

Downtown we went next. It's fine even though we haven't touched it for a while. 

Waterloo - The ever hiding one! Really? But the words didn't fit the backing track so jack did a quick edit and everyone with a print out tore the bottom 2 lines off the sheet!

With a little help from my Friends. Er. Nice. The lyrics didn't match. We need the version from last year. Website to be updated again. Thanks Ed and Jack. 

Ed will bring some spares tomorrow!

Ed asked us if we wanted to drop a song. Then gave Waterloo another run through. It was much better. Yay! 

Then on election night, Reach Out was voted out of the line up. Spirits soared. 

San Fransisco and Lean on me to finish.  San Fransisco will make a lovely encore. 
We all stood to sing a final lean on me and Ed said lovely, lovely, lovely and then we went home! Xxxxx

Dorchester 6/05/15

Hello folks in Blog land, is there anybody out there ?

T'was an eerily quiet evening in Dorchland, not many of us turned up. was it the bank holiday, or had everyone been blown to the land of Oz by those very strong winds? If they all return as Munchkins, we know it was the latter. 

Although low in number, the quality of sound was surprisingly lovely, the keen ones were in clearly.

Whilst Jack was fighting with the laptop, (naughty laptop!), Ed chatted about a few things happening this term, but he said we probably won't be working on any new songs for now. We shall be doing some 'fine tuning', and perfecting, no pressure ! 

A phantom voice boomed from the sound system, and everyone laughed nervously. We decided to leave the technology alone and get down to some singing.

First on the list, The Street Where You Live, well, if you are harmoniously inclined, there are some lovely ones on the second verse 'lilac tree ees' and the fourth verse 'stop and stare'.

Chiquitita, harmonies, sounding great, all views and opinions are my own of course!

Get Around getting there.

Dont Sleep In The Subway, great harmonies for the last two choruses, making us sound like a proper grown up choir!

Lean On Me, timing tricky on this one, Some.......times in our lives-----------for.......it wont be long etc etc, love this song though. I must also add, that Ed is adamant that we must not nod our way through this one, but I fear this is a big ask!

Breaking Up is hard to do received the comment, " Oh let just see what happens", then Ed started on about Bach, and sliding 5ths......see how far Dorchester have come! No people, I didn't understand him either.

Reach Out was next on the list, followed by Waterloo.

If you are coming to our Portland extravaganza on Friday, it starts at seven thirty and Ed will be there from just after six. If you get panicked about parking, there is Tesco as a last resort, and it is quite close to the church, they will be only too pleased to help the community, they're desperate since the German invasion.

See you soon ,Carole M x