How wonderful to be working with you on this very special project and what a tribute to all your hard work in previous years that we have been invited to be part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations!
We always produce something special but on this occasion I’m sure you will agree that we need to pull out all the stops.
I hope you and the children enjoy learning the music. So looking forward to working with you.
I’m not going to miss any opportunity to thank you for all the hard work that you’ve put in to help make this event happen. I’m full of admiration for the way that you’ve found solutions to challenges and brought the children’s singing to the quality that it is now. THANK YOU.
One last push! As you know, we are singing two songs and the National Anthem at the very end, when you and the children will be in one of the main stands.
This sounds glorious already but, as you know, I’ve made some changes to the part- singing. I’ve taken out some of the lower harmonies because I think they will be largely lost in the texture, particularly with the band playing. I am dividing you into your two parts now so that you are completely clear going in to the final rehearsals.
Part 1 has the upper part and Part 2 the lower part. Part 1 will be standing on my right, (stage left) and Part 2 on my left (stage right).
Please rehearse with the track that you will be singing (either Part 1 or 2) and once it is really fixed, then practise with the Both track, so that the children can hear the other part while they’re singing theirs.
Please distribute the right track to your children as soon as possible and impress on them the importance of practising with them every day. You may be able to write a covering note to parents asking for their support in this. It is quite a long gap between the final rehearsal on 26 May and the 5 June, so it will be great for the children to have something to practise with now and over half–term.
There are two corrections to make: the ‘hold on’ at Bar 50 should only be sung by Part 2 but it appears on the Part 1guide track too. This isn’t a big problem – they can both sing it – but I thought I’d mention it. And Bar 49, 3rd beat, is a D – not an E.
An Australian pop song from the band ‘Birds of Tokyo. I’ve done this song with other children’s choirs and they love it. Each time we sing the chorus, we will increase its intensity.
Spend time with them talking about the inspirational message of the lyrics. The words on the cd are slightly wrong in the first verse. Usually we follow the cd but here, please could you correct it and sing what’s on the word sheet.
This too is really wonderful – no changes to make. Part 1 is called the soprano part in the score (the top line) and Part 2 the alto part (bottom line). Please prepare to sing the part I have allocated you. Your part number (1 or 2) is the same for both songs.
Remember to sing ‘I am the AHHth’! I may slightly modify this at the final rehearsal but practising with the ‘Ah’ sound places the voice properly. You have the tracks for this already.
PLEASE DISCOURAGE ANY SHOUT-SINGING AND REMEMBER THE CUPPED-HAND TECHNIQUE TO IMPROVE TUNING, ASKING THEM TO SING QUIETLY AND REALLY LISTEN TO THEIR OWN VOICE.
When we sang this in 2017 I was concerned that the words in the verses come too thick and fast for the whole choir to sing and I thought that we would probably have the verses sung by soloists. I also thought they might be a bit low. In fact, the children sounded great all together in the verses so that’s what we will do. Practise speaking the words a lot and chanting them like a rap – they’ll love that. The speed on the recording is a little brisk and we may sing it a little slower in performance.
There is a lower part in the chorus and I would really like to do this – it’s very effective. This is a little more work but, given the special nature of the occasion, let’s go for it. Please let me know if you are going to do both parts.
There are a lot of words in this song. As an option, we may decide to do only one or two verses and repeat them. Or we could have a mixture of soloists and chorus alternating the verses. This can all be decided at the cluster rehearsals.