We began the workshop with a gentle warm up including singing scales in harmony. Following the warm up we learned a Nigerian round, Yo Yo Yo, a deceptively simple tune with delicious harmonies when you get into 3 parts. Next we sang Wake Up, a song written for community choir by Nick Prater, arranged by Ali Orbaum for Sing for Water. We began with the tune to the verse and learning the harmony parts around it. It's a wonderful song, anticipating spring, moments in nature and the new day.
We took a short refreshment break and then learned Noyana, a Zulu song about heaven. A short song, with very few words, Noyana is a joyous song with some crunchy harmonies. It also has some tricky entries, particularly for the basses and sopranos, but it didn't take long for the singers to nail it and it was fantastic! The next song we sang was Madre Tierra, a song for Mother Earth by Alonso del Rio from Peru. This is a piece arranged by Nickomo, a much-loved choir leader, song arranger and writer. We dedicated this part of the workshop to him as he is in hospital recovering from a serious illness. The basses had the lead part on this song creating a rich, warm sound throughout. Once the parts were learned we explored the space whilst singing - it's a beautiful thing when you can walk past the other harmonies and hear them all weaving through each other.
We then went back to Wake Up to learn the chorus with it's wonderful run of alleluia's. Every part has a slightly different rhythm to learn which makes it a little challenging, but very satisfying to sing.
After a short break, we put the verse and the chorus of Wake Up together and sang it through a few times, experimenting with taking parts in and out. To round off the workshop we went back to the very first piece, Yo Yo Yo, and sang that in a close circle with parts split across the whole space, creating a lush sound. We ended with taking the volume right down and singing gently, creating a trance-like stillness and calm within the whole group. Absolute magic.
I was left feeling uplifted and re-energised. Thank you to you all for contributing to a wonderful afternoon of singing.
What was your favourite thing about today's workshop?
The warmth from the leader on this windy and rainy day.
The amazing leadership, songs and unity.
The youthful energy and precision.
Clear teaching, good choice of music, great location.
Singing with lots of people.
Song choice, very clearly led. Excellent.
Three words to describe your experience:
Calming, uplifting, joyful
Energising, joyful, rewarding
Grounding, enabling, nurturing
Joyful, heart-opening, hopeful
Inspirational, beautiful, spiritual
Uplifting, emotive, happy
Happy, friendly, hurrah
Fun, uplifting, moving
Uplifting, relaxing, enriching
Joyous, high-standard, inspired
Fun, joyous, calming
Well organised joy
Enjoyable, friendly, uplifting
Organisation so good, so quietly and generously done. Again, thank you.
Fantastic as ever!
Lovely songs - great coffee!
Lovely balance of songs and so refreshing to have songs with plenty of interest, yet not too complicated as to be unachievable. Exactly as a workshop should be, with the satisfaction of singing successfully what we had learnt. Great sound. And great fun, well done Clara.
Speed learning always a challenge, but you make it fun and rewarding!