At the end of Choir Practice the choir was coming to the end of the interval tea break. The chairman, Paul Harrison, will read the ‘Parish Notices.’ These concern future concert arrangements and other choir business.
We receive a great deal of thank you letters, cards and emails. This gives feedback following our concerts and wedding performances. It’s a constant reminder of what we are about. We do enjoy that part.
Choir practice most popular song
Now, here’s your music starter question for 10 points. As Bamber Gascoigne used to ask on a television quiz show.
What do you think is the most popular song during choir practice throughout the year?
Ten points if you said ‘Happy Birthday to You.’
There’s always a birthday to celebrate and, for good measure, we sing it twice, in Welsh and English. It’s a tradition that will never die.
Choir Practice Facial Expression
On with the choir practice. Our conductor, Arwyn Roberts, after a dozen or so years at the helm, knows how to get the best out of us.
In concert he’s a master at letting us know what he wants by his facial expressions. We get used to these faces during choir practice.
If only the audience could see some of the expressive faces he has to pull.
That also explains why some choristers will sometimes smile at inappropriate moments. Now you know.
Choir practice feedback
At the end of most songs during choir practice Arwyn will generally say “reit dda.” This means ‘quite good.’
He never get’s carried away. There is, after all, always room for improvement.
He is without realising it, an advocate of B. F. Skinner’s operant conditioning techniques. Skinner (an eminent American psychologist) describes the best reward as that which is unpredictable.
Think of a gaming slot machine. If we were rewarded every time we would not feel a real sense of achievement. Put another way, it’s the uncertainty of the frequency of the payout that makes it more exciting.
When Arwyn finally delivers a glowing compliment, when deserved, we know we’ve earned it.
It is far more potent as we may have to go some weeks before we hear the same praise again. That makes us work that bit harder.
Most choristers completely disregard the fact that a deal of Skinner’s work involved monkeys!
Choir practice rousing finish
The choir practice will generally finish with one of the traditional Welsh hymns. Favourites such as ‘Gwahoddiad'[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”right” asin=”B00JA5Y2AA” cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”UK” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51PaX8K8XIL._SL160_.jpg” popups=”default” tag=”denanddismalv-21″ width=”160″], ‘Sirioldeb’ or ‘Arwelfa.’ Each one has a rousing finale, and the more ‘Amens,’ the better.
Listen to the audio file below to hear the ending of our recording of ‘Gwahoddiad.’
He commands “ar eich traed” (on your feet) which is always a signal to go out in a blaze of glory. There are some songs that you just can’t sing sitting down. Nor would you want to.
With thanks to Joyce and the choir, the room is soon returned to its sterile, empty state.
Ready to receive the next weekly activities of a busy Welsh community. The choir members will turn up for another choir practice in a week’s time.
Why not give it a try? Please visit Join the Choir page.
Paul Harrison says
Really good and entertaing blog! Thanks for giving me a smile.