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Last updated 20 June 2019

Vocal Warm-ups:


Vowels with semitone raise:
"A E I O U"; semitone raise, repeat ad infinitum:
This vocal exercise brings the sounds from the back to the front of the mouth

Simple scale:
C: "1";
C D C: "121"; C D E D C: "12321"; C D E F E D C: "1234321"; C D E F G F E D C: "123454321"; C D E F G A G F E D C: "12345654321"; C D E F G A B A G F E D C: "1234567654321";
C D E F G A B C^ B A G F E D C: "123456787654321";
C D E F G A B A G F E D C: "1234567654321"; C D E F G A G F E D C: "12345654321"; C D E F G F E D C: "123454321"; C D E F E D C: "1234321"; C D E D C: "12321"; C D C: "121";
C: "1"

"Sunny Weather" with semitone raise:
C D E: "I'd like some";
F E D F: "sunny weather"; E D C E: "sunny weather"; D C Bv D: "sunny weather"; C Bv Av C: "sunny weather"
Bv Av Gv Bv; "sunny weather", Av Gv Fv Av: "sunny weather", Gv Fv Ev Gv: "sunny weather";
Fv: "NOW"
Return to the starting note (C, up) and then raise it by one semitone to get the new starting note, repeat ad infinitum,
and when you get to the top note of your range, just drop an octave

Arpeggio with semitone raise:
C E G C^ G E C: "I am a shining star",
The finishing note is the same as the starting note (C, level). Raise it by one semitone to get
the new starting note, repeat ad infinitum,
and when you get to the top note of your range, just drop an octave

Can-Can: (Tune The Can-Can) with semitone raise:
"My dog he can do the Can-Can";
"Better than my cat can";
"But my goldfish finds it very difficult";
"And my dog he can do the Can-Can";
"Better than my cat can";
"But my goldfish finds it very hard"
The finishing note is the same as the starting note (level). Raise it by one semitone to get
the new starting note, repeat ad infinitum,
and when you get to the top note of your range, just drop an octave

Beware the law of gravity (better suited to male voices):
C F F D# D# F C D#: "Beware the law of gravity";
C C# C# C A#v G#v G#v G#v: "That makes the bread we have for tea";
A#v G#v Gv Fv: "Fall to the ground";
Gv Gv Cv Fv: "Butter side down"
Return to the starting note (C, up) and then raise it by one semitone to get the new starting note, repeat ad infinitum,
and when you get to the bottom note of your range, just raise an octave

Dai's got a head like a ping-pong ball: (Tune William Tell Overture) with semitone raise:
"Dai's got a head like a ping-pong ball"
"Dai's got a head like a ping-pong ball"
"Dai's got a head like a ping-pong ball"
"P....ing -pong ball"
"Dai's got a head like a ping-pong, ping-pong, ping-pong, ping-pong, ping-pong ball"
"Dai's got a head like a ping-pong, ping-pong, ping-pong, ping-pong ball"
"Ping, ping, ping, ping, ping, ping, ping, ping, ping, PONG"
"Dai's got a head like a ping-pong ball"
"Dai's got a head like a ping-pong ball"
"Dai's got a head like a ping-pong ball"
"P....ing -pong ball"
Down three tones to return to the starting note, and then raise it by one semitone to get the new starting note, repeat ad infinitum,
and when you get to the top note of your range, just drop an octave

"The Quartermaster's Stores". This is a forces song that dates from WW1, and it survives today as one of the more popular campfire songs for the Scout Association. An interesting point is that T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) worked in the Quartermaster's Stores during his later RAF days. Traditionally the song begins as follows:

"There were rats, rats,
As big as bloomin' cats,"
"In the stores, in the stores."
"There were rats, rats,
"As big as bloomin' cats,"
In the Quartermaster's Stores."

(Chorus):
"My eyes are dim, I cannot see
I have not brought my specs with me
I have not brought my specs with me."

Various other traditional verses include:
Eggs.... with kilts and hairy legs.
Gravy... enough to float the Navy.
Cheese... that brings you to your knees.

Most likely you'll have tumbled the object of the song, which is to describe the rather unsavoury contents of the stores. The one rule is that it must rhyme.


Practice Tapes 2018/2019 Repertoire

Christmas Music:
All I want for Christmas is you (Carey, Afanasieff, arranged L'Estrange);
Christmas is coming (Raney);
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! (Styne, arranged L'Estrange);
The little drummer boy / Peace on Earth (Simeone, Onorati, Davis, Kohan, Grossman, Fraser, arranged Althouse);
The Prayer, Lead us Lord (Sager, Foster, arranged Fettke) ;
Rocking around the Christmas Tree (Marks, arranged L'Estrange);
Sing we all Noel (African Noel and Siyahamba, African folk songs arranged by Ruth Elaine Schram);
White Christmas (Bing Crosby)

100th Anniversary of the First World War Armistice: at the eleventh hour 11.11.1918:
Tunes from the trenches (Arranged and orchestrated by Peter Lawson for choir and orchestra: NB Orchestra only in this version)


Main repertoire 2018/2019: All things bright and beautiful (Rutter);
Annie (Charnin, Strouse, Emerson);
Banaha (Congolese folksong);
Barbershop Blues (Musser);
Best of Bond (Arranged Ginsburg);
A Choral Benediction (Besig);
*Christmas smash hits Vol. 1 (Arranged Alexander L'Estrange);
Come and rejoice (Besig, Price);
The composers are all on FaceBook (Burrows);
Dona nobis pacem (Traditional canon, arranged Liebergen)
For the beauty of the earth (Rutter);
From now on (From "The Greatest Showman", Pasek, Paul, arranged Emerson);
Getting to know you (Rodgers, arranged Stickles);
Gonna rise up singin' (Besig);
Gonna rise up singin' (alternative) (Besig);
Halle, Halle, Halle (Traditional Caribbean Song, arranged Hopson);
Hallelujah (Cohen, Buckley, arranged Wikeley);
I hear music in me (Sprunger);
I whistle a happy tune (Rodgers, arranged Stickles);
The Keel Row (Traditional English, arranged Lawson);
Let the river run (Simon, arranged Shaw);
A million dreams (From "The Greatest Showman", Pasek, Paul, arranged Huff);
*The Music of life (Lin Marsh, advisory teacher of music in Oxfordshire);
Panis angelicus (Franck, arranged Geehl);
Sailing (Sutherland, arranged Hunt);
Sing (Grassi, Hoying, Olusala, Johnson, Hollander, Brymer);
Sing (Alternative, with score);
Skyfall, James Bond (Adkins, Epworth, arranged Langford) ;
Sounds of Simon and Garfunkel (Simon);
Walking on sunshine (Rew, arranged Huff);
You raise me up (Graham, Lovland, Emerson)

* = Youtube video not available
# = Music not yet available

Spring 2020 Concert Programme

Wednesday 25.04.20 7.30pm Berkswich WI Concert in aid of a charity to be named, at Walton Village Hall

 
Walton Village Hall,
Green Gore Lane,
Walton-on-the-Hill,
Stafford
ST17 0LD
(See map)

Autumn/Winter 2019/2020 Concert Programme

Wednesday 18.12.19 7.30pm Joint Stafford Singers and Stafford Orchestra Carol Concert at Doxey Church



 
St Thomas' & St Andrew's C of E Church,
Doxey,
Stafford
ST16 1EQ
(See map)

Friday 13.12.19 7.30pm Stafford Boat Club Concert (Small Choir)

 
Stafford Boat Club,
Clubhouse,
Maple Wood,
Wildwood,
Stafford
ST17 4SG
(See map)

Wednesday 11.12.19 7.30pm Brocton WI Carol Concert at Brocton Village Hall (Small Choir)


Brocton Village Hall,
Old Acre Lane,
Brocton,
Stafford
ST17 0TW
(see map).

04.12.19 Joint Stafford Singers and Stafford Orchestra Rehearsal at Doxey Church

 
St Thomas' & St Andrew's C of E Church,
Doxey,
Stafford
ST16 1EQ
(see map)

Winter 2019 Programme

Saturday 12.10.19 7.30pm Stowe-by-Chartley Concert, Stowe-by-Chartley Village Hall

 
Stowe-by-Chartley Village Hall,
Station Road,
STOWE-BY-CHARTLEY
ST18 0LG
(See map)

06.07.19 Paul is now a Grandfather



We recently had the delightful news from Paul Charman's son Stephen that Paul's granddaughter Isabel was born on 06.07.19. Congratulations to all.

Autumn 2019 Programme

Summer 2019


Saturday 18.05.19 1930 Concert at St Bertelin's Church
in aid of the Greenhall Nursery for children with special needs


;  
St Bertelin's Church,
Holmcroft Road,
Stafford

(see map).

05.04.19 Ken Rose Century



Dr J. Kenneth H. Rose M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. was the Musical Director of the GEC Alsthom Association Choir (a forerunner of Stafford Singers) 1989 – 1998 as well as Organist and Choirmaster of St Bertelin's Church, Stafford; former conductor of two choirs; former Director of 16 operas, mainly for Stafford & District Operatic Society; and soloist and duettist in competitive festivals.
On 05 April 2019 he celebrated his 100th birthday.

Tuesday 02.04.19 Committee Meeting


Spring 2019

Monday 07.01.19 Resumption of rehearsals after Christmas break, Berkswich Methodist Church

19.12.18 1930 Joint Stafford Singers and Stafford Orchestra Carol Concert at Doxey Church



 
St Thomas and St Andrew,
Doxey Parish Church,
ST16 1EQ

(See map)




Tunes from the Trenches
100th Anniversary of the end of the First World War 11th hour, 11th day, 11th month 1918

1. We start with a recruiting song ...
Your King and Country want you
Words and music by Paul Rubens.

Oh we don't want to lose you,
But we think you ought to go
For your King and your Country both need you so;
We shall want you and miss you,
But with all our might and main,
We shall cheer you, thank you, bless you
When you come home again.

... and then the soldiers set off to war…

Goodbye Dolly Gray
Words by Will D Cobb, music by Paul Barnes.

Goodbye Dolly I must leave you,
Though it breaks my heart to go,
Something tells me I am needed
At the front to fight the foe,
See the boys in blue are marching
And I can no longer stay,
Hark I hear the bugle calling,
Goodbye Dolly Gray.

2. Time to make fun of the enemy ...
Belgium put the Kibosh on the Kaiser
Words and music by Alf Ellerton

Belgium put the kibosh on the Kaiser;
Europe took the stick and made him sore;
We shall shout with vict'ry's joy,
Hold your hand out naughty boy,
You must never play at soldiers any more.
Belgium put the kibosh on the Kaiser;
Europe took the stick and made him sore;
On his throne it hurts to sit
And when John Bull starts to hit,
He will never sit upon it any more.

Songs were adapted by the soldiers who made up suitable words—
there were many alternative verses of the next song ...

3. Three German Officers crossed the Rhine
Trad. French Army modified by the Old Comtemptibles

Three German Officers crossed the Rhine, parlez-vous,
Three German Officers crossed the Rhine, parlez-vous,
Three German Officers crossed the Rhine,
To kiss the women and drink the wine,
Inky dinky parlez-vous.

Allied officers, as well as the enemy, were targets ...
They were only Playing Leapfrog
Army adaptation of "John Brown's Body" (Trad.)

One staff officer jumped right over another staff officer's back,
And another staff officer jumped right over that other staff officer's back;
A third staff officer jumped right over two other staff officer's backs
And a fourth staff officer jumped right over all the other staff officers' backs.
They were only playing leapfrog,
They were only playing leapfrog,
They were only playing leapfrog
When one staff officer jumped right over another staff officer's back.

4. The Bells of Hell Go Ting-a-Ling-a-Ling
WW1 air force adaptation of Ting-a-Ling-Tay
Words and music by Harry Dacre

The bells of hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling
For you but not for me;
And the little devils, how they sing-a-ling-a-ling
For you but not for me.
Oh! Death where is thy sting-a-ling-a-ling?
Oh grave thy victory?
The Bells of Hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling
For you but not for me.

Christmas and through the fog of the battlefield:

Stille Nacht
Words by Joseph Mohr, music by Franz Grüber.

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Alles schläft, einsam wacht,
Nur das traute hochheilige Paar
Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!

5. The yearning for the end of the war and going home ...
When this Lousy War is Over
Anonymous adaptation of "What a Friend we have in Jesus".
Words by Joseph M. Scriven, music by Charles Crozat Converse.

When this lousy war is over,
No more soldiering for me,
When I get my civvy clothes on,
Oh, how happy I shall be!
No more church parades on Sunday,
No more putting in for leave,
I shall kiss the sergeant-major,
How I'll miss him, how he'll grieve! Amen.

Home! Sweet Home!
Words by John Hoard Payne, music by Henry Bishop.
'Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home;
A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there,
Which, seek thro' the world, is ne'er met elsewhere.
Home! Home! Sweet, sweet home!
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home!

6. Until then we fight on for King and Country ...

Land of Hope and Glory
Words by Arthur C Benson, music by Edward Elgar

Land of Hope and Glory, Mother of the Free,
How shall we extol thee, who are born of thee?
Wider still and wider shall they bounds be set;
God who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet,
God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet.

... and the Americans come and join in..

The Caissons Go Rolling Along
U.S.Field Artillery Song.

Over hill, over dale,
We will hit the dusty trail
And the caissons go rolling along.
In and out, hear them shout,
Counter march and left about
And the caissons go rolling along,
For it's hi! hi! hee! In the field artillery,
Shout out your numbers loud and strong,
For where e'er we go,
You will always know
That those caissons go rolling along.

7. Over There
Words and music by George M. Cohan

Over there, over there,
Send the word, send the word, over there
That the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming,
The drums rumtumming ev'rywhere.
So prepare, say a prayer,
Send the word send the word to beware -
We'll be over, we're coming over
And we won't come back 'til it's over over there.

... before a rousing finish, altogether ...

If s a Long Way to Tipperary.
Words and music by Jack Judge and Harry Williams.

It's a long way to Tipperary,
It's a long way to go.
It's a long way to Tipperary,
To the sweetest girl I know!
Goodbye Piccadilly,
Farewell Leicester Square!
It's a long, long way to Tipperary,
But my heart's right there.
It's a long, long way to Tipperary,
But my heart's right there.

... but not forgetting those who will never return:

A Last Post-lude (trumpet)


Autumn/Winter 2018 Concert Programme

05.12.18 1930 Joint Choir and Orchestra Rehearsal at Doxey Church

 
St Thomas and St Andrew,
Doxey Parish Church,
ST16 1EQ

(See map)

06.10.18 Concert, Berkswich Methodist Church

   
Berkswich Methodist Church,
Walton-on-the-Hill,
Stafford
ST17 0LH

(See map)

Monday 03.09.18 Resumption of rehearsals after summer break, Berkswich Methodist Church


Spring/Summer 2018 Concert Programme

Monday 11.06.18 Social, Berkswich Methodist Church

Monday 04.06.18 AGM, Berkswich Methodist Church


Spring/Summer 2018

21.04.18 Concert at St Peter's Church, Hixon



 
Hixon St Peter Church,
21 Hammonds Croft,
Hixon, Stafford
ST18 0PQ

(See map)




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Version: 42 20 June 2019 updated by John Wilcock