A singer’s blog – choir practice in Portugal?

25 November 2015

It’s been great to be back in the rhythm of our weekly rehearsals: new songs, new singers (extra basses especially welcome) and lots of old friends. How did we get through the summer without seeing Theresa’s eyes peering up at Pete over the top of her grand piano, without the warm-up harmonies of Bella Signora and without knowing that ‘Ken Dodd’s dad’s dog’s dead’?

Mandy and I have not missed a Wednesday night since Inspiration Southampton started back in May. Now we’ve had a week in the sun (and storms) of the Algarve. But all was not lost: the iffy Wi-Fi in our hotel connected us to all the MP3s, saved into Dropbox before we left, and The Little Drummer Boy was beating out on our balcony and the Herald Angels were singing over the sound of the waves from the beach below.

Without our usual Wednesday workout we booked a table at Portuguese folk show. Audience participation was encouraged and we found ourselves singing along. It was a bit like an Inspiration warm-up, with lots of variations on “La, La and… La” but we did have wine rather than water to help.

‘The little lamb’ told ‘the shepherd boy’, it could hear, ‘A song, a song … with a voice as big as the sea.’  And after a week in Albufeira, with the sea just half a stone’s throw from our window, we returned with an ear-worm of Atlantic waves washing through our heads but also some new songs learned too.

So now, with only a few weeks to go we’re at the, ‘How will we manage to learn all those songs BC (by Christmas) and BH (by heart)!’ Well, we did it before and with help from Pete and Theresa, and Dropbox and the MP3s, the ‘dewdrops of mercy (will) shine bright’ in the Guildhall come concert day.

Alan Matlock, Southampton Bass

Inspiration Southampton Rehearsal Inspiration Southampton Rehearsal