Back to normality

Now that Singsational Nottingham! over my family and I can get back to normality!

We’ve just eaten Sunday lunch at the dining table for the first time since mid-January (it was too full of script drafts, copies of music and endless “to-do” lists before) and I’ve actually been into the garden to see if there is anything growing out there (there is – mainly weeds and the grass)!

I hadn’t realised how much the organisation of the event had taken over my non-work life for the past few months and whilst there is not a Singsational Nottingham!-shaped hole there yet (there is still plenty of post-show stuff to do), I know that within a very few days I will be wondering what to do with my evenings.

However, after the success of last night I can’t believe that there will not be another performance sometime soon.  I’d like to do another one somewhere around Nottingham, but if anyone out there fancies using the script, format etc., somewhere else in the country (or in the world!), get in touch.  It really was a great evening and not too difficult to put on.  And the audience loved it – I’ve had emails and facebook messages from people of all ages saying what a brilliant time they had and asking when the next Singsational Nottingham! will be.

So the formula is well and truly tested and the public have spoken.  Time to get back in the shower now and see where I’m going to take Singsation! and Singsational Nottingham! next!

Singsational Nottingham! founder finds inspiration!

Singsational Nottingham! founder finds inspiration!

Singsational Nottingham! gets a new logo

singsational-logo-brv1.jpg

Ready for the show on Saturday night, we’ve got a proper logo (instead of clip art) to put on the programmes etc.  It has been created for me by a wonderful, talented, generous colleague, Emma.  Thanks Emma.

Now I need to go into facebook and update the various pages.  That’ll keep me busy for the next few minutes!

And my younger daughter has made me  a baton to conduct the singers on Saturday out of a garden cane-stuffed art straw, some drinks bottle lids and red insulation tape.  It looks brilliant and works perfectly.  Singsational Nottingham! is certainly pulling on talents from all directions.

Next up it’ll be the musicians that take centre stage – singers and instrumentalists from our community here in Nottingham.  That’s what the evening is all about.  That and fun!

Singsational Nottingham! is raising money for Water Aid.  If you want to give some money to support their work please go to http://www.justgiving.com/singsational-nottingham

Five days to go. Nearly there!

The final countdown has started. Here is what is going on!

We finally made the local paper on Saturday, so a few people may see that. I’ve written the programme and prepared the word sheets for those in the audience who don’t want to use the screen. I have created a “Just Giving” page for people who can’t come to be able to make a donation to Water Aid and I’m listening to BBC Radio 2 which happens to have a week of programmes dedicated to the voice, ending on Saturday! http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p017q214

Friends have put all the words for the songs into a presentation package so they can be projected; collected numerous props (including a bucket, axe and several dozen shower caps); arranged to record and video the evening that it can be loaded on You Tube and built a “shower cubicle” (which has a significant role to play in the proceedings).

If you want to know why we need a shower cubicle, you’ll have to go onto You Tube next week. I’ll blog when there is stuff to see.

What am I worried about? Actually it is mainly the traffic and parking. Beeston is currently in chaos because a new tram line is being built – and it is this week that things have really “kicked off”. So no-one really knows what the traffic will be like on Saturday evening, but it is crazy during the day.

Here is my message to myself at 2.00 in the morning!

Here is my message to myself at 2.00 in the morning!

And some really good news. You may remember that I wrote to Helen Chadwick,the “Water Aid “composer”, telling her about Singsational Nottingham! and asking her what her favourite warm up is. She sent me a lovely email today, wishing us luck and telling me about a “call and response song” OLEO; I’m going to look it up!

One week to go. Let’s start raising funds

Over the past few weeks of organising Singsational Nottingham! I have spent a fair bit of time writing this blog (www.singsation.org), updating the Singsation! facebook page (www.facebook.com/singlikeyourintheshower) and sending out emails to my contacts via Mail Chimp. I know that everyone who has been “following” the development of the event would love to be here in Beeston, Nottingham, next Saturday, April 20th, but unfortunately for many of you, it will be too far to travel.

But fear not!

I have created a Just Giving page which will enable you, at the click of your mouse, to make a donation to Water Aid, just as if you had been with us!

After the event I will upload some photos (and hopefully video) so that you can see exactly what we got up to. They might inspire you to donate even more (there will be no refunds, whatever happens!), so expect to continue to receive these updates even after Singsational Nottingham! is over.

Here is the link to the Singsational Nottingham! page, on Just Giving, for Water Aid. Please use it 🙂

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Getting the technical stuff sorted

I’ve just spent the evening with three friends, all of whom sounded as if they were speaking a foreign language, sorting out the technical requirements for making Singsational Nottingham! (www.singsation.org) a success.  There was a lot of talk of VGA splitters and composite feeds, but basically it means that we will be able to have the song words on screen for both the audience and the performers.

Plus (and this is the best bit), when the stars of the show (Frank and Mabel) watch the telly, what they will see is the audience!  We’ll have a video camera pointing towards the audience, so they will be the football crowd (singing “I’m forever blowing bubbles”) and the Proms audience (singing “Jerusalem”)!

Having the video cameras there means we should be able to upload Singsational Nottingham! on YouTube after the show – so then everyone, where ever they are in the world, will be able to join in a great sing-a-long evening of entertainment.

VGA splitter - not musical; but vital!

VGA splitter – not musical; but vital!

We discussed lighting and sound too. All in all, this is turning into a proper show. And thank the Lord for talented, generous friends.

Two weeks to go!

I can’t believe there are only two weeks to go until Singsational Nottingham!  I first had the idea for a “sing-a-long” cum “celebrate singing” event over the Christmas holidays and I was so inspired that I decided I had to commit to a date and “just do it”.  Well it has been hard work, but we are nearly there.

It doesn't matter what your voice is like.  You are still welcome at Singsational Nottingham!

It doesn’t matter what your voice is like. You are still welcome at Singsational Nottingham!

I’ve not done anything on the blog for a while because I have been enjoying the Easter holidays instead.  But I have added some more words and music to http://www.singsation.org so that you can go and remind yourself how “Jerusalem”, Singing in the rain”, Show me the way to go home” and “I’m gonna wash that man right out of my hair”.

I’ve also  got the musicians lined up.  We’re having a couple of rehearsals and the second one, at 7.30pm on April 19th at Chilwell Road Methodist Church, Beeston, Nottingham NG9 1EH, is open to anyone who wants to come along and sing through the songs.  I want to check that everything runs smoothly, identify any points that need to be explained to audience etc., plus the more people who know what should happen next at Singsational Nottingham! at 7.30 pm on April 20th  (in the same place), the better.

And, a friend has built me a “shower cubicle” so that Mabel (the hero of the show) can actually “sing in the shower”!  What a theatrical / musical experience the evening promises to be.

I’ll keep you updated on progress over the next couple of weeks.

Chris

Another survey and more words and music

It has been a while since I posted anything about the lead up to Singsational Nottingham! – it has been a busy week at work in the lead up to the Easter holiday. So now I am publishing something before it is too late!

Firstly, a week or so ago I asked where people like singing most. Here are the results, in descending order of popularity:

1st place: In a choir
2nd place: In the car
3rd place: In the kitchen (whilst cooking)
4th place: Anywhere (followed by “it annoys my Dad” in one case)

No one voted for “Singing in the Shower” 😦

Looks like someone has beaten us to it with this idea!

Looks like someone has beaten us to it with this idea!

Sing in the car - where no-one can hear you (unless the window is open)!

Sing in the car – where no-one can hear you (unless the window is open)!

So, the readers of this blog and the facebook page must be quite “choral”. I hope to get a few a larger proportion of “car” and “shower” singers to the event on April 20th.

Here is this times question. See what you make of this:

Finally, there are some more words and music on the http://www.singsation.org, so that you can remind yourself of how “My Bonnie lies over the ocean” and “I’m forever blowing bubbles” go.

QR codes and choirs

Despite the weather, I've been working on Singsational Nottingham!

Despite the weather, I’ve been working on Singsational Nottingham!

I’ve been busy inviting local choirs along to Singsational Nottingham!, so that they can advertise themselves during the interval and attract new members and so that their members can spread themselves around the audience so that less confident singers can get a bit of extra support.

So far, five groups have said that some of their members are going to join the event, which is brilliant!  It will be great for members of local choirs to meet each other – I bet there will loads of “I never knew you were a singer too!” as people recognise each other through the evening.

The other things that I have been up to are sending out a press release to local papers to try and drum up some publicity via the local papers (they should be interested in a community event like Singsational Nottingham!) and creating a QR code for http://www.singsation.org.   This was so much easier than I ever imagined. There is no shortage of free QR code creator programs available via a google search and all you do is put in any “string” and a QR code is created. Here is http://www.singsation.org:

Who'd have thought this could represent a great night out?

Who’d have thought this could represent a great night out?

I’ve added the QR code to the black and white poster / A5 handouts that I am putting out around the area.  I wonder if anyone will point their iphone at one of them to find out more?

What kind of singing do you enjoy the most?

As we move towards Singsational Nottingham! in 6 weeks time, I have decided to do a “poll” a week to find out a bit about why people like singing and what they like to sing.

Here is the first one, designed to find out a bit more about the kind of singing that people like to do:

When I’ve got some responses I’ll summarize them in a future post.  For future Singsational! events we’ll be able to build the programme for the evening based on the preferences of the people who come along.

Singing in the shower cartoon 1

Why we do this stuff

Over the past few weeks of putting together my ideas for Singsational Nottingham! and floating the idea with people, I have been amazed at the level of enthusiasm that there is for the concept.  It made me think about what inspires other people to sing and a quick trawl on the net very quickly came up with this quote from (probably) the best song writer ever.

“I love to hear a choir. I love humanity to see the faces of real people devoting themselves to a piece of music. I like the teamwork. It makes me feel optimistic about the human race when I see them cooperating like that.”

If Paul McCartney thinks that about singing in a choir, who are we to argue with his wisdom?

Singsational Nottingham! is going to deliver that feeling of optimism to everyone who attends.  It will be a great “feel good” experience (even though at the moment there are no Paul McCartney or Beatles tracks in the program).  😦

We love Paul McCartney - even if his best known piece of choir music is for a frog chorus!

We love Paul McCartney – even if his best known piece of choir music is for a frog chorus!