The warm up for Singsational Nottingham! 2014 has begun

I’m delighted to be able to announce that Singsational Nottingham! 2014 will take place on Saturday May 17th at 7.30pm in Beeston, Nottingham.

To recognise the fact that this year is the centenary of the start of the First World War, this year’s evening will be based on songs from that era, but with a local flavour, so that we can explore how the terrible events that followed affected the local community.

The evening will not be all “doom and gloom” however and I am writing a short play called “Hop the Pigeon” which will pull all of the songs that we are going to sing into a story.

Hop the pigeon shows us what to do

Hop the pigeon shows us what to do

I’ll send out more posts about Singsational Nottingham! 2014 in the next few days, but in the meantime if you would like to contact me to find out more, please use the form below.

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

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?

Five weeks to go. More words and music for Singsational Nottingham!

I’ve just spent some time putting in some more words and You Tube links for the music that we’ll be using at Singsational Nottingham!  By clicking on the Get Singing! – Words and Music (2)  tab on the http://www.singsation.org website you can now sing along to

  1. Climb every mountain
  2. Mud, mud. glorious mud

How much fun is that!

Or, if you can’t wait any longer, just scroll down a little more on this post!!

Climb every mountain,
Search high and low,
Follow every highway,
Every path you know.

Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
‘Till you find your dream.

A dream that will need
All the love you can give,
Every day of your life
For as long as you live.

Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
Till you find your dream

A dream that will need
All the love you can give,
Every day of your life,
For as long as you live.

Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
Till you find your dream.

A bold hippopotamus was standing one day
On the banks of the cool Shalimar
He gazed at the bottom as he peacefully lay
By the light of the evening star
Away on the hilltop sat combing her hair
His fair hippopotami maid
The hippopotamus was no ignoramus
And sang her this sweet serenade

Chorus:
Mud, mud, glorious mud
Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood
So follow me follow, down to the hollow
And there let me wallow in glorious mud
The fair hippopotama he aimed to entice
From her seat on that hilltop above
As she hadn’t got a ma to give her advice
Came tiptoeing down to her love
Like thunder the forest re-echoed the sound
Of the song that they sang when they met
His inamorata adjusted her garter
And lifted her voice in duet

Now more hippopotami began to convene
On the banks of that river so wide
I wonder now what am I to say of the scene
That ensued by the Shalimar side
They dived all at once with an ear-splitting sposh
Then rose to the surface again
A regular army of hippopotami
All singing this haunting refrain

Chorus

(Extra verse:)
The amorous hippopotamus whose love song we know
Is now married and father of ten,
He murmurs, “God rot ’em!” as he watches them grow,
And he longs to be single again!
He’ll gambol no more on the banks of the Nile,
Which Naser is flooding next spring,
With hippopotamas in silken pyjamas
No more will he teach them to sing…

Chorus

Imagine singing these great songs at Singsational Nottingham! on April 20th with everyone else.  Make sure you send this post on to anyone you think might be interested, or tell them to look at http://www.facebook.com/SingLikeYourInTheShower

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