Friday, July 6, 2012

Take Note Spring Season

Just imagine going back in time to the music of Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, and Ella Fitzgerald.  That it what we tried to create with our spring program of "the great American songbook".  Talise and I had a lot of fun choosing music and putting this together. We were also aiming for performing at the UNC Jazz Festival so we spent time looking for some innovative and difficult arrangements.  The pacing was a little more challenging because, well, there were a lot of ballads so finding good, women's arrangements that were uptempo was tricky.  We ended up with a program that was a little slower than our usual, but I think all the familiar songs made up for it.

Here was our set list:
     Anything Goes  arr. Philip Kern (Solo: Dianne Hedahl)
     Don't Get Around Much Anymore  arr. Ward Swingle
     Over the Rainbow  arr. Celtic Women
     My Funny Valentine  arr. Kirby Shaw
     Straighten Up and Fly Right  arr. Sweet Adelines
     'Round Midnight  arr. Randy Crenshaw (Solo: Rebecca Vavla)
     Fly Me to the Moon  arr. Kirby Shaw
     What'll I Do  arr. Kirby Shaw
     Summertime  arr. Martina Freytag (Solos: Talise Chandler and Emily Larson)
     When I Fall in Love  arr. Kirby Shaw (Solo: Carolyn Turner)
     Orange Colored Sky  arr. Deke Sharon (Solo: Carli Siders)

In addition to our normal gigs at nursing homes we got to do several performances for church and community groups.  It was great having some paying gigs and a larger audience.  One of the funniest experiences was our last performance was on a gray, rainy day at a nursing home we had never been at before.  We were going along with our set and the audience seemed to be responding well -- lots of them singing along and some even dancing in their wheelchairs.  Something about "Fly Me to the Moon" must have rubbed one older woman the wrong way.  Started mumbling "that's terrible", "stop", and "that's awful".  As the song went on she started getting louder and more emphatic.  We were all doing our best not to completely lose it by cracking up and her fellow residents were giving her death glares.  Someone finally told an aide and they wheeled her out as she continued to heckle us.  It was very difficult to stop our laughing and keep singing.  Luckily, we are pros and we pulled it together to finish out the set. :)

At one of our last gigs, we took a video.  We were missing a couple of us and the piano is horribly out of tune, but I will include a few of our tunes.

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As always, I love singing with these ladies!  We have such a good time together making music and serving in our community.  We have some staffing changes coming up, but I hope we continue to improve and raise the level of our musicianship.  Next spring we want to take several of our songs up to perform (and get critiqued) at the Jazz Festival.  I look forward to pushing ourselves when we come back from our summer break.

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