Today at Choir we were in Serious Practice Mode. Our next concert is just five days away and this morning we saw the programme our venerable conductor has drawn up for us for the very first time.
There are a couple of songs I am not sure I know – Coconut Calypso is just one example. The trouble is, Mr B and I missed several choir sessions earlier this year and we are still playing catch-up.
I know “I’ve got a luverly bunch of coconuts” but I don’t think that’s what we will be singing. I guess we shall simply have to la-la-la along to the music, Mr B and I.
I get a little more concerned about the la-la-la-ing when our Choir Convenor, Myra, does a tally-up to see how many of us will be taking part in next week’s concert. Eighteen, that’s all. And, let’s face
it if two of us are la-la-la-ing, instead of singing the words to a recognisable tune, it may be noticed. I shan’t mention this to Mr B because I don’t want to worry him.
We start off with “I Like to be in America”, that rousingly raucous, edgy song from West Side Story. When our grandkids sing this song with their musical theatre group, the girls execute an amazing dance,
with much flourishing of skirts and clicking of heels. I can’t quite see our Choir, for all our willingness, performing quite so spectacularly. Nevertheless our conductor, The Redoubtable Muriel, takes us through our uncertain paces, rapping out
the unusual rhythm until we have (more or less) mastered it. We sing it, she points out, “Tempo di Huapango”. That’s fast, to you and me.
change the mood and the tempo as we move on to “Sunrise Sunset” from “Fiddler on the Roof.” I love this song, it never fails to make me cry – “Is this the little girl I carried? Is this the little boy at play? I don’t
remember growing older, when did they?” I shall have to Toughen Up A Bit because snivelling during the Concert is not to be recommended. Muriel seems to have decided not to ask the Alto Section to sing the descant. This is A Good Thing as
there will only be four of us Altos at next week’s concert and one of those four is me, who hasn’t been able to master the descant as yet. Though I do keep trying.
We sing “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves” and, guess what, we sound quite good. Honestly. Maybe, just maybe, we can pull this off. We follow on with a medley from The Sound of Music. The hall is alive with the sound of our
singing. (Mr B and I are off on a holiday to Austria shortly, so practising my Doe, Re, Mi can only be helpful.) One of our number is going to sing a solo but I am relieved to note that it will not be me.
Oh, now here’s a challenge! It’s an Israeli song called “Simi Jadech”. The words go thus: “Simi jadech, beyadi, ani shelach ve at sheti.” Translated, this means: “Put your
hand in mine, I am yours and you are mine.” I look, meaningfully, over to Mr B in the Men’s Section but he is frowning down at the words and clearly isn’t in a Loving Mood. We have been supplied with the phonic version of the
Israeli words, which is a help, but Muriel says we need to learn them before Wednesday’s concert so that we can sing without looking down at our music. I told you it was a challenge. She was going to ask us to sing it as a round but, fortunately, thought
better of it.
On the way home, after coffee and a chat in the Community Centre’s coffee shop, I tell Mr B that we need to look out our red shirts and put
our music in order all ready for next week. He says “why have a dog and bark yourself?” which means, I presume, that he is looking to me to carry out all the preparations. He hums: “Swing low, sweet chariot” – another song
on our programme – and then I sing “Spread a Little Happiness” – which isn’t. I do, however, hope we will be spreading a little happiness among our audience. Mr B looks doubtful. He is thinking about the Coconut Calypso
I can tell. Or, possibly, Simi Jadech.
“What’s the Blog about today?” Mr B just asked me. I know what he is thinking: Fore-warned is fore-armed.
Preparing for next week’s concert, I told him truthfully.
“OMG,” he said.