LCV w/b 11 Jan 2021

11 January 2021 Weekly updates
Hello all
Hope you’ve had good weekends.
Quite a long email for you – do make sure you read it carefully. There’s a particularly interesting paragraph if you’ve not been joining in with rehearsals because you don’t find Zoom choir much fun.
Firstly, we’ve had several newcomers join the mailing list recently – sorry we can’t greet you in person, but please know that you’re very welcome. Please say hello by replying to this email if you get a chance – we love to know who we’ve got in our ranks.
This next bit will go in all the emails for the moment, so skip past if you’re already on Telegram.
If you haven’t yet done so, please download Telegram Messenger on your phone and join at least the first of these two groups below. This is quite important, as the emails do go astray and sometimes for no apparent reason you will just find yourself booted off the mailing list. It’s all to do with the amount of spam messages that go around – if your server decides that my message is spam, it will refuse delivery, then my list provider will decide that you said you didn’t want to receive it and kick you off. That sort of thing. So, get on the list below.
LCV official messages    important info, no chat, immediate messages
LCV general wibble       lots of chat, GIFs, etc
We have some really fun repertoire planned for the term. We’ll be kicking off the year’s rehearsals tomorrow evening at 6:30pm with an arrangement by Morgan of a 2003 song by Fountains of Wayne, “Stacy’s Mom”. Adam Schlesinger, the writer, was an early victim of COVID back in April last year. It’s a fun song and a great arrangement, and I’m looking forward to teaching it. Meanwhile I’m working on something which I know that you’re going to absolutely love, which should be ready in a week or two. You can join the rehearsal here, and the recordings and sheet music are up on the website inside the Member Login area (password: c0mmun1tych01r). We’ll stay on and have a social afterwards as well, seeing as we don’t have a hub to entertain <sniff>.
If you haven’t already done it, download Toby’s brilliant Choir Practice app, which even lets you slow down a song so you can learn it more easily:
You’ll need to enter the password for the Member Login page (see above) the first time you use the app. You can buy him a coffee if you use the app a lot:
To explain for those of you who are new, because we’re only having one online rehearsal per week, last term I ran a weekly workshop on different aspects of music, including basic piano skills, music reading, guitar, music tech, songwriting etc. I’ll carry on with these this term. We’ll start on Wednesday with another guitar workshop, and I’ll give you warning that next week we’ll have a second songwriting one. This week’s one won’t be for total beginners, so you should have at least done the other guitar workshops that I did – these are available in the Member area. The link to this weeks’ workshop is here, and if you’re planning to attend, I’d appreciate if you could let me know you’re coming by signing up here too. For next week’s songwriting workshop, again, you should have done the first one before you attend this one, and ideally you will have written at least part of a song as a result (that was your homework and you’ve had AGES to do it!).
In terms of payment for these, they are considered as part of your membership if you’re paying more than half of the termly fee (see below), otherwise they’re a tenner (but if you really can’t afford it, don’t pay!).
I’m interested to know what topics you’d like covered in these, so please add your comments here. Bear in mind that these need to be things that I can deliver personally, so… theory/harmony, piano, guitar, composing, music tech, songwriting, arranging. You can ask for detailed things if you like, and I’ll probably run some more beginner sessions – even though there are recorded ones, they’re always different if you do them again. I don’t really do work on vocal technique – I’m not a vocal coach – so that will be covered separately. I know people are keen to have some more of those sessions, so I’ll get Kim or Abi back involved with that soon (these will be an additional cost).
The amazing InQuizition will be back on Thursday 28 January at 8:30pm, to deliver the absolute best Pub Quiz on the planet. Seriously, you don’t know how much Kate and I look forward to these evenings! I’ll post all the details nearer the time, but put it in the diary.
Virtual Open Mic #7 will be at 8:30pm on Sat 13 Feb. Again, to explain for newbies, we used to run a proper Open Mic every term, with loads of amazing performances from choir members, and an audience of around 150 every time. Since lockdown we’ve been doing virtual ones where you send in a video of your performance, and Kate and I present them all a bit like a TV show. Check out some of the older ones on YouTube. If you’re interested in performing, either on your own or with others “virtually”, please sign up here and put your finished videos here by midnight on Thursday 11 Feb. Note: please don’t sign up for this unless you’re definitely going to get your video done in time for the deadline.
…for those of you who aren’t petrified of technology. I know that many of you haven’t felt that Zoom choir was in any way satisfying and so you’ve opted out for the time being. That’s absolutely fine and understandable. However, because of the current situation which has pushed the time when we can meet up in person again to even further back, I’m trying out something a bit experimental.
There’s a programme called Jamulus (for both Mac and PC), which may go some way towards making it possible for a bit of live singing. Ben, Jase and I played with this a bit in March last year, but the technology has come on quite a way since then. It works, not completely without delay and audio glitches, but it’s generally manageable, and there are choirs using it (check out the WhatsApp notification and typing sounds). Because there is still a slight delay, things tend to slow down a bit, but hey – that’s a nice antidote to tenor rush! It’s audio only, but you can also have Zoom open and muted.
Reasonably up-to-date PC or Mac (not phone or tablet)
External microphone
Wired (not Bluetooth) headphones
Patience (essential)
It does need people who are not afraid to do some messing about with this themselves, who can install the (totally free) software and who are happy to navigate through settings and stuff to try to get it working. I need to start small with this. I probably need to keep it to fewer than 15 for the first one, so if you sign up, you may not get an invite to this week’s one, which will be this Friday evening at 7:30pm. Caveat – you probably need to be someone who’s not easily frustrated by tech, and who is happy to just keep tweaking things until they work. There’s a lot of text documentation online about how to make it work, and there are a couple of FB groups which are very helpful. I’ve had a couple of very successful late-night jam sessions with people from all over Europe. If you’re interested in giving this a go, please sign up on this Google Form.
Like last term, we’re asking you to pay what you can/what you think it’s worth. Our full term fee is £140, or you can pay £10 per session for whatever you take part in (rehearsals, workshops, open mics, singalongs, etc). We would simply ask that if your income hasn’t been negatively affected by COVID, and you take part in regular choir stuff, you would pay the normal fee. If you’ve lost your job or you’ve been hit financially, please just pay what you can afford to. If you pay less than half the term fee (£70) that will cover you for rehearsals but anything else will be on a £10-per-session basis. Like all arts organisations we are feeling the pinch and really do appreciate your support. You’ve been absolutely fabulous at sticking with us through the Zoom months, and we love you all.
Payment details are as follows:

London City Voices Ltd
Sortcode:                 090128

Account number:    94145758

Since 2015 we’ve been running an amazing yearly singing holiday in Spetses, Greece. Last summer would have marked out sixth consecutive year there. It’s a beautiful island, and a fantastic experience – just ask anyone who has been along. All being well, we’re planning to run it again this year. You can go for week 1 (7-14 June), week 2 (14-21 June) or both weeks. All information can be found here. Get in touch with John Joannou for more information.
That’s it for now. See lots of you tomorrow.