This group have no conductor, no-one out front, no-one counting them in - all their performance is lead by breath. And they showed us how they do it ... It was so interesting. They use the energy of the audience and wait for everyone to settle before they begin.
First Michael McGlynn the founder and director of Anuna asked me to conduct a piece, then do it again without moving my hands ..hmm No, don't mouth the words! No, don't use facial expressions! At that I started to laugh and couldn't think of what else to do - so he proceeded to tell the group to close their eyes.
|Singmarra with Michael standing behind and me in front.
Note the closed eyes and people trying not to giggle
So after going through breathing exercises and unison singing we rehearsed Gaudete to perform with them in the Monastery later in the evening. We were drilled in walking on, bowing and walking off - such fun - I wonder how much of it people will remember when we start back next week lol
So here's the performance - This is a terrible image but you can see the candles held by the Anuna ladies - we're surrounding them - they didnt trust us with the candles lol - and you can certainly hear us when we come in after the 2nd verse.
|Everyone together afterwards ..
we were in the Benedictine Monastery where the Mass is still sung in Gregorian Chant
|Some of my Singmarra ladies with Michael
|Even making it into the paper the following week
I have no desire to have a professional level choir - my main passion is to get people to use their voices - almost without exception, people who join community choirs tell the leaders that they can't sing or can't sing in tune - given 10 minutes singing in a group with fun songs and no-one pointing fingers everyone sings well in tune and has fun. But, this experiecne will certainly lift the level of what we do, me as much as the singers - in fact it'll give me the opportunity to join in and sing with them rather than being stuck out in front.