It's Friday - which means it's The Choir for us. As you know we don't have the benefit of Choir Master Extraordinaire Gareth Malone but we do have Muriel, who is quite as exacting and certainly knows how to put us
through our musical paces.
We always start our sessions with vocal exercises which Muriel tells us will improve our singing. Obviously, trusting soul that I am, I believe her implicitly, even though
so far it is hard to hear much improvement in my squawking. But it is early days, only our first term. Rome wasn't built in a day. For all I know Sarah Brightman had the same problem. Besides, Muriel has an amazing collection of vocal exercises with
which to test us. I am pretty sure she makes them up, probably in her car on the way to the community centre where we meet. Today, for example, we were singing up the scale: "Cuppa tea, cuppa tea, cuppa tea, cuppa tea", followed immediately
by "Tea cup, tea cup, tea cup, tea cup" down the scale. Muriel is very hot on consonants so we had to mind our "Ts" and "Ps".
Another of her favourites is a little ditty which goes:
"Vowels are what we sing on BUT it's consonants which make the words clear!" Unclear diction is one of Muriel's pet hates. She will rap on her music stand and scowl at us if we fail to pronounce our consonants with the required level of clarity.
I do like a bit of authority in a conductor...
Today the hall where we meet had been partly decorated in preparation for a Nativity Play. This meant that Mr B and the rest
of the Merry Men were singing against the unlikely backdrop of a stable, complete with a cardboard cow and a makeshift manger. They looked like the Wise Men without the camels. Or the gifts. I had to stop looking over at them while we were singing
because it set me off with the giggles. Mind you, that was well in keeping with a large banner which has also appeared in the hall since last week: "LAUGH AND LEARN" it reads in large letters. A sentiment with which I whole-heartedly agree.
Next week is the last choir session for this term (though we will still have a Choir Christmas Dinner to look forward to.) And apparently for our Grand Finale, we are all invited to "do a turn". So
it occurred to me that perhaps Mr B and I might venture a duet.
I know what you're thinking. You can't imagine, can you, what on earth Mr B would be prepared to sing, especially accompanied by
me? That was, indeed, his immediate reaction when I put it to him. You will be amazed to hear, however, that he is now All Up For It.
So what do you think we will be singing? Perhaps something
from one of the musicals. We could take a leaf from Jack and Hazel's book and sing "I Can Do Without You" from Calamity Jane. They might even loan us their cowboy hats, if we asked them politely. Or perhaps an Elvis number might suit us better - you know, It's
Now or Never. "Never!" said Mr B. It wasn't unexpected.
Then I came up with my Grand Idea. We will sing a special composition, penned by my good self, detailing all the fun we
have had since we joined the choir - to the tune of "Didn't We Have A Luverly Time the Week We Went to Bangor." We will not take up the kind offer of a piano accompaniment on the basis that then we will be able to sing within our vocal range.
In other words, not too high. We will not take ourselves seriously, in the hope that nobody else will take us seriously.
Next week, for one week only, we shall perform our duet. Not exactly Sonny
and Cher. More like The Two Ronnies...