By Heart Week

9 Mar

Hi everyone

Wednesday was our ‘by heart’ rehearsal in Newcastle. Not only that we also had our first audience to sing to (people in the pews, rather than in the dark). They looked like they were enjoying themselves as much as us (if that’s possible).

The plan was to sing the concert all the way through without books. A plan that we largely managed to stick to. Just in case Gary scanned the rooms for any illicit files, illegal post-it notes, or newly inked tattoos.


But knowing the words by heart proved not to be a problem

Knowing the words by heart proved not to be a problem


Some words seemed to come automatically and we had them off Pat (ah she’s canny), others just didn’t come in time or the music beat us to it.


The sky-writing plane was cancelled due to bad weather and it was dark too - doh!

The sky-writing plane was cancelled due to bad weather and it was dark too – doh!


With all the excitement I had forgotten we’d have to do choreography as well. So much to think about – singing, standing, sitting, breathing, not breathing, winking …… the list is endless. So I suffered from a bit of a time-lag, thus the jazz hands in the middle of Bali Ha’i.

My fellow Alto 3 was overcome with emotion in one of the songs. I think it was in ‘Falling Slowly’ though it could just as easily have been in the warm-ups (she’s a right softie).


Voice you have a choice.But breathing regularly I must; rather difficult I am finding this

Voice you have a choice.
But breathing regularly I must; rather difficult I am finding this


The mane main event of the 1st half is the ‘Lion King’. I’d been trying to save my voice for it, as being a little hoarse in ‘Lion King’ territory seemed rather foolhardy. I think this is my all time favourite Inspiration number, as it’s so exciting right from the start. I was looking forward to seeing how the audience would react, and the Nantsy Gonyas seemed to have the desired effect on them ie. no-one said “Nancy who?” or “Was that Jack Duckworth?” and I far as I know nobody wondered if a cat had accidentally been stood on.

We were tribal and roared through the medley (without paws pause to check on words). Hooray!

Last week I said we would be embodying the ‘Wherethehellarewe’, but instead we were a stronger and more jubilant tribe.


A member of the 'Eemanwedunnitt' tribe celebrating knowing the words

A member of the ‘Eemanweedunnitt’ tribe celebrating knowing the words


After the break we sang ‘Brand New Day’, which is turning out to be one of the more difficult numbers to learn. Its even more difficult after hearing an Alto’s tale of mishearing words on the rehearsal CD.

My friend (I won’t name her, though you’ll know her, she sings and sometimes wears black with a splash of red) said she was driving along and singing to the CD, she did a double take the first time she misheard Sharon’s words:

Sop: Ev’ry body be glad

Alto (shouted): BIG LAD

Sop: Because the sun is shining just for us

Alto (sultry): Oh yeah


So if you’re fed up of learning the words, try shouting this version (add in a Geordie accent for the best effect) 😉

I can’t remember at what point the soloists fitted into the concert, but I can remember their performances. Wow! Well done to Sara and Craig especially with two excellent performances.

[Added Sunday morning: I’d forgotten to mention our little Special K, Katherine Saunders, who blew us away in her Echo debut last month and again on Wednesday with ‘On my own’ from Le Miz. As my file, pen and paper had been confiscated I couldn’t make notes, so sorry again for my mad, bad memory. Of course a big well done to Katherine too, sorry I missed mentioning you initially. You really did us proud and will again next week].


A big round of applause for all of our soloists (and ourselves as well)

A big round of applause for all of our soloists (and ourselves as well)


There was ribaldry in the ranks when the men sang ‘Nothing Like a Dame’. They’re really in the spirit of it and have been practising their back flips and dancing. I’ve noticed that a number of them now have a sailor photo as their profile pic in Facebook. Such fun!

The Le Miz parts of the concert will be very rousing. It certainly felt like we lifted the roof in the church again, though there’s no snow to prove it.

I’ve still got bits to work on and words to iron out. Although I’m not muddled by sunshine and sunlight any more (phew), and I can now play ‘touch me’ in ‘Memory’. But new mistakes seem to be creeping in. I noticed in the ‘King and I’ that I defend him when he’s strong and tell him he’s wonderful when he’s wrong; it must be very confusing for him.

Next week is the last rehearsal, before the last rehearsal. We’ll go over stage etiquette again (“Who’s knees?” – altogether now – “you’re own knees”) and if we’re lucky we might get the talk about not wiping your face or rearranging your underwear (or anyone elses for that matter).

Gary’s Nan is out on the tiles with Norma, but she is definitely coming to the concert on Sunday. I know it’s a sell out so let’s hope she has her usual seat.

Happy word learning.

See you Wednesday

Lorraine x

ps. Is anyone bring a cake on Saturday?

pps. Or crisps?

ppps. Or Jaffa Cakes?

pppps. Don’t bring any of the above on Saturday, because the concert is Sunday so bring it then instead 😉


4 Responses to “By Heart Week”

  1. karen March 14, 2013 at 10:57 pm #

    Canny Pat – I just lost my wine…

    • singingalto2 March 15, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

      Ha ha glad that made you laugh. The concert is this weekend so canny Pat is going to be busy x

  2. Christine Monks March 15, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    I thought the concert’s on sunday…… Will I be very late if I go Sunday?????

    • singingalto2 March 15, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

      Arrgggh I keep writing Saturday. Oops it’s definitely Sunday!

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