Friday morning means turning up (and tuning up) for our weekly Singing for Pleasure Choir. Mr B and I had to miss last week's session so we knew we might have some catching up to do. It's only 10 days now till
our Big Performance...
Our conductor, the redoubtable Muriel, has gathered the men together for some extra-curricular work around the piano before the start of the session. They are practising
adding some extra depth to the chorus in Sunrise Sunset. "Lu lu, lu lu," they sing, tunefully. The words of Sunrise Sunset always bring tears to my eyes - I love that song. I'm talking about the actual words, you understand,
not the lu lu's...
Muriel says the alto section (of which I am a member) needs to sing with much more confidence and conviction. It's true, we don't sound nearly as good as the bell-like
sopranos to the right of us or the booming basses to the left. We are the Misfits in the Middle. We are the ones who can't reach the top notes or the bottom notes. We need to toughen up a bit.
The programme for our concert to the Retired Ex-Servicemen's Home in 10 days time has changed a little since last time we came. I am rather sad that we have discarded the delightfully melodramatic Victorian story of "The Goslings" (see
previous blog.) And we're not singing Tumbalalaika anymore but we will be finishing with a rousing rendition of "When I'm 64." Because virtually all of us are, in fact, already over 64, it has been decided that we will have people calling out "70!",
"80!", "90!" when we get to that line. It is a recipe for numerical, if not musical, disaster if you ask me.
Between this week and next, we have to learn the words of a song called Tzena. This
is so that we can sing it looking straight at our audience without gazing down at the red files containing all our words and music. It means we can give the whole of our attention to stamping our feet when we get to the bit about dancing the hora and
clapping our hands when we get to the final Tzenas. In perfect time, of course. Well, in theory, anyway.
(By the way, I did check on that word "hora" and discovered that a hora is a circle
dance that originated in the Balkans and is often performed at weddings. You certainly live and learn when you read the Daily Blog, don't you?) Hopefully we won't have to dance the hora as we sing, that really would be several steps too far. A horror
The men have to turn up quarter of an hour early again next week for extra practice on their lu lu's. Mr B is quite puffed up with the importance of it. The feeling of superiority
doesn't last long: "Why is it that you can't get anything right without me nagging you?" our conductor implores them. You could hear all the sopranos and altos muttering words to the effect of: "Well, they're men, aren't they?" Even a few
of the men were saying the same thing. Not Mr B, of course, he's not a man for nagging.
And here's the Important News! Before the Big Performance, we have to kit ourselves out in bright red shirts
and black trousers or skirts so that we look like A Proper Choir. This is actually quite exciting - I am sure that sporting a bright red shirt will give me and all the other members of the alto section both confidence and conviction.
Even if it doesn't improve our singing of Lilli Marlene...