Sunday, May 24, 2015

Musical Monday - Oh the Joy of Choir

Tonight's practice was just that - an absolute joy for all of us.  We are singing the Sunday service at Knox Church to thank them for our practice space.  We have pulled out some "chestnuts" to sing that we haven't done for some time and are also singing some that we have practised and really enjoy but haven't had the opportunity to sing publicly yet.  Well the result was yummy!!
So what happens in your choir when they sing really well.  Here is what we did.

1.  Let it be - Check out the song on Fun Friday this week.  We are singing that very song.  At rehearsal, we sang it first and it was quite good despite a ragged entry.  The rest of the piece came together really well and the dynamics were especially good.
Instead, of going back right then and fixing the entry, we let the great sound we finished with stand.  We went back to it at the end.  99% was marvellous.  Let it stay and fix the one spot later.

2. Push the envelope a bit - Every piece they sang was really well done.  The one thing we haven't done is to sing a Capella.  We always said that we wanted to.  After singing so well, and having that great feeling of accomplishment, I knew they would be able to tackle a Capella with confidence.  We sang the Parting Blessing (Irish Blessing) with piano and then a Capella.  Kristy played the chord at the end and they were bang in tune.  We built on the great work that they had done through the practice and they extended their comfort zone.  Yes!

3. Leave them wanting more - We did a quick sing through of the medley we are singing for the Embro Fair in September but just that.  We sang through a couple of the pieces for the service as well before doing our Parting Blessing and then we went home.  We all kind of floated out on a feeling of solid accomplishment.  We stayed and chatted a bit and all parted looking forward to Sunday.  If we had tried to do more, I think that great sense of contentment might have been compromised.

I am still grinning.  What a treat!


Friday, May 22, 2015

Fun Friday - Old Men Grooving

This is so much fun.  These guys sure don't look like they have much to contribute but looks can be deceiving.  Their joy creates our enjoyment.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

"We Remember" on Wednesday - Wheel of Musical Impressions with Adam Levine

When people are good at doing impressions, it helps us remember those performers of the past.  Which of these evokes a favourite memory for you?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Musical Monday - How to Promote Your Choir with NO Budget

Image result for clip art fireworksHere in Canada we are celebrating Victoria Day this weekend.  We have lots of fireworks going off as I write just outside my window.  Celebrating happens both Sunday & Monday. Yahoo.  

When we belong to a choir one thing we need to do is celebrate that choir everywhere we go.  Even in a choir with a closed membership, you need singers in the wings and you definitely need people to fill your audience when you sing.  So how do we celebrate our choirs and keep the message before people that we would love to have them join us either as audience or members?  I have some ideas that we have used with our choir and I bet you have some that you use too.  We would love you to share them with us.

1. Do good - Offer to sing for a fund raiser.  Whatever is happening in the world or in your community, there are many opportunities for fund raising.  We have sung for the Tsunami relief, Relay for Life for the Canadian Cancer Society, the Red Cross and others.  We got dates for concerts from two and garnered new members from others.  Our goal is to provide song, service and fun with our music.  While doing just that, we can promote our choir and tell others that we are available to sing as well as looking for new members.

2. Free print & radio advertising - Every community has a free paper or two that invite you to advertise.  Our local radio station also invites community groups with no budget for advertising to get their activities promoted on the air.  In a large choir, you may need one or two people who's job it is to find these opportunities and write up the articles.  Keep eyes and ears open for these opportunities and stay in the forefront of your community.

3. Business cards - In this day of easy desktop printing, it is simple to have business cards with your logo and contact information readily available to all.  The more they are passed along, the better you will be known.  Make certain to put on them whether you have ticketed events and the approximate dates and cost.  If you are available to be booked for events have that on the back for sure.  Having your name and contact information in as many hands as possible can never go wrong.

4. Posters - When you are singing for an event or serving snacks at the theatre or at the fire hall for Canada Day, have posters up that reflect what you have on your business cards.  I know that social media is very important and we talked about that some time ago, but nothing beats the immediacy of big letters saying what you need people to know.  If appropriate, a short recording of some of your songs would be helpful. We have posters made up that go up as needed.

No matter what you need to always be promoting your choir.  Talk to people, hand out your business cards as you talk and be excited to share the information.  Whether you sell tickets or provide concerts for donations or for free, you need people to know about you.  Be the very best salesperson ever and tell everyone.  Share your passion.  You never know, it may be the difference maker for a full house and/or choir.  Above all else, have fun!!


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"We Remember" on Wednesday - Nat King Cole sings "When I Fall in Love"

Nat King Cole had such a wonderful, relaxed style.  Nothing seemed beyond his ability to sing.  Listen to the intervals here.  Clean and smooth.  Yummy. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

We Came - We Sang - We Sweated!!

The people at Oxford Manor were very fine hosts on Friday night.  We really enjoyed singing in the beautiful parlour of the old home which is still in its original form.  The lovely high ceilings were a real blessing as the extraordinary heat.  Remember when we were complaining about the -30 temps that seemed like yesterday?  Well now it is +30 degrees Celsius.


No matter, we had a great evening.  The audience was very enthusiastic and loved all the songs. We were very proud to present the 2 arrangements by our friend, Karen Boyce.  Our first performance went really well and we couldn't be more thankful.