Tuesday, 8 October 2013

BIGGEST TURNOUT SO FAR THIS YEAR

With only three of our members missing today the room was full, and all the spaces taken up as we moved to the beautiful CIACCONNE by the group ARPEGGIATA finally resting in a good posture for singing.
There was a nip in the air outside, but when we put all our voices together to sing the African HAMBA NATHA the warmth from the south permeated the room as we blended in close harmony.
Peggy Seager's song LOVE CALL ME HOME is new to our group and we spent some time just singing it through allowing that to sink in before we start to harmonise it next week.
This is a beautiful song I feel sure will be a favourite with us. We ended the morning with Alison Burns's arrangement of the children's song, THE WIND BLOWS HIGH, giving it lots of energy and a rollicking pace.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

WE WELCOME SPRING IN ICELANDIC.


A Golden Plover
On this stunning spring morning, clear sky and bright sunshine, we opened our session listening and moving to Canadian Brass playing Mozart's aria, ALLELUIA

Since the brass arrangement is in a key suitable for all our voices, after mentally warming up while listening, we were able to  join in singing the closing downward scales and triumphant ALLELUIAS. This got us off to a good start.

Next we learned the Icelandic Spring canon -- SÁ EG SPÓ

Sá ég spóa -----------     I saw a Curlew  
Suður í flóa      ------------   To the south, on the wetland
Syngur lóa út um móa --------- The golden plover is singing out on the moor
“Bí, bí, bí, bí,”  ---------------        “Bí, bí, bí, bí,”
Vorið er komið víst á ný. --------- Spring has come again, for sure.


The bird calls, bi, bi, bi, bi, are very effective in the canon and after mastering the Icelandic text, (nae bother of course, in this group)
We were soon giving it full voice in four parts.


Curlew
We do have one member, a very keen bird watcher who told us about the plovers she'd seen on the Solway coast and another who remarked on the wonderful feeling on seeing and hearing the first curlew in spring at his home north of the Campsies.




We ended the morning with our favourite spring song from last year, JULIAN OF NORWICH.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

AN AFRICA SEASON

Perhaps it helps, in the dark cold days of January, to think of sunny Africa and for the past weeks we've been enjoying the energetic rhythms and warm harmonies of some African songs.

A Call and Response song is always a stimulating way to warm up the voices at the start of our mornings and we've been learning KYE KYE KULE, a traditional song from Ghana.
 Following on after that we come together in the four part harmony of the Zulu song HAMBA NATHI. 

Our bass section is particularly strong just now and it seems to give this song a real African flavour. Remembering that it was used on the soundtrack of the film INVICTUS, about how the poem of this name inspired Nelson Mandela during the years of his confinement on Robben Island, we then sang MANDELA DANCED written by Ian Davison about Mandela's visit to Glasgow in 1993.

TEN THOUSAND MILES, with its harmonies arranged by Alison Burns, now comes across beautifully, and secure now in the four parts, our next challenge is to memorise the words.

We are almost word perfect from memory with SAE WILL WE YET, a favourite with many of us which is now sounding really convincing and we ended the morning with another Alison Burns song, ALWAYS THE SINGING.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR READERS

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Monday, 24 December 2012

SEASON'S GREETINGS TO ALL

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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

CHRISTMAS LUNCH

The Enjoy Music Christmas Lunch was held at Douglas Park Golf Club today and there was much laughter and singing to be heard !!
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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

A GOOD SING AND ANOTHER CHANGE OF TIMETABLE.


Our experiment with an early start on the instruments was short lived; cold mornings, frosted windscreens and dodgy roads got in the way so that we are now reverting ot the 10 o'clock start, coffee at 10.45 for 30mins. and then singing till 11.45 when we move on to the instruments and play till 12.30.

We began today with a piece from the Orff-Keetman repertoire,  -- DORMI JESU MATER RIDET

Dormi Jesu, mater ridet,
quae tam dulcem somnum videt,
dormi Jesu blandule.

Si non dormis, mater plorat,
inter fila cantans orat,
blande veni somnule.

a beautiful lullaby in two parts with soprano solo, and accompaniment from xylophones.
When our  mixed group sings in unison, the pitch is often low for the highest women's voices of which we have several and this piece gives them a chance to shine in the high notes.

Amid all the canons, rounds and learning of harmonies in our sessions, there is always a place for 'a good sing' and that's what we had this morning with WE NEED A LITTLE CHRISTMAS NOW! by Jerry Freeman from the musical 'Mame'.

Haul out the holly, 
put up the tree before my spirit falls again;
Fill up the stocking, 
I may be rushing things but deck the halls again now.

For we need a little Christmas, right this very minute,
Candles in the window, carols at the spinet,
Yes we need a little Christmas right this very minute,
It hasn’t snowed a single flurry, but Santa, dear, we’re in a hurry.

So climb down the chimney, 
turn on the brightest string of lights I’ve ever seen.
Slice up the fruitcake;
it’s time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough _

For I’ve grown a little leaner, grown a little colder,
Grown a little sadder, grown a little older.
And I need a little angel, sitting on my shoulder,
I need a little Christmas now!

For we need a little music, need a little laughter, 
Need a little singing ringing through the rafter.
And we need a little snappy, “happy ever after’,
We need a little Christmas now!

Just the ticket to see us through to the 25th December.



Wednesday, 31 October 2012

WE PICK UP THE BEATERS AGAIN.

After a period of concentrating on singing, we spent some time a few weeks ago finding out how members feel about using our instruments.
While the majority enjoy singing best, we have a core group who are keen to continue and improve their ensemble playing on the xylophones and the other instruments and they now meet at 9.30am giving 45 minutes to learning new pieces.
This makes a big difference and we are now up and running on an exciting Orff piece, improving fast week by week.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

SIX WEEKS ON


Our group started back on the 11th of September in good heart and good voice. We've polished up some harmonies, Alison Burns's arrangement of TEN THOUSAND MILES and THIS ROOM with the short text, May we fill this room with joy and harmony.

We displayed some singing stamina on Tuesday the 2nd October when AMY LORD, Traditional Song graduate of RSAMD, (now The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) who leads workshops around Scotland as well as various choral groups, spent the day with our group. We learned wonderful songs, AND SAE WILL WE YET, SALLY GARDENS and some traditional rounds. Anne Hunter's team in the Community Centre cafe pushed the boat out for us, providing an excellent lunch which was also an opportunity for informal musical chat.

Tuesday. 23rd October.

HEY UNGUA is an African song, good to sing as call and response but also fun with each person singing a phrase in turn, round the circle. It depends on everyone being alert as well as anticipating their particular part of the song. Following on from each other when there's such a variety of voice qualities and registers is a challenge often resulting in hilarity but everyone has a go so that  the song becomes a confidence builder and after that we were ready to concentrate on the harmony parts for our songs.
The small number of keen instrument players are meeting earlier in the morning and they are enjoying the chance of a longer time to practise separately from the singing group.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

THE FINTRY FINISH


Enjoy Music at Fintry

Our final meeting for the year was a grand affair _ scenic trip through Campsie Glen on a bright, sunny morning to arrive in Fintry and join up with the others (18 in all) in the welcoming atmosphere of our member's home.
Because of a road closure in Strathblane and diversions, there was much talk about the various routes we'd taken so that after getting into good voice, the MAP READING SONG, in 4 part harmony, was completely apt. 

1. Do you know where we are, how to get where we're going?
2. Give me the map!  You're holding it upside down.
3. Don't worry I've been here before Don't worry I can show you the way.
4. Take a left at the roundabout carry on through the market square
Second left at the railway bridge, past the church and you're there!

It was impressive how quickly we learned the parts and in particular how we kept together _ a fun song which I'm sure we'll pick up easily when we return to it.

The other new song, also in 4 part harmony, that we tackled this morning, was by way of a thank you for the chance to sing in these lovely surroundings. 

THIS ROOM: May we fill this room with joy and harmony.

By now we'd worked up healthy appetites and the food we'd brought to share was beckoning. We feasted in conviviality, enjoying the opportunity for talk together in contrast to our normal morning where the coffee break is never long enough to allow for any lengthy conversation.

We parted mid-afternoon, having noted several dates:

1. Sunday 20th May:  2:00 - 4:30 Corinna Hewitt's singing workshop in Fintry.
2. Sunday 20th May:  7:30 The Clydesiders in the Sports Centre in Fintry
3. 2nd week in July, a get together, details still to be arranged.

4. ENJOY MUSIC! starts again on Tuesday 11th September 2012.

Here are some photos from our lovely day at Fintry -- Click on the Play Button below then -- allow some time to load the album. Also if you click on each photograph you will see a larger picture
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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

CARILLON DE VENDOME - SINGERS TOO

Yes, we did put it all together and it will be interesting to see how we can learn from this recording and improve on it next week.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

SPRING-A-DING-DING.

After warming up with, among other things,

I NEED A WAITER _WITH SOME WATER -
I NEED A WAITER WITH SOME WATER FOR MY DAUGHTER
I NEED A WAITER WITH SOME WATER
WITH SOME WATER FOR MY DAUGHTER
SO MY DAUGHTER DOESN'T DIE OF THIRST.


the ditty, sung at a cracking pace and in four parts, left us with trembling lips and one or two aching jaws but voices ready for a good sing.

ALEYKUM ASALAAM was written and sung by choir leader Nickomo a couple of days after 9/11 and means "Peace be unto you". We quickly picked up its rich harmonies, settled into the full sound and sang it many times over.

Moving on to something more lighthearted which is a 'must' for this time of year, we relished Johnny Mercer's witty (often forced) rhymes for SPRING SPRING SPRING, from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Its easy swing pace allows us to enjoy the words, but finding spaces to take a breath is the problem here.
After singing the three verses through twice, I can imagine this is one we'll be humming over the dishes till next week.

Finally, we sang Carl Orff's arrangement of the French song, CARILLON DE VENDOME, then learned the instrumental parts. This went well but by the time we were playing confidently, many singers had left, so we'll need to begin with this one next week to get the full effect.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

SONG, DANCE AND CHIMES.

Healthy numbers this morning as well as confidence in our parts, meant that our ALLELUYA was one of the best I've heard from the group. The glad sound was a good and fond welcome back for a member who's recovering from illness.

JULIAN OF NORWICH literally moved forward today when our circle dancing member led us in a delightful dance while we sang.
Later, raising the pitch a minor third, we practised a chiming ostinato on glockenspiels and xylophones which accompanied the tune on the flute and next week the aim is to put the song, dance and instrumental together in a single piece.
Now that's something to look forward to!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

A SONG FOR THE DAFFODILS


Loud are the bells of Norwich
And the people come and go
Here by the tower of Julian
I tell them what I know.


Ring out bells of Norwich and let the winter come and go.
All shall be well again, I know.


Love like a yellow daffodil
Is coming through the snow,
Love like a yellow daffodil
Is Lord of all I know.

On this beautiful sunny morning we revived Sydney Carter's song from 1981, JULIAN OF NORWICH, learning the alto and bass parts.
It's remarkable how that phrase, All shall be well again, I know, the words of the medieval mystic, a woman, though called Julian of Norwich after the cathedral beneath which she lived in a cell, has kept resonating through the ages, in good times and bad and it is a wonderful, feel good sing as we look towards the spring after a gloomy winter.
Coming back from the coffee, and in response to our Welsh member who had bemoaned our failure to mark Saint David's day last week, we relaxed for a few minutes to listen to the beautiful lullaby Suo Gan played by harpist Catrin Finch and sung by soprano Caryl Ebenezer.

Here is Charlotte Church singing her version of this beautiful lullaby.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

NUMBERS MAKE THE DIFFERENCE

Spring was in the air, bringing out all our members save two who are unwell and we were also joined this morning by three visitors who we hope will return. As a result, the six men gave a fine bass line to our African chant BANUWA

Inspired by this, and enjoying the full harmony sound, we easily swept the visitors along with us in the four part ALLELUYA and followed on from that with ROW ON.

We started this week on a new song, THE MOON MAN, by Corinna Hewitt the young Scottish singer and harpist. She's made a lovely melody and harmonic arrangement for the poem by Mildrew Plew Merriman and although it may take some weeks for us to get comfortable with the unusual harmonies as it switches from major to minor keys, I feel sure it suits our group and we'll sing it well.

We ended the morning singing and playing COME MY CHILDREN DEAR and look forward to more mornings with such a healthy turnout making a joyful sound.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

AN IMPROVISING FOR VALENTINE'S DAY

Continuing our focus on improvising, we took the rhyme

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Sugar is sweet
And so are you.

for a 'peg' to hang our melodies on.
As the singing progressed round the circle, it was good to hear how everyone added a melody for each line in turn, in response to the previous singer and I can see that this kind of improvising is worth pursuing, allowing us to let the voices flow freely.

HOW CAN I KEEP FROM SINGING? now has an alto part in the chorus, which will be heard to full effect next week when today's absentees return.
We ended the morning, after limbering up on some scales, with COME MY CHILDREN DEAR on the instruments. (See our blog for January 2011) --- CLICK HERE

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

DISCOVERING OUR INNER SELVES

Something never in short supply in our group is empathy, so that when a member told us of the challenge she's facing to sing improvised dialogue in a community production of a spoof opera, we thrust ourselves into having a go, just to understand what it would feel like.
Beginning with a completely spontaneous, sung, remark from me, the dialogue was continued round the group, each person in turn responding to the one before with a new phrase. To our utter surprise, not only was the singing good, but the improvised 'script' was hilarious and not one person failed to sing when their turn came along. 
I think the exercise was a fine encouragement for our opera star member and it was a revelation, too, how some who regularly have difficulty with holding a melody line, were able to sing out loud and clear, improvising words and music on the spot. Wonderful what we can do when we just 'let go' and allow our deeper selves to direct us.
Perhaps this is something worth exploring further.

We will have to making a booking for the ENJOY MUSIC! crowd for that show when it's staged.

After that, we sang ALWAYS THE SINGING with harmony in the chorus and HOW CAN I KEEP FROM SINGING? 
Finally, getting off the 'singing' topic, we revised the harmonies for ROW ON and managed to sing it rather well, with a lovely, full sound which left just enough time for us to do some scales on the instruments, adding rhythm and percussion, at the end of the morning.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL AT ENJOY MUSIC


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Tuesday, 13 December 2011

ENJOY MUSIC AT CHRISTMAS




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