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
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.