BLACKHEATH RHODO FESTIVAL DAY

rhodo4The sun was shining down on Blackheath on Saturday 7 November and the town came alive with music, poetry, stalls and of course the parade. Not only did Chris lead The Heathens in two performances, but also sang herself in two of her own performances – what a busy day she had! It was a great day for Blackheath. Here are some pics of our performances in the Gardens and later in the Uniting Church. Don’heathens church 2t we look glorious!

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THANK YOU from RYDAL

A lovely letter from the organisers of the Rydal Daffodil Show (click on the letter to enlarge) and what a great result for them! We look forward to singing there again next year.

rydal thank you letterrydal daff

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Singing Changes Your Brain. Group singing has been scientifically proven to lower stress, relieve anxiety, and elevate endorphins

Check out this great article on the wonderful benefits of group singing…

http://ideas.time.com/2013/08/16/singing-changes-your-brain/

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2015 FLOWER & CRAFT SHOW

Flowers and Heathens must be a match made in heaven. We were invited once again to Blackheath’s annual flower and craft day this year and sang to more flowers…and lovely it was too. Thank you to all who came to listen.FSweb3

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RYDAL DAFFODIL FAIR

More great photos of our concert at the Rydal Daffodil Fair. Thanks to Tricia’s husband Mike O’Day who took these…

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The sun was shining, the geese were honking…and the daffodils were smiling. Thank you Chapel House for having us sing in your beautiful gardens!

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Photos courtesy of Paul Burrows.

Come and join us as we celebrate the coming of spring and the colour of happiness at Rydal Village on Sunday the 20th of September!
Daffodils at Rydal, 1pm, Sunday 20th of September, entry fee $10.

rydal daff

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Upcoming concert…

We have been busy rehearsing new songs with Henrick to sing at the Rydal Festival on the 20th September. Stay tuned (haha) and we hope to see lots of people there. The Heathens are looking forward to it!

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A Banner at Last!

DSCF1355c for web 2The Heathens have a banner! We ended term 2 with a great party down in Megalong Valley and had our photo taken with the new banner. Thanks Graham McCarter for taking another great photo of us all!

There are a few Heathens missing from this photo as they couldn’t make it on the day unfortunately…but there will be another photo opportunity later in the year I am sure.

chrisChris will be having term 3 off as she heads up to Brisbane for the birth of her first grandchild. We wish her, Mick and Isabel all the very best at this exciting time.

In Chris’s absence we are looking forward to having Henrik Eneberg as our music director. Henrihenrikck is a trained voice teacher, piano player and choir director and currently sings bass with  Canon Fodder. Term 3 starts on 15 July!

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3 Choirs & a Quiz!

quiz 1The night was a huge success and a lot of fun! The Blackheath Community Hall was overflowing with over 200 people dressed as pirates, pussy cats, mad hatters and even a zebra! Canon Fodder started the music off, followed by Vocal Edge, Phoenix choir and finishing with The Heathens. There were great prizes handed out – thanks to our generous community.

A huge thanks must go to Tim Kaye for quiz 5having the vision and organising the night…which was such a success that it is surely to become an annual event!

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Sopranino?

Our newest and youngest member to join the sopranos is Safira. Would she classify as a sopranino?

safira 2

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3 Choirs & a Quiz

quizAre you a trivia buff? Then join the fun – have your trivia tested and be entertained by Blackheath’s three choirs and special guest performers Canon Fodder. Grab your friends and put together a team of 8 people. BYO food and drink – picnic style –  and decorate your table. You never know – you might win a prize for the best looking table. It is going to be a fun night – there are loads of prizes to be won! Tables are selling fast!Tickets are available at Richardson & Wrench, Blackheath.

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Thanks from the Sydney Street Choir

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ANZAC Day

anzac day 1 anzac day 2

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On the move again .. Bates Hall

Blackheath Community CentreChris has checked out the newly renovated Bates Hall – that’s the small hall in the Blackheath community centre, nearest to the Great Western Highway.  Its looking very smart after its new makeover (thanks Linda and the Hall committee) and the curtains tone down the acoustic so it should work very well. There is a kitchen and break out space for our tea break.

So from Wednesday 29th April, Bates Hall is our new rehearsal venue.  Rehearsal times stay the same.

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The Heathens ‘Together in Song’ concert with the Sydney Street Choir – Springwood – Saturday, 11 April

Springwood ConcertWow! What a fabulous afternoon.

The wonderful MC, Phil Koperberg, launched the afternoon with great humour and a glowing introduction of The Heathens.

Check out the photos here.

Our first set included Ataturk Tribute which we were a little nervous about, but like true troopers, we pulled off a pretty good rendition much enhanced by the fact that Ian Hamilton, who composed the music, was with us in the audience. How good was that! We sang our six songs and it was said by someone in the audience that …“The Heathens sang with fullness and had matured as a group”.

Then, on came the SSC with Amazing Grace – always a stirring number – but I felt it even more strongly with their performance. Their set included some very well-known numbers and their performance of all was, to say the least, gutsy.

This was followed by a set from The Village Orchestra, Llew and Mara Kiek & Gary Daley. Great musicians, great delivery, stirring music.

After the audience and performers had partaken of a delicious afternoon tea prepared by members of The Heathens, it was back on stage for all performers. There followed a number of songs that were also well-known to the audience who joined in with much gusto.

This concert was definitely one of the highlights of the performances The Heathens have done over the past five years. A good time seemed to be had by just about everybody. A win win!

Contributed by Sandra Stevens

And from our Event Coordinator – Julie Brackenreg…

“Can we do it?” YES WE CAN!! – with bells on!

After all is counted up we will be able to donate to the Street Choir something over $1,000 AND facilitated the sale of $250 worth of their CD’s. What a great outcome – and I think we all had fun doing it – even better!

Thank you to every person in our Choir – we are MORE than a bunch of people who sing together – we are a true community and family who can work together and support each other.

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Springwood concert – 11th April

Screen shot 2015-03-03 at 10.53.03 AMSydney Street Choir meets Blackheath’s community choir, The Heathens for a shared performance in Springwood on Saturday 11 April.
Sydney Street Choir was formed in 2001 to connect with, inspire and empower homeless or disadvantaged people. For many of its members, creating music together has been a life-changing experience, and taken them to extraordinary places including the Opera House, St Mary’s Cathedral and Uluru. This concert will raise funds to help the choir continue its important work.
Be inspired by Sydney Street Choir songs that mirror their triumph over adversity, together with the Heathens’ selection of folk, world and popular music, with both choirs combining for an uplifting conclusion. Special guests The Village Orchestra, three internationally renowned local musicians.

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Tickets $15 from http://www.trybooking.com/HBFI, or from bookshops Gleebooks (Blackheath) and The Turning Page (Springwood), or at the door.

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The Heathens are on the move!

Heathens crowdAs you can see…we have out-grown our rehearsal space at Banc so from now on rehearsals will be held at the Uniting Church hall in Govetts Leap Road (walk down the drive past the church and through a gate to the hall entrance at back). Usual time 2-4pm but do try to get there 10-15 mins early so we can start on time.

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Fee payment by term

5dollarsSome folks are saying they’d find it much easier to pay by the term, and of course we can accommodate that. We’ll just keep a note of who’s paid up front. If you’d like to pay for the rest of this term, just put $35 into an envelope with your name and Term 1 on the front.
In future, if you prefer to pay by the term, use the same system – $50 in an envelope, name and term on the front. We’ll have a few envelopes in the tin for your use.

For those who prefer to pay week by week, there’s no change to the usual $5 each visit and no pressure to change.

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The Heathens Book

front cover bookIf you haven’t got your copy … The Heathens Book is available to buy for only $10 at Banc.
It is a beautiful collection of stories of the lives of the choir members. Each story is magical, unique and generously told and collectively, provide an insight into our time and place.

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Party season

Jan writes …

morven-gardensWe certainly spread the happiness at Morven Gardens yesterday. The residents loved our visit.

The book launch and party  at Chris and Mick’s was, despite the noise of the torrential downpours drowning out our singing, a  fun and happy finale to  another Heathens year. For those who couldn’t be with us, we missed you.

Thanks go to Chis for all the work she put in  with us  during the year for us to sound “good”  for our performances.

Thanks too for all involved in producing our beautiful Heathens book.

May we all enjoy a safe and happy Christmas with family and friends and  get our voices ready for Heathens 2015!

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May your voices …

Happiness“May your voices take springs
there where fire burns.
May your songs put roses
there where battlefields lay.
Open furrow and sow love
to harvest fruits of hope.
Sing to liberty where despot rule,
Sing to equality where poverty nests,
Sing to love where hate prevails.
May your singing direct the world
so that peace takes over wars,
so that all will cherishes earth,
so that all race or color discrimination is banished
so that we will be together as sisters and brothers
so that this planet rejoices with your voices.”

Victoria came across this and thought you would all enjoy.

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Invited Back

Screen shot 2014-12-05 at 5.33.59 PMThe Blackheath and District Horticulture Society have invited us back to perform at the Flower and Craft show next year.  Julie O’Keeffe wrote to Chris that “The Heathen’s performance at our show this year in early September was so enjoyed by all our visitors I would like to invite you to come and sing again next year.”

We will be performing at 1:30pm on Saturday 26th September 2015, just after the opening.

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Heathens star in Rhodo Revue

RhodoJan writes …

So enjoyed the revue last night and particularly all those “Heathens” who performed!  We are very lucky  Heathens to be surrounded by such talent.

What did touch me though was our Bella singing “Follow the Heron Home” I hope she and Chris will let us  hear it again – it was absolutely beautiful and of course Bella looked gorgeous, quite “The Lady in Red”!

Congratulations to you too Tim for all your hard work as musical director of the revue.

Jan Cutler

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Arrangements for BANC AGM

Monday 27th October

Meet at the Presbyterian Church at 5:45pm for warm up and short rehearsal.  We perform at or soon after 6pm.  Please wear the usual colours purple, red and black.

See you all then 🙂

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Mount Vic BBQ

Mount-Vic-BBQThe flags flying above you were made during the school holiday art workshops
by children from Blackheath and Mount Victoria.

Thanks from Jo at BANC

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Thank you from Rydal

daffodilOn behalf of the Rydal Village Association I would like to thank you for your participation in Daffodils at Rydal 2014.This is the most successful year we have ever had. The combination of great gardens and good music certainly helps to bring the visitors who all love the atmosphere. Even though they sometimes are not sitting just listening to you they all comment on the whole ambience.

Our selected charities this year will be sharing a cheque for $15,408.00 and the two schools who helped us during the week will be sharing a cheque for $965.00.

Kind regards
Lindsay Green
Rydal Village Association.

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Thank you from the Flower and Craft show

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Daffodils at Rydal

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imageSurrounded by a stunning garden, thousands of daffodils, welcoming hosts and an appreciative audience, The Heathens had the privilege of singing at Chapel House in Rydal as part of the Rydal Daffodil Festival.

imageMany thanks to the organisers for the invitation to perform, and to the owners of Chapel House for hosting us on the verandah of their beautiful house.

There are more photos .. click here

Chris.

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Note values and counting

Here are a few hints to help with understanding the timing of music.

Firstly check the time signature.  If the top number is 4 or there is a big C (for common time) then you have to count four beats in every bar.  If the top number is 3 then there are three beats in a bar.  Those are the two most common times which are used in our music.

Screen shot 2014-09-15 at 8.30.24 AMA crotchet is a black note with a straight tail – it has the value of one beat.  If you add a flag to the end it becomes a half beat and is call a quaver.  Every time you add another flag it halves in value to become a semi-quaver, demi-semi quaver etc.

White notes are longer.  A minim is a white note with a tail and has a value of two beats.  Without a tail its a semi-breve with a value of four beats.

Screen shot 2014-09-15 at 8.42.18 AMA triplet is when we squeeze three notes into the space that normally holds two.  In the example here three half notes are squeezed into one beat (rather than two half beats) so they go a little quicker in order to fit

There is a similar system for rests.  The squiggle has a value of 1 beat rest.  The little flag is half a beat etc.

Get into the habit of counting in your head … we all do it to keep in touch with where we are in the music.  Whenever there is a bar line the next note is “One” and starts the counting again.  Practice and enjoy!

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Flower and Craft show

A good time was had by all

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musical progression

Last week we looked at three different types of progression which you can follow in the music, even if you don’t actually read music.

Screen shot 2014-09-07 at 11.07.02 AMThe simplest progression is a musical scale where the notes move from space-to-line and line-to-space and you simply follow the line of notes and go up or down a whole note with each move.  They are not all actually whole notes but your brain is attuned to the major and minor scales in western music so you will do the half tones naturally when they come (though those are the ones which are most often a little out of tune).

Screen shot 2014-09-07 at 11.08.28 AMSometimes the notes are spread out in what is called an arpeggio.  In the music we sing this is often the major or minor triad (1st, 3rd, 5th).  Wollemi Pine is a great example of that – full of arpeggios.

Screen shot 2014-09-07 at 11.10.43 AMThe trickiest progression to sing is a chromatic scale where is movement is only a half tone.  In these scales you see a lot of sharps (#) or flats (b) which mean move the note up half a tone (#) or move the note down half a tone (b).

Tony pointed out to me that a great example of a chromatic scale is the Aria Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen – a downward chromatic scale thats fiendishly difficult to sing in tune

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Know your range

I hope you all found the first little tutorial yesterday useful.

Soprano RangeAlto RangeUnless I am democratically overruled 😉 I will try to give a little musicology snippet at the start of each rehearsal.

Once you understand your own musical range it helps you to pitch notes within your comfortable range and to prepare your voice when you can see that a note will be very high or very low.

Tenor RangeScreen shot 2014-08-29 at 7.28.35 AMWe all have different voices but I have attached the pictures I used yesterday, giving what I think would be typical for each of the voice parts.  Click on the image to make it bigger.

The picture also shows you a useful mnemonic to know the letters for each space on the stave – “FACE” for the treble clef and “All Cows Eat Grass” for the Bass clef.

Next week different types of musical progression.

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Bob Rowe remembered

Robert_Rowe_webMick writes that we have just learnt of the passing of one of our early Heathens, Bob Rowe, after a long battle with brain tumour that caused him to go blind.

Bob was a pianist and singer who became more and more frustrated as he lost his sight. He tried coming back to the Heathens once he was given a seeing-eye dog, but it was all too much.

Bob was an accomplished academic (Newcastle University) and family man, and he will be remembered fondly by those of us who knew him.

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Arrangements for Friday

Please don’t forget to register.  The Bates Hall (park door) Registration Desk will be open from 3.30pm.

7:50-8:35 pm warm up / rehearsal in the Presbyterian Hall Wentworth St.  Please arrive in good time.

Walk together to the Bates Hall, which is the green room / assembly place for each choir

8:50-9:10pm. Performance time including walking in, walking out, applause and Chris‘ talk

Please come with as few personal items as possible as they get in the way and/or get lost.
Dress: Our usual colours of any shade of purple, red or black

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Mountain Devil

Mountain DevilChloe has been working up some ideas to find a logo for The Heathens.  The ideas are many and various, but amongst them this wonderful bit of creativity popped out.

In case you didn’t realise it’s our local native plant, the mountain devil, playing a guitar.  Chris was relieved to find it wasn’t a portrait!

Original artwork © Chloe

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Every breath you take

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Rachel Berry from Glee holding the last note of a rendition of Streisand’s “Don’t Rain On My Parade”

Bella has some tips for breathing technique

We all know that breathing correctly is essential for us all in the choir. How many of you have struggled to hold those beautiful long notes for some of our finales? Well, I can help with that. This is going to teach your body how to take in more air in a short amount of time.   Here we go!

  1. Relax and let your body feel heavy for a second.
  2. Breathe out ALL of the air you are currently using until you feel that you can’t breathe out anymore.
  3. Using the ticks of a clock or any other steady beat you have at your disposal, breathe IN for a count of 8. (This is hard so if you don’t get it at first keep trying! You’ve got to be able to keep your intake steady or you’ll breathe in too quickly and won’t get to 8)
  4. When you get to 8, say “Out” to yourself and then breathe out for 8.
    (Repeat Step 3 and 4 x2)
  5. Half the breathe in ( Count in for 4 out for 8) (Repeat x2)
  6. Half AGAIN (In for 2 out for 8) (Repeat x 2)
  7. Half once more (In for 1 out for 8) (Repeat x2)
  8. RELAX! 🙂 You Did It!   AND 9.  Practise this and have fun!

I guarantee if you do this properly you’ll see a massive difference and it will help ten fold! Trust me.

With thanks to my singing teacher Deb for teaching it to me!  Bella

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Sing for your life – 6/6

All good things come to an end.  Frank has shared with us how singing makes you healthy, helps you to stay well and helps you to heal; how it makes you happy; and how its good for your baby (or someone else’s).  So now lets all take a deep breath …

6. Singing Helps You To Breath

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qi – the breath of life

Studies indicate that the breath control required for singing has a positive impact on asthma sufferers, enhancing lung function & helping children stay calm when they experience shortness of breath.

Hospital patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have also been shown to benefit, with improved quality of life. Singing is associated with bigger lung volume.

Breathing can also be an emotional outlet for those with chronic disease.

So whether you are breathing a sigh of relief, breathing to relax or just breathing to stay alive, lets all thank Frank, for a very illuminating series of posts.

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Come together

Hi Chris,

basses2[…]   I just had to say I agree with your sentiments from Saturday – we certainly are coming together. The Mountains can bring together quirky individuals  ( and I count myself as a “quirk”!!) and the group reflects this  – but from this Group of individuals I think we are becoming, melding and sounding like an “Individual Group” –  the Power of our sum total ! – what a difference over the last few weeks and even from the back of the OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbasses can hear our Music that can actually give Goosebumps.

Thank you for your efforts in bringing us to this point so far and the joy this brings me/us and to the audience ( as was relayed to me )

Kind Regards, Sigi

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Blackheath Choir Festival

IMG_0330Friday 22nd August:  Opening Concert (including The Heathens) at 7:30pm on Stage 1 in the Phillips Hall, Gardiner Crescent:

Checkout the Festival website and buy some tickets here ($15) 🙂

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Photos from Loosely Woven concert

LW concert 9With many thanks to:
Phillia for photos during the rehearsal(s)

and to:
Victoria’s Paul for the concert photos.

Click this link to see the photos.

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Reminders for Sunday

Arrive by 9.20; enter via Gardiners Cres.

9.30 rehearsal with Christine for Heathens only
10.30 morning tea at rear of Hall
11.30 rehearsal with Heathens and Loosely Woven
1.00 Lunch; soup and bread in Hall
1.30 doors open on Park side
2.00 concert starts
3.00 interval for 30 min
4.30 concert finish

DRESS: Our usual colours of any shade of purple, red or black

REFRESHMENTS: Thank you for your contributions. Please bring them with you at 9.30
We will keep most for the audience, but will use some for our morning tea.

Have fun!

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What to do with 10 grandchildren

Chris reports on what to do with 10 grandchildren under the age of 10, all staying at her house for a few freezing days in the school holidays.

Chris grandchildren 1Take them bushwalking – anyone 4 years or older is officially old enough to go, if you have enough helpers … and carriers, when the going gets rough.
(there are three 4-year olds in this picture).

Take them to Jenolan Caves – two cave tours, the second one self-guided, with a picnic lunch between – what a great day.

Take them to the Megalong Tea House – see picture below – great for the kids, scary for the proprietors, 18 people descending and needing to be fed in a hurry!

Chris grandchildren 2

Keep them warm – lucky that our house is a bit good for hide and seek, cubbies and the like. And keep them fed … now there was a never ending circus. Then go into hibernation for a week after they all go home. Whew.

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Boardroom Soirée

On Monday night the eleven male heathens – of good faith mind you – braved the elements and the height of Mick’s new brush fence to gain entry and meet for rehearsal around the grand boardroom-like table at the sprawling bushland home of Christine our esteemed musical director, and Mick her First Lieutenant, who keeps everything shipshape and strictly pusser.

greenwich painted hall

Painted Hall, Greenwich

We didn’t pass the port and muscat, mention politics, fiddle with the flowers, blaspheme – nor observe the Royal toast – but we were encouraged to lubricate the vocal chords prior to and during the practice singing session with a drop of Mudgee shiraz – and the general ambiance reminded me of some memorable guest night dinners at Greenwich on the Upper Table of the Painted Hall (of Christopher Wren fame).

Arriving late I got the jackpot seat right beside Christine who led all musical aspects of the singing in all four parts of the harmonies. I had never before been regaled up close and personal with the correct pitches, rhythms and dynamics – and my deficiencies in all three hit me – more than somewhat, as Damon Runyan was wont to say.

Last night’s intimacy with the leader (whoops) worked brilliantly and would be a great future format if Christine and Mick can include it in their busy schedules.

Harry – jamais arriere – of clan Douglas

ed: A heathen asked Harry if “soiree’ was an appropriate word – so he provides the Collins definition:
soiree – an evening party or other gathering,usually given at a private house, esp. where guests are invited to listen to, play or dance to music (c19 from French soir evening, Latin serum, a late time.
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Yes, coach

coachRob continues in a sporting theme …

Where would we be without our coach? How lucky are we to have such a talented and dedicated mentor to gently encourage us to explore and expand our vocal abilities with various techniques and activities, using them to accomplish the final outcome that is desires. With colossal patience and persistence she takes each team section through its individual part and then throws caution to the wind having all parts sing together. Don’t you love that facial expression when we reach the end and are feeling really pleased with ourselves? Her eyes look up to the right, she smiles, ever so slightly, frowns, pauses, and says…. Hmmmm Not Bad!!!!!!

Once we have mastered our individual parts, then starts the perfecting process with the addition of various dynamics and subtleties that suddenly bring the piece we are working on to life. At last we can sit up and feel good about ourselves.

smileyNow we get that huge smile from the coach along with those wide   twinkling eyes and a “Well Done – that was great”

You see we can do it !!!!

Stay tuned. There is more…. The Team Players!!!!!

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Sing for your life – 5/6

Frank continues his series on the benefits of singing …

5. Singing Helps You to Stay Well

Singing is the perfect preventative measure & an excellent antidote to our busy, multi-tasking times. It reconnects the balance in our breathing, movement & living.

cmvic_logoIn Victoria, singing in groups is one of the most popular arts activities. This is helped in no small part by Community Music Victoria which promotes and facilitates music-making among Victorian communities.  For the past 10 years CMV has provided singing leadership workshops, and they have also compiled a comprehensive list of articles covering a vast range of community music topics, with an emphasis on singing.

Meanwhile in NSW we may not have CMV but we do have Chris and The Heathens to help us to stay well.

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Our Mob

imageThe Blue Mountains Cultural Centre in Katoomba is a peaceful place on a Wednesday morning. A well used library with stunning views. A children’s book club just finishing up. Silence in the art gallery.  People chatting over their lattes in the cafe. One or two shoppers in the gift shop. Mothers with babies in strollers relaxing in the lounge. And it has a wonderful acoustic …

Chris starts singing “rose rose” just outside the library and strolls towards the lounge. Naomi gradually brings in the others. Coffee imagedrinkers rise from their tables and join in. Shoppers turn out to be singers. Before long over 20 singers are in full voice. The astonished regulars look on in amazement, with broad smiles all around.

That was our flashmob. The Heathens much enjoyed joining with other local singers to promote the Blackheath Choir Festival on 22-24 August. There will be other flashmobs closer to the event and over the festival weekend, but I can’t really tell you where and when can I?

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Go Team Heathens!

From Rob:

world cup footballWell it’s over!!!! for another four years. For some the Soccer World Cup is an event not to me missed with long sleepless nights whilst agonising over the progress of a favoured team, while for others is all a bit of a yawn. I suppose I lean to the latter. However I can appreciate the vast amount of effort, blood, sweat and tears that is required to reach the level of the Soccer World Cup.

On reflection we at The Heathens are very much like a soccer team.

stretchingHOGWASH !! some of you might say, but stop and think for a moment. Don’t we turn up every week for a training session. We start with some stretches to relax our bodies, we perform deep breathing to expand our chests, produce weird sounds when we pucker out lips and blow!! We generate more weird sounds while practicing scales with o’s e’s and a’s. All of these behaviours are performed with the sole purpose of relaxing our vocal chords which in turn affect the quality of the sounds we will produce. So you see our preparation for the training in some ways is not different to a well-oiled soccer team

And what of our coach…… stay tuned for more.

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Member profile – Susie

susieAlthough now retired, Susie worked as a behavioural scientist and management consultant. In this capacity she established a consultancy working with a variety of groups and large institutions such as the Commonwealth Bank, Qantas and Westpac Bank, implementing her new ‘Lifestyle for Success’ program.

She has written a book Super Working which was the result of her experiences conducting workshops for government, business institutions, schools and other organisations both in Australia and overseas. She is still involved in groups such as Australian Ethical Investments and a number of environmental causes.

Sing Trek NepalSusie has family in Nepal and is involved in conducting treks there which emphasise cultural exchange. Members of The Heathens recently participated in a singing trek to Nepal led by our choir director – Christine Wheeler.

Moving to the mountains was something Susie had thought about for a while. She moved to Wentworth Falls from Mosman in Sydney, in May 2012. The sense of community and a different attitude to possessions and appearance are attributes which attracted her. “In Mosman when people look at you they look from your shoes to your handbag but here there is more acceptance” she says. “I feel that it is an absolute privilege to live here”.

Susie sings with the sopranos – the choir has not only been a way into the community but it makes Susie feel “Uplifted. If you miss a note the choir still keeps singing”.

Contributed by: Cathy & Victoria

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Who knew Megan Washington has a stutter?

Talking of singing and healing … There was a great documentary on ABC a few nights ago:

Screen shot 2014-07-14 at 8.55.57 AMhttp://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/stories/2014/06/05/4019554.htm

Catch it while you can.  The TedX talk will probably survive online a little longer:
http://tedxsydney.com/LIVE/?s=75#&panel1-1

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Sing for your life – 4/6

singing bowlIf you google singing and healing most of the images you find are of Tibetan singing bowls.  Those of us who went with Chris on the singing trek to Nepal earlier this year will be familiar with these and might have one sitting proudly on their mantlepiece.

Singing bowls are used in healing, but as we know in The Heathens there’s nothing to match the real thing – Frank explains how …

4. Singing Can Help You Heal

The connection between singing & healing, both spiritual & physical, precedes us by centuries & crosses over cultures. Aboriginals, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Native Americans, Polynesians, Asians & Africans all embrace the power of chants & song.

ClefIn the ABC series, ‘The Choir of Hard Knocks’ the singer/conductor confirmed singing’s life-enhancing potential when he took a group of homeless people off the streets of Melbourne to form a choir that still performs to this day.

Nationwide recognition of singing’s therapeutic benefits is gathering steam, for example, a study at the University of Queensland monitors the success rate of their singing workshops for young women who self-harm. So far, 70% of the participants have stopped harming. It seems singing allows them to reconnect with their bodies.

Look out for Frank’s next installment of why singing is good for you.

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Baby Kate and the guitar lessons.

Bev was prompted by Frank’s latest piece on the benefits of singing to your baby to tell us a short tale.

GuitarShe says, “when I was pregnant with my fourth child I was taking guitar lessons.  The guitar of course rested on my ever swelling stomach and I am sure the vibes went through to baby Kate.

After her birth she lay in her car basket and listened to the group of us strumming away and singing. Her favourite song was Ralph McTell’s Streets of London.

Kate is the most musical of my children and has a beautiful contralto voice.”   Bev

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