Look out, look out it’s our 1st rehearsal

4 May

Hi everyone

Wednesday was the first rehearsal of our ‘Do you hear the people sing?’ concert. A chance to meet up with old friends over coffee and cake, and of course a chance for lots and lots of singing. We’re all sorry that Gary can’t be with us this term, but we fully understand his need to be at home with Barry. We’re thinking of them both and send our love from the Newcastle branch of the Inspiration family.

So for this term we are in the hands (ooer) of Mark, Andy and Phil – aren’t we lucky!

It must have been daunting for Mark to stand on the podium and have 300 faces staring back at him. Each and every one of us waiting for the fun begin, and full of excitement for another fabulous concert. No pressure then!


Eeee Betty look at Mark, he's got legs. Not used to see him standing up. Normally at that piano thingy isn't he?

Eeee Betty look Mark’s got legs. I’m not used to seeing him standing up. He’s normally at that piano thingy isn’t he?


To remind us how to breathe again Mark asked us to close our eyes and concentrate on diaphragmatic breathing. Now for this exercise you need to have trust in the people around you, which might be safe in the soprano section, but in the altos is a bit dodgy. With us there’s always the added danger of being pushed over the balcony, having your Normas honked, or opening your eyes to find all your friends have gone to the pub. So I closed my eyes with some trepidation, first making sure that my feet were firmly planted on the floor and that my Normas were on full alert. In the end it was quite relaxing and helped melt away some of the stresses of the day, with no reported alto casualties and no audible honking 😉

Then funky warm ups (as opposed to Gary’s weird warm ups),  although I’m sure as we progress the funky ones will get weirder. As soon as Mark mentioned warm ups all I could think of was “please not that counting one”.  You know the one where I can’t count beyond four – “one, one two one, one two ah shit, one two shit mumble, mumble, six, oh no eight” etc. But phew! That pleasure has been saved for another week, and instead we were given an easy start with ‘May, Me, Ma, Mo, Moo’ (weren’t they The Waltons?) and a ‘Ba Da Da’ one.


Mark really enjoys funky warm ups

Mark really enjoys his funky warm ups


During the funky warm ups Mark acknowledged that he has picked up some of Gary’s sayings, so we’ll have to listen out for them. There were only a few this rehearsal:

  • Sit down and take a drink
  • Where’s the tenor pencil?
  • Lips forward teeth out
  • Altos stop passing around the cigar

Our 1st number was ‘Raise Your Voice’ which I haven’t done before. I got a bit worried when lots of the altos around me started to pray and then I realised why when I spotted our Latin bit. Whilst everyone else was breezing through ‘laudmuste Benedicmuste etc’ I was stuck trying to read the small and blurry words. I’ll get the hang of it soon when I get reading glasses.

‘Raise Your Voice’ seemed to shock the Basses and they spent a while bouncing on the loo (of hallelujah).


Bounce basses.... hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah

Bounce basses …. hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah


We made a start on ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ with lots of hilarity about trying to get the right mix of cheesy American and broad but cheesy Geordie. We need this for the ‘Look out, look out, look out, look out’ shouts that we all have to do, one voice part after another, quickly and with no gaps. If you think of the ‘wait, wait, wait, wait’ section in last term’s Lion King it is like that, but at double speed and with different words (so in fact nothing like that, please ignore the comparison).


Look out!

Look out!


Look out!

Look out!


Look out!

Look out!


Look out!

Look out!


Bay City Roller fever hit the altos as we sang ‘shang-a-lang’ in one part of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. We got to ‘shing-a-ling-ling’ too, and a few ‘yeah, yeah, yeahs’. In a few weeks time we’ll be groovin’ it, movin’ it and doin’ doo wop be dooby do ay. (Eurgh that cat photo is making me feel sea sick as I type, I hope it is not having the same effect on you).

So in all we had a very good and enjoyable rehearsal.  We left feeling happy with ourselves and pleased to be back singing again.

We’ve got lots to learn. There’s only a little bit of Latin, compared to all that Zulu chanting last time. I put my CD on and gasped in horror at the ‘Ascot Gavotte’ because of course we don’t sing the tune, and to me it sounds very different. I always find this relearning of a well known tune the most difficult bit, well that and Latin, oh and choreography, erm and taking a breath in the right place, and having to sit down at the right time. Oh I’m going to stop there not because I’m overcome by the learning task ahead, but because that cat photo is still making me feel queasy 😉


See you next week and happy relearning of popular tunes to those of you who are NTT (not the tune).

Lorraine xx


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