Andy & Crispin’s ‘Ten Top Tips’

Those who attended the AGM will recognise the priorities listed below for the new Surrey Heath Singers:

  1. Build on the confidence and singing improvement that made the Summer concert so enjoyable, and keep that audience following us
  2.  Work together to learn notes earlier in each term so we can concentrate on how we sing and take our cue from WATCHING THE MUSICAL DIRECTOR
  3. Practice at home, breathe well, be prepared for the music that is just around the corner, work with our neighbours to produce the right notes and a good sound – and open our mouths
  4. Always let your voice rep know if you can’t attend a rehearsal and continue coming to rehearsals even if you’ve indicated that you can’t make the concert. It’s critical for the learning, the team-building and musical development. In any case, we will be increasing the ‘re-cycling’ of music which we have already learned
  5. Use the ‘launch year’ of Surrey Heath Singers to get new interest in us. We are having a strong push at businesses and a new effort to get colleges involved with us.
  6. Encourage friends and any acquaintances to come and hear us, and start to tell others by email, when we go shopping, wherever we meet people. Have our forward programme in our minds, or even our pockets, to tell local people of the good things ‘coming shortly’
  7. Step up and help with some of the activities of the choir, perhaps organising some social activities, coming and knocking on doors to get business support, and help with some publicity tasks
  8. See if we can get some young people to take an interest – we may have something new to offer them soon
  9. Whatever the Surrey Heath Singers decide to do, please be supportive because everything we undertake is chosen to make us stronger for the future
  10. Join in some of the community and external events, so that we can be seen (and heard) around the borough, and can be better appreciated.

Melody Player Software

For some time now I have been preparing mp3 practice files for the choir, which have been made available through our web site. You can listen to the tracks directly from the web site, or download them for playing on mobile mp3 players, or other equipment. For each piece of music, separate files are made for each voice part. I find these tracks pretty useful when on the move, but at home I don’t use the mp3s. I use software called ‘Melody Assistant’ to play the tracks in their original form. This gives me the ability to do all sorts of things, such as slowing the music down (and back up again), playing my part on its own, altering the volume of voice parts and instruments, playing a selected loop over and over, and loads more. In addition the music and words scroll on the computer screen as it plays. It’s a great aid to learning, so wouldn’t it be nice if everyone had access to these facilities?

Now, as luck would have it, the publishers of Melody Assistant (Myriad Software) have brought out a new program called “Melody Player” which directly plays files produced on Melody Assistant, with no need to convert them to mp3s. It also gives you the ability to do all the things mentioned above. It’s very good for playing midi files too. The programme only came out recently and I have only had a very brief time to try it out, but I am sure many members of the choir would find it really useful. It seems quite easy to use and there is a good help file to explain the use of all the functions. To get the programme Google ‘Melody Player’ and download it from the ‘Myriad’ site   I have arranged with Tim to put files readable by Melody Player on the website, so that choir members can download them. These files are tiny compared to mp3s by the way, so you don’t need to worry about disk space.

Just for the record, I have no connection with Myriad, I am just a keen user of their software.


Handling and Care of Scores

Handling and Care of Scores

You may recall my ranting on about the marking up that has to be removed at ‘rubbing-out parties’. The problem is exacerbated by the number of old mark-ups that remain in scripts from previous users. Unfortunately SHS is responsible for the state of the scores when they are returned to the lenders.

ScoresThe picture here is a real example of a returned score, admittedly an extreme one, but not the only such page found! I don’t know if this is ‘old’ or ‘new’ marking up, the point is that SHS, as last borrower, could be charged to remove it!

There are a number of ways you can help: Firstly when you get a new score rub-out any and all ‘old’ mark-ups; secondly try to be frugal with your own markups; thirdly use a B pencil (or softer) – never use H or (heaven forbid) pen; finally, if possible remove your markups before handing the score back.

Your help will save hours and hours of tedious work and Handling and Care of Scores will be greatly appreciated.

SHS Librarian