It’s the summer holidays! Time for me to spend some precious moments with the Libertines and Mr Singer. Only sadly, I’ve got a song stuck in my head….

Choir directors are always ahead of where they need to be. I owe it to my singers to be the very best prepared I can be. This time last year I was joking with another choir director about planning our Christmas songs but I am now already into January 2020…..

I love arranging songs. When I hear a ‘good’ song, I start to hear the parts I can create. Some of them exist already, some only exist in my head and it’s how I go about transferring those sounds from my head into a teachable format for my singers which gives me a sense of achievement.

Personal Branding Photography – Ursula Kelly @StudioSoftbox

I’ve picked a cracking song and one which I feel my singers will appreciate (luckily, many of them are my age and have my musical tastes!) “Something Changed” is the fourth and final single taken from the album Different Class by British pop band Pulp, released in 1996 with two different sleeves (a “boy” and “girl” version), but with identical track listings. It is also their fourth consecutive top ten single, peaking at #10 in the UK Singles Chart. (Cited – Wikipedia) Now I’ve got a pretty low voice for a girl (on a good day, the D below middle C lowering to a Bb if I’ve got a sore throat) but I can’t match the pitch that Jarvis Cocker does so I’ve transposed the track up 5 semi-tones – strangely Jarvis doesn’t sound like a chipmunk which is what usually happens when I transpose to such a degree……

And then starts the fun part. How to decide which section of the choir gets the tune and when and what the rest of them are doing in the meantime. There’s a great violin line which has my red sopranos written all over it…. there are some lovely lower harmonies which might get divided between my tenor blues and alto greens…. (please see previous posts about my bizarre colour association and how I use it to organise my singers). I think I’ll break with tradition and have the main tune sung first by one group and then the next. The possibilities are endless…… The next step will be to get into the studio to record it with Rich and I have a hankering to get him to play the guitar part as I play the bass… but that’s for another day…..

For now, my poor family will have to endure me sitting around with the headphones on or singing along in the car as the parts take form in my mind…….. I promise I’ll stop before we go away!