California dreamin’31 January, 2011
I went Home for my mum’s birthday*, and my parents and I went to the Big Sing.
It goes like this: 60-ish people turn up and choose a corner of the hall (soprano, alto, tenor or bass, more according to the part they feel like singing than anything technical) and Hilary and Alice teach a part to each corner.
They might start with the sopranos, teaching the first few lines through repetition and invisible diagrams waved in the air. They teach the alto part: we sit up and concentrate and try not to lose our part to the soprano’s tune. There’s the first glimpse of how the harmony is going to fit.
Then they teach the tenor part; the sopranos and altos are singing their part under their breath as we realise how it fits with the tenor, and now there are three parts at the edge of hearing. Finally the bass powers in (seriously, why don’t more men sing? It sounds awesome).
The whole thing takes just a few minutes and we’re ready to go. Alice and Hilary check the start notes; the chord hangs in the air as 60 people catch them and hold on.
There’s a pause.
There’s a count.
There’s four-part harmony:
* #happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you…#