Excellent afternoon session with the children in Yrs 5 & 6 from Pontnewynydd Primary School. Last term they recorded the School leaving song (“There with Me); this term we’re working on their own song “Cool School” (words – mostly – by them, music by me) and the new reggae-style song “Universal Harvest”.
There are some really good voices who generally lead the rest and Justin the Sound Engineer is brilliant with them, which helps. We don’t have long: the primary school day is full and the room is almost unbearably hot, but both songs go really well. Hopefully, recording next week. Just an ordinary school in South Wales but the care and enthusiasm shines out.
Two choir practices.
Flying Shepherds, although depleted in number, nailed three tunes they’d not done for months. Given that I’d only decided to slot these into the repertoire at the last moment, all credit to the choir.
One of the key elements is ‘trust’: in yourself, that even if you get it wrong, you can get it right in the end; in each other, that you’re not going to be judged when you make a hash of something; and in me as conductor / musical director / composer, that I give clear, non-contradictory instructions about how I want a piece to sound and how to go about achieving it.
Village Voices, who gathered for the first time after a highly successful concert last Spring. We always have a few summer get-togethers. It helps to introduce new material for Christmas and/or the annual concert, especially if it’s an original.
On this occasion, it’s one original and one original arrangement of a well-known pop-song. Except that it wasn’t as well-known as I’d thought. Ah well. The words and music of the new carol, however, went down very well. It’s gratifying to know that a choir is singing your stuff not because they have to, but because they want to.
And so to Raglan, for the annual Music Festival. I don’t know how Lounging About do it, but in all the years we’ve been performing on the Beaufort Terrace – open to the elements – we’ve never had a downpour. Wind, yes, chilliness, yes, blinding sun, yes, even the odd shower, but never real, persistent ‘stair-rods’ rain. And so it proved.
Motorcycle escort out of the village because of road closures, appreciative and slightly drunk audience when we started and the whole hour went by in a flash. I chose too many songs, as usual but the set was a ‘little belter’, with the likes of Baker Street, That Man, Moondance, Summertime, Fever etc. Charlie, our sax player was particularly inspired during ‘Changing Lanes’ (one of mine’). Tired but happy, now.