Welcome to the All Choired Up Blog, below you will find song-sheets, music clips, handy videos and messages from Choir Facilitator Carol Prior.
Check out this video by Alice Denny of our very first session not on Zoom, which took place August 2020
Hi All Choired Up, I hope you are all well and in good voice.
This will be the last choir blog for a while as we've decided to pause All Choired Up just for the time being. There are some exciting projects coming up next year that All Choired Up will be involved in and will give us great focus and something to work towards. Our new term starts on Monday 7th February when we will start rehearsing several songs for us to perform at a local location in Hastings/St Leonards - more information in February. Following on from that we then have another exciting project to work on in the Spring term.
CHRISTMAS SOCIAL WEDNESDAY 8TH DECEMBER - In the meantime, we are hard at work planning a Xmas social/Karaoke night in December which will bring together the Re:Create drama group (some of you are in both groups) and All Choired Up. More details to follow.
I have really enjoyed meeting you all and teaching you some of the songs that I love. It’s been a pleasure to see how you are all developing as singers, regardless of where or when you started your singing journey. I do hope you will continue to visit the blog and reacquaint yourselves with the songs we’ve been singing together over the last 12 - 18 months. So this is definitely NOT Good Bye, but Au Revoir. I’m looking forward to carrying on this singing adventure with you all next year.
See you at the Xmas Party! x
This week I’ve added a video of me singing Waking Into The Light in 5 parts by Venice Manley.
If you scroll back to last week’s blog (October 28th) you will find the recording and the song sheet to the song, so you have a number of ways to practice between sessions.
Happy Singing and hope to see you next week at St John’s.
Last Monday we only had 3 singers (with 4 apologies), but in spite of low numbers, we had a productive session. I recapped the new song Whatever You Can Do by Venice Manley and introduced another fine song that she also wrote called Waking Into The Light.
There’s a lovely story behind the song which I shared on Monday evening: Venice was booked to lead a big singing workshop at The Findhorn Foundation’s Songs of Heaven and Earth workshop but arrived with no voice. In the morning when she woke she found her bedroom streaming with light and herself singing this song ready formed. Inspirational! So in this week’s blog, you will find a recording of the whole song and its different parts, song files and a song sheet. In addition to this, I have made a video of myself singing an arrangement of This Is Home by Sophia Efthimiou which we have sung a number of times this year (and some of us were introduced to it last year on zoom). I hope the way I introduce the parts one by one (with the other parts either mute or humming quietly in the background and finally singing all together by the end of the recording) you find helpful in learning the individual parts and being able to hold them whilst hearing the other song parts.
I guarantee that if you practice this on a regular basis harmonising will start to become second nature. Sophia made a video of This Is Home which features all of her singers – they all had to record their parts at home – and then they were brought together by a whizz kid engineer. A mammoth task which I think you’ll agree was so worthwhile when you listen to the video. I’ve also included the song parts and song sheet.
I look forward to seeing you next Monday. As always it really helps me to know if you can’t make it (and also for the other singers, we care about you!). A reminder that my mobile is 07984 927271.
Below you will find:
Waking Into The Light recording & song sheet
This is Home recording by Sophia Efthimiou & song sheet
The final video is of Carol singing This Is Home
We welcomed new member Rich on Monday, so slowly but surely we’re building our bass/tenor sections... Or who knows maybe the alto or soprano part will be more his bag because that’s how we roll in All Choired Up. We’re not going to be confined to just one voice part along strict gender lines, it’s a question of what’s comfortable and I encourage you all to explore your vocal ranges. You may be pleasantly surprised.
I know I’ve mentioned my ‘morning voice’ to you before now, where I’m capable of singing a few notes lower than I’m usually able to and C below middle C is possible!! And then conversely, later in the day when I’ve warmed up, whether it be by preparing songs for choir, or simply singing along to my favourite songs around the house, I am surprised by the high notes I can reach.
This week I’m posting a video of the new round we learned on Monday evening - Whatever You Can Do (words by Goethe, melody by Venice Manley). Inspiring stuff!
Lastly, I hope some of you are able to come and support the Women Reclaim Hastings March this Saturday 23rd October which starts at 1pm from Wellington Square and weaves its way around the Old Town/new town finishing at Debenhams in Robertson St where there will be speeches and a ‘performance’ of I Can’t Keep Quiet which we also sang on Monday night. I posted YouTube clips of MILCK singing the song (which became the unofficial anthem for the "Me Too" movement) in the last blog post.
Well, that's all on this week's blog post. I look forward to seeing everyone on Monday.
Hello All Choired Uppers!
So sorry I wasn’t able to sing with you last Monday due to a sore throat, which I’m happy to say is now on its way…OUT! Yes, I’m starting to feel more like my old self and my voice is returning, which is just as well as I’m running a one-off singing workshop on behalf of Women’s Voice this Saturday 16th October.
I’ll be teaching a fabulous song called I Can’t Keep Quiet by a young American singer/songwriter called MILCK which we will sing on the Women Reclaim Hastings March on Saturday, October 23rd to call for an end to violence against women in the home and on the street. Details of both the workshops and March you will find on the poster below this post.
And of course, I’m really looking forward to singing with you all again next Monday, same time, same place. If you’re feeling a lack of singing in your life, then join me on Saturday to sing for a great cause and do explore all the teaching materials and resources that are already up on the blog.
Hello you lovely lot!
We had such a great rehearsal on Monday singing Barbara Ann by the Beach Boys in 4 part harmony. There were 8 singers so there were only 2 or 3 voices per part and even if I say so myself it sounded great after only a short practice. A special shout out to the basses whose deceptively simple part - which only ever had them singing one of two notes - required intense concentration, but ALL the singers were really impressive having only each other to rely on singing in close harmony.
So this week you will find a video of me singing a short performance of the song in 4 parts starting with the Chorus then Verse 1 followed by the Chorus again. Also included are the 4 song parts: Bass, Tenor, Alto and the Soprano or lead vocal. Pick a part you prefer to practice or learn more than one, or all of the parts if you like a challenge!
Also, have a listen to the original song because it’s so great. The Beach Boys really are/were the kings of close harmony and catchy tunes. And remember the more you practice at home the more fun we can have in rehearsals!
Can’t wait to sing with you all again next Monday
That’s it for this week!
After the video of Carol singing a short performance of the song in 4 parts you will find the following parts:
1. Barbara Ann top part/lead vocal
2. Alto part for Barbara Ann
3. Tenor part for Barbara Ann
4. Bass part of Barbara Ann
Hello Choired Uppers!
It was good to see those of you who were able to make it last night at St John’s church hall for the start of a new singing term along with three new members.
After the rehearsal last night it became clear to me that it was unrealistic to ask you all to learn the song in such a short time frame. Also, not enough of you can make the performances. Therefore, I’ve taken the tough decision to withdraw the choir from participating in Bloom Britannia. I know this will disappoint some of you, while others may well be relieved, but I had to make the right decision for the choir. I’m looking forward to sharing more of the songs in my own repertoire over the coming weeks, so suffice to say there will be plenty of singing!
For next week I’d like to revisit a beautiful song Be The Light by Lea Morris which I started to teach you last term. You can find it at blog entry July 15th with a YouTube link to Lea explaining her inspiration for writing the piece and introducing each part consecutively so you can see how they all work together. You can then listen to my recordings of each of the 4 parts of Be The Light together with a lyric sheet in blog post July 9th.
Happy Singing and I look forward to seeing you next week.
Huge congratulations All Choired Up! You did yourselves proud at Pride on Sunday. It was a challenging environment to perform in, especially if it was your first time singing in public, so very well done! When you listen back to the video of our performance, please don’t be too critical of the sound quality and bear in mind we were battling loud noise from the main stage and an audience on the move. We certainly dived in the deep end for our debut performance and you all rose to the occasion.
As you know we are having a break now until September 20th when we will be opening our doors to new members. It has been lovely to watch the choir grow gradually from a handful of intrepid singers to double figures and we want to continue to grow our singing community. So spread the word! I have a large number of choir fliers and will distribute them around town over the next few weeks. Get in touch if you’d like some copies to hand round at your social gatherings etc. Word of mouth and personal recommendation is always the best publicity.
So keep singing and see you in September!
Well done All Choired Up for a very productive rehearsal on Monday night!
We made a great sound (and it’s not just me saying so, as you know Jen was genuinely impressed). So do practice your parts and sing along to the recordings I made in Monday’s rehearsal of the arrangements to get performance ready. The 3 recordings from Monday are below.
The arrangements for Pride
Please allow enough time to find it especially if you haven't been there before.
We will run through the songs and familiarise ourselves with the stage and the 2 mics which will help amplify our sound.
I look forward to seeing you all on Sunday and our singing debut at Pride.
Feeling All Fired Up!
“I sing just to know that I’m alive” Nina Simone
We had a great rehearsal last Monday with the highest number of singers (12) including new member Darragh O’Leary which has doubled our Bass section!
As promised here are 4 new teaching videos for you to sing along with and practice for our upcoming performance:
The recordings had a small issue with volume distortion at times but they should give you a clear idea of all the songs and how we will perform them at Hastings Pride on Sunday 29th which is only just over a week away so get practicing! A little every day is better than cramming at the last minute. Just like in the bad old days of exams..
For our last rehearsal next week I’d like to make it a 2 hour session, starting a little earlier at 7pm and finishing at 9pm. For those of you who may find that difficult, I will start with a warm-up so you won’t miss too much of the rehearsal of the song.
Hi Choired Uppers,
I can’t believe we are now at the end of July, which only means one thing: we have 4 weeks before our debut performance at Hastings Pride on Sunday 29th August! We have been asked to open the entertainment in the Arts Tent at 12.15pm with a 10 minute set which will be:
We’ve got all the love
Somos El Barco (We are the boat)
Please refresh your memories of these songs – all the song parts and lyrics are below.
Look forward to singing with you on Monday, same time, same place!
Hope you’ve all had a good week All Choired Up and enjoyed the lovely sunshine (or managed to stay cool if the heat isn’t your thing!). Attached to the blog this week is a document that outlines Bloom Britannia – a new comic community opera taking place in Hastings at the end of October which All Choired Up has been invited to take part in.
Jenny Miller, the project director, will be coming along to one of our choir practices to tell us more about it and answer any questions. But before that of course we have our debut performance at Hastings Pride on Sunday August 29th. I will be feeding back further details as soon as I get it from the organisers. In the meantime keep the day free!
So, my dear singers, exciting times ahead with lots to look forward to! I look forward to seeing those of you who can make it at Monday’s rehearsal. Once again thanks to those of you who have let me know that you can’t make it, it really helps me to plan the session, especially as we are still a small (but enthusiastic) group. Do refresh your memory of the songs we’ve looked at since the beginning of term:
We’ve got all the love
Be The Light
Have a good weekend and I look forward to singing with you on Monday evening.
All the best,
Hello Choired Uppers! This week I am posting 2 videos of me singing the round I wrote called Seagull Skid.
One of them shows me singing it in 2 parts with the round starting after the word ‘sea’ of seagull, and the other video shows the round starting earlier, after the word ‘ever’. Sing along with me and try it both ways. You can even come in after the second voice and make it a round in 3 parts!
I am including a link to a Youtube video of Lea Morris teaching her song Be The Light which we have sung in choir over the last couple of weeks. It’s nearly 25 minutes long but REALLY worth listening to it until the end as it shows her layering up the parts so you can see how it all fits together, and what it sounds like when all the parts are working together. Magic! It also gives an explanation of her inspiration to write the song which I referred to in last week’s blog offering.
Happy Singing and see you Monday!
All the best,
I’m really excited to be teaching this uplifting soulful song written by African American singer- songwriter and choir leader Lea Morris, inspired by the poem The Hill We Climb written by Amanda Gorman and recited by her at the inauguration of Joe Biden on January 20 2021. I introduced the song to some of you last Monday and was very encouraged by the lovely sound we made in such a short time. Listen to the 4 different parts to refresh your memory, or to give yourself a head start for this Monday’s rehearsal. I can’t wait to sing this amazing song with you all again!
We had a smaller turnout at Monday night’s rehearsal (thank you for letting us know you couldn’t be there) but what we lacked in quantity more than made up for in the quality of the singing, AND we sang a new song I know you’re all going to love! There can’t be many people who haven’t heard of Gentleman Jack, the TV show based on the life of the famous nineteenth century lesbian landowner Anne Lister.
A song of the same name written by folk duo O’Hooley and Tidow played out over the closing credits of the show. There are 3 YouTube clips for you to enjoy: the first one is an interview with O’Hooley and Tidow on BBC North two years ago giving the background on the TV show and the song Gentleman Jack they had written some years earlier. The second clip is a performance of the song by the duo at Downend Folk Club, with an explanation of how they came to write the song, and finally clip number three is a performance of the song by London-based queer women’s a cappella vocal group The Syncing Violets. Enjoy!
I’m also including a song sheet with the lyrics of Gentleman Jack so you can familiarise yourself with the words before we sing it together next Monday.
Thank you all so much for coming to our first in person session last Monday, it was great to see some familiar and new faces. Watch the video below for a special message from Carol!
The song we went through last week! Enjoy :)
In preparation to our first real life session all together in what feels like years, I have put some videos together! In this Acapella video, I sing Slow Hand Clap for the DCMS. As I indicate on the song sheet, it is a round with a slow hand clap to accompany it. We will sing it in 2 parts with the second group coming in after the word ‘DCMS’.
A bit of background to this topical song: written by Martin Jones, I learnt it from a video of an outdoor singing workshop by a men’s community choir led by Philip Read who, like me, is a member of the Natural Voice Network. Here’s to singing inside in groups of more than 6 sometime soon! (Boris are you listening?)
This is Somos El Barco, written by Lorre Wyatt. It’s a song with a chorus in Spanish and English, and I chose it because like the round. It sounds like a song for our times, even though it was written in 1984. It’s also got a singing round the campfire vibe which we hope to do at some point over the summer! If you’re curious you’ll find a gorgeous relaxed version of it by Peter, Paul and Mary and do check out other versions, there’s no definitive way to sing it, it’s a folksong after all!
If you’re not familiar with the Spanish language – spoken or sung – never fear! It’s worth persevering and with practice you’ll be surprised at how quickly you pick it up. Don’t worry about getting a perfect Spanish accent (unless you’re Spanish 😊) as I obviously didn’t, just have a go at it and give it your best shot. I originally learnt this from the amazing Penny Stone, another Natural Voice Network choir leader based in Edinburgh. You can find her teaching video of this song on YouTube and it would be a great way of reinforcing your learning, if you have the inclination and time.