The choir performs without referring to words and music and many of the members do not read music. Consequently, learning new pieces can take some time. Regular attendance at rehearsals is a fundamental part of the learning process. Some believe that equally regular attendance at local drinking establishments following choir practice is also important. These group activities are (or should be) supplemented by private practice with the aid of tracks which the members can listen too and/or download from the website. The library of tracks is being developed to facilitate the progress of new members of the choir to full concert performance fitness. There is a back catalogue of over 160 tracks in all four parts that are put into the Learning Aids section as they come back into the repertoire.
The choir’s repertoire “rolls along” with new pieces replacing some of the established items every few months as they achieve a good enough standard for concert performance. The aim is to retain a balance in the programme so that every audience is offered variety and good entertainment. Pieces currently in the performance/learning repertoire (and in no particular order) include:
With A Voice Of Singing – A rousing statement that we now normally use as a concert starting piece. By Martin Shaw
Morte Christe – “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” by Emrys Jones is the invariable finale to the choir’s concerts and has been performed at the funerals of choir members .
Gwahoddiad – A Welsh song by Ieuan Gwyllt, in English by Lewis Hartsough arr. John Tudor Davies
Londonderry Air (Danny Boy) – Does anyone not know this Irish Folksong? Arr. Gwyn Arch.
Lily Of The Valley – A beautiful a capella American spiritual song.
Angels – As performed by Robbie Williams, believe it or believe it not, some of the choir had never heard it! Words and music by Robert Williams and Guy Chambers, arr. David Lawrence
Homeless – African folk song included in Paul Simon’s Graceland collection, arr. Allan King. (B2 Intro solo parts, currently by Malcolm Kerridge).
African Trilogy – two traditional songs Siyahamba and Shosholoza and the National Anthem of South Africa (T1 solo currently by Malcolm McClean) arr. Gwyn Arch.
Rain, Rain Beautiful Rain – By Joseph Shabalala of Ladysmith Black Mambazo. A shorter piece in the same genre as Homeless. We sing these back to back with sound effects which always gets a startled reaction from the audience.
The wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler’s best-selling single for which she received two Grammy awards. She also stared in the film of the same name. Jeff Silbar & Larry Henley, arr. Gwyn Arch.
Les Misérables – Do You Hear The People Sing & Bring Him Home and I Dreamed a Dream – The famous stage and now film score. Music by Claude-Michel Schonberg. Loved by the audience
Anthem – From Chess. Music by Benny Anderson & Bjorn Ulvaeus, words by Tim Rice arr. Hayden James
Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines – Words and Music by Ron Goodwin arr. Gwyn Arch – The audience will be singing along to this
Take Me Home – A lovely Welsh mining song from Rod Edwards and Roger Hand
There is Nothin’ Like A Dame OK, so you say you are too young to remember Rogers & Hammerstein’s’ “South Pacific” this arrangement is by William Stickles
The Lord Is My Shepherd – Psalm 23 by Franz Schubert (Not the Vicar of Dibley one!) arr. A. J. Foxwell. One of the choirs favourite and sung in memory of two recently deceased members, Frank Meechan and Russ Harrison.
You Raise Me Up – Sung by various groups, the most popular being by Westlife. By Rolf Løvland and the lyrics by Brendan Graham arr. Alan Simmons.
The Sound Of Silence – Another Paul Simons classic arranged by Gwyn Arch
The Road To The Isle – We had to get our dear departed Frank Meechan, to ‘translate’ this Scottish tramping song. Words by Kenneth Macleod, arr. Patuffa Kennedy-Fraser
Portrait Of My Love – Remember Matt Monro of the 60’s & 70’s. This arrangement is by Alan Simmons.
Songs From The First World War – A medley of 5 well known songs from WW1 and 2 that you can hum along to. Arr. Alwyn Humphreys
Can’t Help Falling In Love – Many have recorded this but Elvis is probably the most remembered. Weiss/Peretti/Creatore arr. Ed Lojeski
Back Top The 60’s – Seven classics ‘The House Of The Rising Son’, ‘Sealed With A Kiss’, ‘He Ain’t Heavy’, ‘Pretty Flamingo’, ‘Silence Is Golden’, ‘How Do You Do It’, ‘Da Do Ron Ron’. This didn’t take much learning arr. Alan Simmons.
Cavalry Of The Steppes , Cossack Patrol – This iconic Russian song is wonderful to sing, words by Billy Scott, arr. L. Knipper.
The Holy City – A wonderfully dramatic Victorian piece, you can imagine the vicar’s following sermon. Music by Stephen Adams, arr. Doris Arnold
Sinatra – Nostalgia time again, New York, New York; Strangers in the Night; Fly Me to the Moon; My Way then back to NY, NY. Fred Ebb & John Kander, arr. Alan Simmons
Amen (incorporating “This little Light of Mine”) – Traditional American spirituals arr. Alan Simmons.
Every Time I Feel The Spirit – Traditional American spirituals arr. Alan Simmons.
Goin’ Home – From the Largo of the symphony ” From the New World” Op. 95 Anton Dvorak. Words and adaption by William Arms Fisher. Remember the Hovis advert?
Nessun Dorma – From Tourandot by Puccini, arr. Alan Simmons. Now don’t tell me you haven’t heard Pavarotti singing it.