Friday, October 23, 2009

Intergernational concert preparation underway

I met with Suzanne and Kara, the conductors of the Rotokauri Tuis (childrens' choir) on Tuesday, and we mapped out the concert which will be performed on Friday February 26th. Both choirs will sing together for six songs, and then each choir will perform two sets of songs. The Tuis will do one set of songs with their whole choir and another set with a smaller group of the senior singers, who are working on singing in parts.

Yesterday (Thursday October 22nd) I told the Glee Club about the plans for the concert. I taught them the chorus of the Kiwi Kids' Theme song, I gave them the 'When I'm 64' lyrics to work on rewriting. The Tuis will sing the original version of the song, the Glee Club will sing their version of the song. I gave Glee Club the Tui's new words to the ABBA song Honey Honey, which has turned it into a love of the product, very cleverly.

I sent an email to the Garden's Festival organiser about date, time and venue for the concert. It appears that we will have the venue we want, the Pavilion, an inside venue where the Glee Club will be able to sit for most (for some) or all (for some) of the concert. The organiser had envisaged the concert being held outside on a lawn, and that would have required amplification, chairs, etc. Watch this space, I am still thinking about how we might merge our concepts.

I have put a post on the AIRS project, a request for help about how to record this event in relation to the outcomes for both sets of participants for this process. AIRS stands for Advancing Interdisciplinary Research in Singing. It is an exciting concept, but doesn't appear to be very active as yet. I have also joined an Ethnographic research group here in the School of Education, and will be asking them for their learned opinions as well. Furthermore I will be talking to my colleague Professor Peggy Koopman-Boyden who has been a gerontologist for some decades, and picking her brains.

In the meantime, I go next Tuesday to work vocally with the senior singers at Rotokauri (ages 10 & 11) (a whole new way of using senior!!)and start talking with them about the project. I will continue to work with Glee Club, which now has 31 singers!!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October 1st

What a busy four weeks it has been for me, with additional classes to teach, and additional admin to see to. The Celebrating Age group did not happen, due to lack of interest. One person turned up the first time, nobody turned up the second time, and one person turned up the third time. It is either the wrong day, or time of day, or perhaps the wrong time of year.

However the Hilda Ross Glee Club is growing by leaps and bounds. I held a 'come and talk to me' meeting to which all of the villa residents were invited. Five members of Glee Club were at the meeting, and they answered questions, while I gave quotes about the researched benefits of singing. One of the delightful pieces of feedback that has occurred is that some people think that they are not good enough now that the Glee Club sound so good. As a result we had six new people join us, and our roll is now 26, with 6 men!!

Alex and Tui and Brian accompanied me as I went to have an interview on Hamilton Community radio. Initially I was going to have 45 minutes, but then it was just over 20 minutes, so the interview with me turned into an interview about this research and the Hilda Ross Glee Club, and went very well according to those who listened. I will try to get a sound file onto this site for you to listen to the interview, if interested. I could put a link to the radio station, but given that I am the last 20+ minutes of a 2-hr recording, I don't think that is practicable.

There has been an interesting comparison for me the last two weeks. With school holidays, sickness, and grandparent responsibilities, I have had a fairly high absency rate at Hamilton Chorale Rehearsals, such that I have more people at Glee Club than I do at Chorale, for now!