Sail on Titanic Launch

12 Jan

Hi everyone

Welcome to my first blog post for our ‘Sail on Titanic’ concert.

Are you ready to dip a toe into the water? Dive in head first perhaps? Or even for the more brave-hearted go for a skinny-dip? Though I’d rather just go for a plodge if I’m honest, and a skinny-dip for me is more of a chunky-dunk but you get the idea.

Have you got your sea-legs? Then let’s go…………….catch…………..

Please wear your lifebelt at all times

Although it was the launch of Titanic there was definitely no need for an ice-breaker, as the room was full of luvvie air-kisses and hugs after our Christmas break. We hadn’t seen each other since being in the toilet queue for 3 weeks or so, so you can imagine the emotional scenes. It was as if we were boarding a big liner and going on a journey…go on …go on ..go on.

Gary started with an unnerving warm up. He cloaked it up as diaphragmatic breathing, but I got the hidden meaning in it.”Put your fingers at your side under your ribcage” Gary said, which I translated as ‘put your fingers at your side where a lifebelt would be.’ Then “take a deep breath and hiss” – methinks ‘aaarrrggh as if air is coming out of my lifebelt.’

So it was no wonder I was able to do the ‘shocked breath’ quite easily, I just thought of the ice-cold chunky dunk ahead 😉

It was exciting to hear that we get to sing gospel again in ‘Let the River Run’. It’ll be back to singing from your lady-parts and learning your loins. Woohoo! I look forward to another gunfight at the Alto Corall.

We then moved on to learning some new numbers. ‘My Heart Will Go On’ is lovely, but it makes me think of Mrs Doyle from Father Ted.

My heart will go on, go on, go, on

Gary was already picking up on our diction and made us pull funny faces at one another for the Vvvvv, Mmmmm and Sssssss practice (the one that tickles). I know that ‘love’ is a difficult thing to say, so trying to sing ‘Love is when I loved you one true time I hold to’ is a veritable tongue twister. As my work colleagues miss being tortured by ‘Silver Bells’ I will Vvvv and Mmmm all day instead.

Vvvvvv..... or two tenors tickle their top sets

A change of pace as we moved ‘Down by the Riverside’. We seemed to get the hang of this quickly and ended with an impressive bonk – clap – da – da! That must be a record for the fastest got bonk in a first rehearsal. I did wake up through the night though, fretting that the words are a nightmare to learn and there’s a scary step-touch plus clapping which I bet we will progress to. Though if I end up stepping a different way to everyone else, I will pass it off as a piece of improvised street theatre – “it’s the river, the waves, the sea….. daarrllinks”.

Next was ‘Hail Poetry’ which Gary said we all must believe in, in fact don’t stop believing ok. I don’t usually condone pirate music, but will trust Gary with this one. I accidentally set the altos a titter by not knowing what ’emollient’ meant. I could picture it very clearly in my head and I honestly thought it was a small, white, furry animal. I’m not sure if it was the ‘moley’ part of ‘e-moley-ent’ that made me think this, but I’d just been reading about the Leonardo Da Vinci (not Di Caprio just yet) exhibition and I also had this picture in mind:

Lady with a canny little e-moley-ent

I knew it began with an ‘E’ and that it was white……I got my ’emollient’ mixed up with my ‘ermine‘ – Doh! I was kind of nearly there [don’t fool yourself Lorraine stopped writing about this now]. Just don’t ever ask me if I have any skin softener, and if I ferret around in my handbag for some expect a stoat on a rope.

Finally we went fishing around in the Mississippi for the notes of Ol’ Man River. We soon got hooked into the harmonies, with the sopranos and basses getting the tuna at the start [groan]. It always seems weird hearing the words “sopranos and basses sing the tune”. What? How can you go so low sopranos? Do you really sing along or do you just mouth it and pull the alto grimace (a kind of first notes of CHEstnuts face?) Look forward to finding out your secret.

There was another funny Ol’ Man moment amongst my fellow alto 2s. I wasn’t involved directly, mainly because I was still distracted by the stoat, but the others who I won’t name Margy, Patsy and Mandy were laughing at our diction and the emergence of a new superhero Butt Hole Man. As in ‘Butt Hole Man River he just keeps rolling along’. Apparently we need a glottal stop after our ‘buts’ to stop them running into our ‘ols’ – so diction is important already. We’ll be careful to sing it correctly from now on.

If there’s a problem ring 0800-butt-hole-man who will tote that barge, lift that bale, get a little drunk and land in jail.

The end of a very good first rehearsal. It’s good to be back sinking singing again and amongst my Inspiration friends.

The men are growing in numbers, which must be good for Ol’ Man River singing sopranos. I hope that any of the new men, who came along to see/hear what it’s like to be in Inspiration, are hooked and will sail with us through rehearsals to the concert.

As usual there was lots of fun and laughter, though the impending iceberg that is homework and word learning is already on the horizon. Oh no pass me a hissing lifebelt I’ve got a sinking feeling!

HMS Learn Your Words

See you next week Lorraine x


3 Responses to “Sail on Titanic Launch”

  1. Cynthia Hall January 13, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    Ab so lut ly – brilliant x

    • singingalto2 January 13, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

      Ah thanks Cynthia. Really pleased you enjoy reading it. Come over in rehearsals if you want to borrow my stoat on a rope 😉

  2. Ali Glew (Leeds Alto 2) January 14, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    Had a good chuckle at this, nice one! (loved the ‘stoat-on-a-rope’!)

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