Tuesday 27 May 2014

Singing at Proof: Sunday 25 May 2014

There’s something about a Sunday afternoon in Manchester in the rain. It’s special when you’re holed up in smart cocktail bar and taking part in what is rapidly becoming a quite prestigious arts festival. So yes, there we were, at Proof in Chorlton, taking part in the Chorlton Festival.

Friday 2 May 2014

What a repertoire: a month of rehearsals, April 2014

April has been an odd month. Easter has fallen very late this year so there have been two weeks of school holidays in the middle. Families go away but for different weeks. So, not always the same blend of voices at each rehearsal. Plus we also had a one week break and breaks always make a difference.    
We’re coming to the end of an intense period of rehearsal and heading towards a busy schedule of  performances, with just those two at the end of March to kick-start our year.   
So, it was good to conclude the month by going through virtually everything we know. What a lot there is. But: or rather two buts.
·         Despite whipping through each song very quickly and working from about 7.10 to 8.05 and then 8.25 to 9.15 we didn’t quite cover everything.
·         Some we didn’t know as well as we thought we did.
This really was a good opportunity for us to see where the sticking points are. And there were some surprises:
·         Some pieces we’ve always been very confident about – including one that’s almost become our signature piece – need tidying up.
·         One we’ve not tried for a while and have always found tricky worked rather well.  
It seems that with some pieces we can get overconfident and slightly bored. We lose concentration, start making mistakes and even reinforce those mistakes. Conversely we seem to carry on improving on something we haven’t touched for a while. Is it perhaps just a function of concentration again? We know this is going to be challenging so we really focus.
Yes, yes, we should really focus all of the time but when you’ve had a challenging day and the music feels easy, the mind drifts. Good that at that point we’re pulled up.   
Still, it was very encouraging to realise how diverse and extensive our repertoire is and to be able to pinpoint where we need some more work.