Concert preparations. Part one – 4 hours

In a previous post I talked about the amount of time and effort that goes into preparing for even a short performance.

This post is the first of two or three that will follow the preparations for an evening concert I am doing with two of my singing friends.

The concert will take place in a lovely church in Cadnam where I have performed before and where the Soup Cafe took place in my second post. The church supports various charities throughout the year and the concert’s proceeds will go to the particular charity in the month of September when the concert will take place.

Our first meeting took place over a cup of tea and a scone in a local cafe where the aim was to agree a date for the concert. This is quite often the trickiest bit as all of us sing/play with different groups, the church has to agree a date that suits them and of course, our accompanist needs to be free that day as well.  We managed to put together a few possible dates with remarkable ease – amazing.

The three of us did a concert together last year along similar lines so much of this first meeting was discussing what had worked and what could be improved upon.  We then arranged to meet in a couple of months to talk about the programme. During that time, I was to contact the church and our accompanist and firm up the date which I did – Saturday 28th September at 7.00pm.

Non singers may find it surprising that we start preparing for a concert this early, but I assure you, it is absolutely necessary.  The songs have to be learnt and that is not just about the tune, it involved much work training the voice to sing the songs and memorising the words.

Putting together a programme feels very difficult at first.   I think it is a bit like a writer sitting down at a blank page and not knowing what to start with first. We know we want about 45 mins of music either side of a 10-20 minute interval. Allowing for introductions and ‘moving about’ between items, that means around 12 items per half.

We talked about a theme for the programme, the songs each of us would like to sing and possible duets and trios.

The next step is for each of us to put together a list of songs we should like to perform, about 6 or 7 solos each.  For my part, my singing lessons will now be devoted to trying out various songs so I can decide which I want to include.  Our next meeting in May will involve trying out the duets and trios so we can make decisions about those and/or find other pieces that may work.






4 thoughts on “Concert preparations. Part one – 4 hours

  1. I wish I could say I had no idea that it’s a lengthy and time-consuming process,but I do know what’s involved. Every time the quintet plays something new we ask ourselves if it’s a) something we like enough to get to performance level and b) audience friendly. We often come to the conclusion that a piece we love playing wouldn’t go down well with an audience.

    Liked by 1 person

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