I hope you are all keeping safe and well and manage to be with friends and family over the Christmas New Year period.
This has been an unprecedented year thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic and has effected many people in different ways. Sadly for us singers and choirs we have not seen any return to normality nor may we for a while yet. Sad to say we may see the anniversary of the start of the pandemic before we get back to singing.
As there is no end in sight but there is movement on releasing a vaccine plus inoculating people, let's hope the 'norm' returns quickly then we can get back to doing what we like best - singing together as a choir.
In the meantime I wish you well and I am obviously planning a new programme of music so if you have any suggestions, please contact me!
Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, stay safe and well and I look forward to seeing you all again in 2021!
David - Musical Director for the Incognito Singers
It is a sad state of affairs but due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation we have withdrawn from the Cancer Research Festival of Voice and Brass for October 2021.
Let us hope that soon we will all be back to normal and that we can get back to singing and rehearsing together. Then we can hopefully put our efforts into local entertaining and fund raising for 2021.
The choir has been invited to take part in the Cancer Research Festival of Voice and Brass in London on 30th October 2021.
Quite an honour to be invited! So we must have made a good impression when Mr Relton the MD visited us last time.
The set up is similar to last time: a long weekend travel out on the Friday, Saturday morning rehearsal, Saturday evening performance and back home Sunday, unless you are going to stay on in the UK.
The music is similar with a few new additions and the theme is still similar to a concert of remembrance and last night of the proms finale with twinklers, flags and over 1500 singers.
The suggestion this time is we use the outer London hotels (probably Heathrow area) as those hotels offer more than the inner London. To be fair last time the Canary Wharf (inner London?) hotel was still an hour coach ride to the Albert Hall. Heathrow to Albert Hall is an hour also. The outer London hotels seemed more accommodating to the needs of the large numbers attending.
The music has to be learned and committed to memory which is a challenge on its own.
Supporters can come along too and tickets for them are available via the booking agent.
Travelling as a choir we usually all travel out together but most people extended their stay in the UK to visit friends and family. This is a logistical headache, however the plans are:
The cost include:
The MD whoever it is will more than likely visit us in Spain as we are not expected to travel to the regional rehearsals in the UK.
The event is very good, exciting, entertaining and moving. A good social outing for the choir and to get to know people better. A brilliant experience albeit the second time (or third/fourth) for some. So if you are interested let us know and fill in the forms on the dedicated web page.
Should you need any more information please do not hesitate to contact David +34 629 977 822.
This year has been a strange one!
Hopefully everyone is safe and well and following all the government guidelines and social distancing instructions.
Here in Spain I think we have had a sensible approach to the 'lockdown' and we all feel safe thanks to the governments measures albeit they may have seemed harsh. But as we are now leaving lockdown, we can see some light at the end of the tunnel.
Choirs and singing have been effected in a big way and it is not sure as and when we can officially get back together. But in the hope it will soon be sorted our return to rehearsal date is Friday 4th Sept at 18:00 at our usual rehearsal venue of Hostal Rosaleda - all being well.
Granted groups of up to 20 (at the time of writing) can now meet it is still not certain of wise to think singing is a good option. The choir has 32 members so we cannot fully return as yet. Sectional practice in private with social distancing could resume, however I can image a lot are still cautious about getting together in groups.
If and when we are back, there are a few outstanding / postponed concerts that we could revive fairly quickly and hopefully all feel a bit better for doing so, but we will have to take it on advisement and follow the guidelines issued by the Junta de Andalucia.
In the meantime, there are always the backing tracks available to help you rehearse and have a sing along at home on your own - I know not the same as singing in a choir is it?
Stay safe and hope to see you all soon. D
The following dates and times are the joint rehearsal dates and times for the Concert of Peace on the 26th Jan 2020 at Vera Auditorio.
Both choirs are welcome to each others rehearsals throughout January to sing the joint pieces.
Note about concert publicity: It is the responsibility of the orchestra and both choirs to promote this concert, therefore please share the details as widely as possible.
Unfortunately APSA have cancelled the concert for 14th Dec 2019 at Pedro Gilabert Theatre.
Here is a statement from APSA:
We're very upset to share this with you but due to problems caused by over-booking of the venue which lead to several problems, next week's Christmas Fundraiser is cancelled.
If you have bought a ticket, you can come and we'll give you your money back. We have had this beautiful big Christmas Raffle prepared for next weekend, so, if you prefer, you can also bring your ticket back and get five raffle tickets in exchange! That will at least give you a chance to win one of the lovely baskets. If you want to exchange your ticket for raffle tickets, please bring your ticket to LOS LLANOS, not the charity shop. We would like to say thank you to Peter Hands and The Incognito Singers for all their help and efforts! And we'd like to apologise to everyone who was looking forward to the evening, we certainly did and we're very upset. Thank you!
Please refer all comments and enquiries directly to APSA thank you.
Annual subscriptions are due from the 1st March 2020.
The 2020 AGM will determine the amount of annual subscription.
Members joining less than half way through a year pay half the subscription amount.
Subscription pays for music, stage wear and administration.
The 2020 AGM will be held on Friday 7th February at Hostal Rosaleda 18:00 - 19:00.
If there are any specific items to be added to the agenda, please let David know by Fri 31st Jan 2020
Would all officers please present their report at the AGM.
PAWS PATAS Christmas Concert at Miraflores Bar Restaurant Camping Los Gallados at 18:00. Fish and Chips available too!
An exciting joint concert with two choirs and an orchestra!
On Sunday evening 26th Jan 2020 at Vera Auditorio, the two choirs of The Incognito Singers and Vera Voces will be joining forces to take part in the Concert for Peace presented by the Cariatiz Orchestra and led be Dave Sharp.
The evening will be a great night of music. Some orchestral pieces plus two choral works accompanied by the orchestra.
We have chosen a medley, The Music of M-G-M, whilst Vera Voces have chosen the Easter Hymn from Cavalleria Rusticana.
Joint choir rehearsals are pencilled in for January as:
Sheet music for the two vocal pieces has already been distributed to singers.
Stage-wear has yet to be confirmed along with final arrangements for joint orchestral rehearsals and dress rehearsal.
Here's to a great collaboration and evening of music!
Well there is one thing, we never stand still do we?
There is always some movement for various reason within the choir membership. Recently there have been quite a few changes.
We would like to welcome to our ranks:
Sadly due to various reasons the following have left us:
Having a break...
Sometimes people have other commitments and don't want to leave and hopefully will be back with us soon:
You will be pleased (or not) to know that all but two Christmas songs are ready and available for download, oh, and rehearsal! OK you may get some strange looks while on the beach humming along to your Christmas backing tracks!
Just think though, now the Christmas music is available our MD is working on 2020 music, so if you have any suggestions let's have them before the end of August. Gerry (Bass/Baritone) is the winner up to now with great suggestions on a regular 'bass-is', sorry couldn't resist the pun!
Just to let you know our Publicity Co-ordinator is also hard at work, rearranging concert dates for December and working on concert dates for 2020 also.
Anyway do enjoy the summer holiday, the return and season dates are on our Rehearsal page.
Also, if you have any News items to share with the choir or folks (not on Facebook) send an email to our web admin.
The choir has a new star!
I'm pleased to announce that the choir has a new amplifier. The new one (left) is similar to the old one (right), only newer, lighter and cheaper.
The old amp, didn't do too badly, as it has been to every rehearsal since April 2015, plus each performance and had a few knocks and bruises. It needed a wheel change(!) plus a few repairs every now and then, so has served us well.
The MD is delighted that the new amp is lighter, especially as he has to carry it and man handle it everywhere.
The old amp if it will retain its battery charge, might be used as a back-up or sold on.
However, our shining star is Gail who only came along to a rehearsal for the first time, but leapt into action by going and buying a new amplifier, while the MD struggled on with the rehearsal.
Sadly we found out there was a fault on the new amp too - how unlucky is that? But Gail patiently sat there holding the volume rotary switch to enable it to work and we limped thought the rehearsal.
Today though, Gail (our new alto and button pusher expert) and David went to purchase yet another new amp. It has been tested and all is working, so no excuses now, the music will go on!
Annual Subscriptions for the choir are €40 payable 1st March
That is just €1 per weekly rehearsal session of 2 hours of music making, music direction, voice coaching, theory, sheet music and backing track availability and hopefully a bit of a laugh too. It also includes certain items of stage-wear loaned to each member. Where else can you have a night out for €1?
Subscriptions are due from the 1st March each year and payable in one instalment. However with discussion arrangements can be made for instalments.
Members complete and sign a membership form annually.
The only other cost for the night is to buy a drink at the venue, because they very kindly let us have the room for free on the basis we each buy a drink. Sadly not everyone does, which means we may have to increase the subs to pay for the room.
Members can always check out the comprehensive members area of our website for more information. If in doubt ask.
Friday last saw The Incognito Singers give a very good and well received concert at Mira Flores Camping Los Gallados.
A good mix of songs from the shows, loves songs and ballads performed to a high standard.
A very appreciative of 100 plus audience not only enjoyed the singing but the fish and chip supper afterwards.
The evening was enjoyed by all and the total raised was in excess of €900.
The proceeds were for their new quarantine isolation unit for when they take in stray cats and dogs that have yet to be checked and inoculated. For more information visit the PAW-PATAS website.
Well done to the choir and well done to PAWS PATAS for a successful evening.
Another article has made it to press within the Almeria Living magazine thanks to Peter Hands.
It's all about A Weekend to Remember.
The magazine is available for free at many outlets but is also available to read online at www.almerialiving.net
A clipping of the article is available in our gallery too.
Thanks to Peter for taking the time to prepare and submit the article and thanks to Almeria Living for publishing.
Early November the members of the Incognito singers met at Alicante Airport for the beginning of an adventure that none of us will ever forget. A chance to join 1500 other voices from 28 choirs and sing with 2 world famous brass bands (Grimethorpe Colliery Band and Cory Band) and The Fochabers Fiddlers for a Gala Concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
The famous conductor, composer and musician, William Relton, has been organising these events, in aid of Cancer Research, for the past 35 years and has raised over £500,000 for the charity. A Gala Concert 2018– A Festival of Brass and Voices in aid of Cancer Research UK was to be his last before retiring, making it extra special.
I had lived in London for 16 years before moving to Spain and had attended many concerts at the Hall, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I would get the opportunity to sing in this great building.
Despite having been rehearsing for the past year for this event, I was still nervous. However my fears were allayed during the dress rehearsal. William made us all feel at ease. The great thing about singing with so many others is that no one can hear your mistakes! I was surprised that the other choirs had struggled in exactly the same places as we had!
The performance in the evening was just brilliant. What strikes you when you walk into the hall as a performer is its sheer size. The organ is tremendous and it accompanied many of our songs - it made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck!
During our performance of ‘Calm is the Sea’ by Heinrich all the lights were slowly dimmed and everyone’s ‘twinklers’ began to flash in remembrance of those who had died from cancer. It was very moving and the minutes silence after was emotional. For me this is a moment I shall never forget as my mum and aunt both died from this terrible disease.
The big finish was the bands playing Elgar’s ‘Pomp & Circumstance’. It was an amazing sight to look out and see everyone waving flags and singing along - something I shall remember forever.
Thank you to the Incognito Singers for giving all of us this once in a lifetime opportunity.
Search ‘Festival of Voice and Brass Gala Concert 2018’ on YouTube to see some of the videos that have been uploaded and enjoy the moment too. You can also see photos and videos in our own gallery (which opens a separate google gallery page).
A big thankyou to our musical director David Murphy for the many hours he has spent with us rehearsing all the music and giving us this opportunity, to Sally Miller for organising flights accommodation, transport and all the logistics and to Linda Hands for her hard work on our outfits for the evening.
Brilliant! by David Blake, Tenor
The choir Annual General Meeting is on Friday 11th January 2019 at 18:00 in Hostal Rosaleda
Members should review the minutes of the last AGM ahead of the meeting.
Officers please prepare a short report for the meeting.
Agenda and previous minutes are available in the members area.
We are taking part and all the arrangements are finished now, hopefully says Sally... she has been coordinating all the bookings, transfers, flights etc. I think she needs a medal.
The choir have been learning the songs and just to make sure we are on the right track and as costs were prohibitive for us to attend a UK regional rehearsal, Mr William Relton kindly came to us in Spain, along with the organiser Syd.
We had a good rehearsal and evening, but we must say a special thank you to Sue for playing the piano for us that night and a big thank you to Spikey for taking the great photos.
We have a gallery of a selection of the photos from the rehearsal.
So as the big day looms I think we are fairly well prepared. Just remember no more copies.... so it's all from memory. So my advice is "just smile at it".
Rehearsals recommence Friday 7th September, 18:00 at Hostal Rosaleda. See our rehearsal page for more details.
New members are always welcome to come along to a rehearsal to see if you would like to sing with us. We have a wide selection of music from popular song, ballads, loves songs, songs from the shows and light classical. Something for everyone.
This term we are running split rehearsals, the first hour focusing on new music and our repertoire. The second hour focusing on the music we have to prepare for the Cancer Research Festival of Brass and Voice at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Hope everyone is enjoying the summer break?
Our MD/Web Admin/Secretary.... is still hard at work doing music and overhauling the website, so he's not seen much sun of late!
Anyway, in his spare time he has posted a few more music titles to the practice page in the members area. Currently they are only available as sheet music, the backing tracks will follow as soon as Murf comes back from house clearing in the UK.
We're not going to spoil the surprise and say publicly what the titles are. We don't want to spoil the surprise for our audience - they will have to wait a little bit longer.
Yes the choir is available for bookings such as weddings. Here is an article which appeared in the Almeria Living magazine recently, written by Peter Hands (our publicity coordinator).
Three years ago, Sarah Hyne and her husband Steve were on a property finding visit to the area and made a sightseeing visit to the Santuario de Saliente, where by chance, a wedding was taking place. Sarah was so taken with the church and the surroundings that she rang her daughter Lisa that evening to say, “I have found the venue for your wedding”, which was jumping the gun a little bit as Lisa’s boyfriend Jeremy had yet to propose, but as far as Sarah was concerned the decision had been made.
The wedding took place on Tuesday 29th May and was not without a few logistical problems as 110 of the guests were from the UK.
They all stayed at The Best Indalo Hotel in Mojacar Playa, which meant transport had to be arranged to get everyone to and from the church on the day.
To make things extra special for her daughter, Sarah decided to have live music during the ceremony and engaged The Incognito Singers to lead the congregation in the hymns and provide extra music during the signing of the register.
The ceremony was due to start at 12 noon, the church was ready, the priest was ready, the choir were in position, but there was no bride, groom or wedding party, however after a delay of an hour, the wedding went ahead as planned.
It later transpired that the bride was at the church on time having been brought there by car, but the mini bus, hired to bring Sarah, the groom and the ushers to the church had broken down just outside Albox.
As they waited for assistance the first of the two coaches bringing guests from Mojacar went past them without stopping. Fortunately, they were able to flag the second coach down and join them for the journey to the church.
Later, Sarah said “Apart from the first problems of the day, I couldn’t believe how well everything went. The church and surroundings were like something from an “A list” wedding. The refreshments in the courtyard of the church were superb, the reception at Casa Minguito in Mojacar Playa was amazing and the music from The Incognito Singers made the ceremony magical. One of those days I will always remember.”
The newly married Mr and Mrs O’Donovan will be having a belated honeymoon in The Bahamas next year
If you would like to hire the choir for your special day, then simply contact us for more information.
Sometimes you just have to sit down and learn them!
All the songs for the Royal Albert Hall performance have to be committed to memory! That's no mean feat. Plus our MD has threatened us to learn all our future music too so that we don't rely on copies. Eeek!
So what are the tricks to learning lyrics. Our MD outlines his approach:
Don't worry we've all been here and have to do it. How do you think our MD manages to keep his head up, mouth the words and bring each part in accordingly? He has to learn the music and words too and for more than one part!
When you first perform a piece without copies you feel naked and then become conscious about your hands and how you stand but that's a topic for another day.
As for writing out lyrics our MD uses the following method:
The following extract from the Hallelujah Chorus might give you an idea. This is for Bass 1, therefore the other singers lyrics are greyed out and in brackets as he will not be singing them.
Ignore the red squiggly underline, that is the word processor objecting to the word being spelt wrong with the hyphen. But the hyphen is there to remind him to sing the word longer or separated.
And finally with a piece like the Hallelujah Chorus you just have to work out how many 'Hallelujahs' to sing, especially in the end phrase.
Have fun learning lyrics!
None! They can’t reach that high! Only joking Altos!!
This was the scene this morning as Marie visited David, no not for a singing lesson nor to go through choir music, but to have her new choir dress pinned up in preparation for shortening and modelling to the choir.
You’ll be pleased to know that Linda is going to make sure they are shortened and sewn correctly.
The things our M.D. gets involved in hey?