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?
Choir members please note future events and attendance will be managed via a google calendar invite.
In an attempt to streamline and simplify the invite and response process for performances and social events. All future events will be managed via the choirs google calendar and sent as an invite to choir members email addresses.
This means all you have to do is check your emails and respond accordingly. Obviously if your details change, then keep admin informed.
Managing google calendar events this way means:
If you have any problems, then ask!
The choir will be holding a social do on Friday 20th July 2018 at Restaurante Los Lucas at 4pm
We will be holding an end of season social do which will include a finger buffet for €10 per person. Drinks are to be purchased separately.
All choir members plus partners and guests are welcome.
So if you are interested complete the form below.
We have a few video clips from the recent Paws Patas fundraising concert.
Thanks to Darren (the partner of one of our singers) who kindly filmed us at the concert on Fri 25th May 2018 at Mira Flores Ballroom, Los Gallados Camping.
The videos catch us in full song. One is an extract from The Rhythm of Life and the other is the full version of This Is The Moment.
Both clips along with other snaps and other news clippings can be viewed in our Gallery.
If you have any photos of the choir that you would like to send us, simply contact us and we can arrange how to transfer/copy/download the photos. We have a fairly good IT department!
Once again the choir will be taking part in the music festival.
We have the honour yet again to open the music festival. We are performing on Friday 1st June 2018 at 20:00 in Iglesia San Francisco, Plaza San Francisco, Albox.
We have a selection of songs in English, Italian and Spanish. Hopefully something for everyone.
And can you spot there deliberate (!) mistake on the poster?
The choir once again did their part to successfully raise funds at the recent Walk for Life Concert
The choir was delighted to sing at the recent concert in aid of Walk For Life. Audiences for both performances were very appreciative.
An estimate of €825 was raised at the two performances, so well done everyone for taking part. It is a nice amount to go toward such a small and hopefully blossoming charity that does such good work.
If your charity is wants to hold a concert to raise funds, then simply contact us. You plan the event, advertise it and produce tickets, we can help with poster artwork and then we simply turn up and sing. We do not charge a fee! What could be easier?
Time again, the few have to do the work many could help with!
Publicity is easy right? It just happens? Well someone does it, don't they? No, No and Yes is the simple answer.
There is probably no right or wrong answer, however there are some tried and tested approaches to publicity that work and sometimes they differ from event, organisation and budget availability.
When The Incognito Singers did their first performance in Zurgena we were not cash rich; so in order to keep production costs to a minimum, it was decided to use direct advertising via social media and our website as there is clear evidence that this is the most cost effective approach. Both concerts were sold out and at no advertising cost to The Incognito Singers.
Subsequently, and in order to reduce production costs even further, the decision was taken to make a direct approach to local charities and offer our services to help them raise revenue. This effectively passed all production costs, advertising, ticket sales etc to the eventual recipients with The Incognito Singers providing the entertainment free of charge. Historically this has proved very effective for PawsPatas, A.E.C.C. and FACE.
Any printing and placement of advertising material is therefore left to the discretion of the producers of the concert.
If people feel there is an opportunity to increase effective advertising by placing posters etc., at sites other than those chosen by the producers, they are at liberty to approach them directly or through our publicity coordinator and suggest it.
For our most recent performance our publicity coordinator arranged posters to be designed and printed, so that we had control over the consistency and quality of the publicity material. These posters were placed in the usual prominent places and outlets along with tickets for sale. Hopefully these costs can be recovered?
The cheaper cost option is if all the 500 plus people who visited our website and Facebook page could share the post or website link, we would be able to share the load and burden of publicity and keep the costs to an absolute minimum.
And finally we also have an emailing list, so if anyone wants to join that, fill in our contact us form. Then we will keep you informed of future events when they appear on our website.
All this may go someway to dispel the myth that there is no advertising of events!
Our MD will be having a break from rehearsals at some point over the summer, but when?
Up to now our MD is definitely not available for rehearsals on 27th July or 3rd August. There is some doubt over availability in August also.
He is mindful of our commitment to the Cancer Research Concert in November, as we have a lot of music still to learn and commit to memory - we cannot use copies at the Royal Albert Hall. So there may be some rehearsals in August. Unless you hear any different rehearsals will finish on Friday 20th July and recommence on Friday 7th September.
Obviously if you are away or cannot make any rehearsal please inform our MD directly via the choir email address.
The is a dedicated members page for the Royal Albert Hall Trip.
Sally (contralto viz the actress) has been working exceptionally hard in the background managing and coordinating all the information and bookings for the Royal Albert Hall trip in November.
Yes emails have been flying back and forth and sometimes it is hard to keep track, so spare a thought for Sally. However to make everyone else life a little easier, we have now put together a summary page of all the information you need associated with the trip. See Members > RAH page on our website.
The page will be updated with more information as we get to know it. If you have any questions or comments simply add a comment below or email us via the usual email address.
We like to perform music we like. But we also want to perform music you like!
Our MD is throwing open an invitation for new music suggestions for the 2019 music season, as we need to get on with the music ordering, arranging or transcribing now, them the pieces are ready for January 2019.
We have a good mix of songs from the show, musicals, films, ballads, love songs, folk tunes and a few classical pieces. What songs should we include next?
Let us know what your favourite pieces are and if they are available for SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass choir) then we will look t including them in our repertoire.
We tend to steer clear of sacred music and big works as other choirs have this covered. We like easy listening plus something a bit different.
So whatever your suggestion, simply comment below. Thanks in anticipation of your suggestions.
Over the summer months our website will be undergoing some changes.
To make the website easier and simpler to navigate, some work will be undertaken to change the layout, information and look of the site.
If there are pages you like or don't like, let our web admin know. If you have suggestions of what to include or exclude simply post us a comment below.
The aim is to use our website more and make it work for you our choir members and audience alike.
There is a new members page listing forthcoming event programmes and running orders.
The page is to enable members to have a one stop place to locate information about an up and coming event. Although an email will have been sent out by our MD, emails tend to get misplaced. So hopefully this new page will save any confusion.
Members simply login to our website and select the Programmes page.
The page is not available to members of the public as it would spoil the surprise of what we are going to sing at our events. To minimise costs we do not publish concert programmes. Our MD does all the introductions of songs and thanks those involved along including our sponsors.
No this has nothing to do with music but does have something to do with our website!
Spare a moment of thought for your poor MD who is also web designer, builder, admin, etc. and has to maintain the website to make your rehearsal life easier. He maintains the 'music practice' page with the up to date music schedule and rehearsal pieces.
For those in the know, the dark art of HTML and CSS can be very unforgiving on times, especially when you need to present some information on a website in a table format. Our practice music page has a few tables detailing the music and links to rehearsal tracks etc. Creating the tables in a drag and drop web designer app link Weebly is sort of do-able, but it is not easy and can be very convoluted and complex, so from time to time you simply have to roll your sleeves up and write some HTML / CSS code!
That is all well and good until you realise there is a problem and then spend days trying to find it and fix it. It can be frustrating because as any good coder knows you don't write new code each time you simply copy and adapt!
So, one table should be the same as another right? Well obviously something went wrong with one of the tables because the table appeared in the wrong location on the website.
Web admin got so frustrated he simply rebuilt the page the 'practice' page to try and find the problem, and finally established the problem was in the hand written code associated with one of the tables.
The problem was simply a missing slash '/' from the last line of the code. Doh!
So if you were ever wondering what your MD 'slash' Web admin does with his time.....
The Phantom comes to Albox.
As part of this seasons new music, we are starting rehearsals soon on a medley from Phantom of the Opera.
It just goes to show we listen to our audience, as some said they thought the choir would do a medley of Phantom music proud. I hope we do!
Demonstrating their levels of artistic flexibility a production of The Actress by Peter Quilter is soon to be performed at El Teatro Pedro Gilabert.
Directed by Roger Dickman, tenor, produced by Ian Jones, baritone and starring Sally Fitzsimmons, contralto, Marie Fletcher Carolan, contralto, Dianne Kilner, soprano and Terry LeGassick, tenor with full supporting cast.
Not to be missed
We have a new piece of music to rehearse.
Always on the lookout for new music and something a bit different from the other choirs. We have a new piece in our 'practice' pile.
It's called 'A Thousand Years' by Christina Perry, but this is a great four part choir arrangement.
If you want to get an idea of what the song is about, then check out the YouTube video, however members can log in and download our sheet music and backing tracks to practice before next rehearsal.