Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The Juggling Tenor and the Baptism of Fire

That title almost sounds like a new Harry Potter book! Having said that, I think the male voice choir might just need to enlist the help of Harry and his trusty magic wand if we are to be ready in time for the LOROS concert on October 15th!

Yikes! It's really not very long until the aforementioned charity gig at De Montfort Hall, Leicester. Not long at all. Last Thursday evening's rehearsal in the absence of Chris Hill, was led by Clive Rogers, the man who will be waving the old baton at the Hall.  In fact, the arrangements of two of the pieces we will be singing were actually written by Clive. "Let's start off with the two pieces wot I wrote" said Clive in true Ernie Wise style! As we went through the programme it quickly became horribly apparent just how much work needs doing in the next few weeks. To be quite brutally frank, I was 'bobbins' (a Mancunian expression for well, really rather poor)! I was all at sea for so much of the evening that I felt like making a run for it! Some comfort was provided by Dave Weston and fellow 'second tenor' Peter Bateman, who both reassured me that I wasn't the only one feeling a tad under-rehearsed. Still this is no time to panic - not yet at any rate. It will be all right on the night. Of course it will. Won't it? As I left Trinity, I was talking to a few of the chaps and we remembered that classic Morecambe and Wise sketch with Andre Previn, where Eric grabs Andre Previn by the scruff of the neck and says "listen sunshine, I was playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order"! Kinda summed up the rehearsal, I think - a bit of a baptism of fire.

On the previous night, I had another singing lesson with Caroline, which was . . .  erm   . . . . interesting!?! We started by attempting a couple of hymns scheduled for the next wedding on October 1st, but for these I am to be assigned the tenor parts if I can master them in time. There will only be me singing tenor so it needs to be spot on. Actually, it is a huge compliment that Caroline thinks I can do it and that I'm good enough. Not that you'd have known from my attempts on Wednesday mind you. I displayed a complete inability to follow the part from one line to the next to a quite embarrassing degree. Actually, the tenor parts are quite easy, now that I've highlighted them in luminous yellow highlighter pen!

And then my peculiar leg twitch started again. I have this quite strange, involuntary habit of twitching my left leg to the beat, which I suppose helps me keep time, but probably looks quite ridiculous. Caroline's cunning plan to eradicate this habit was to get me to stand on a bizarre rectangular board with a circular underside, if you get my drift. When one stands on it one wobbles, forcing one to balance and more importantly, stops that silly leg twitch. Clever eh? All I need is a 'Coco the Clown' outfit and three balls to juggle with and I could be the next 'Britain's Got Talent' sensation! Al, The Amazing Juggling Tenor?

There is clearly method in Caroline's apparent madness. Twitching one's leg while standing on such a contraption could quite possibly prove fatal (has Caroline seriously considered the health and safety issues here?) but it certainly seemed to do the trick.  Mind you, the vocals did get a bit tentative as I lost my balance and threatened to fall 'A over T' once or twice!

The week ended with the second rehearsal of The Caroline Sharpe Singers. Windmill of Your Mind went much better though the last couple of pages fell apart a bit (my singing that is, not the actual sheet music - LOL). But it's getting there, quite quickly actually. There's even rumours of CSS rehearsals becoming a weekly thing too. Good idea, say I.

Well that's a wrap, for now. Next up is my first LMVC committee meeting at the abode of Chairman Higgins on Tuesday night. Should be fun!

Cheers for now,

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