First workshop for Adopt -a-Composer

Last Tuesday we welcomed our adopted composer, Aileen Sweeney, and our Making Music mentor, David Horne, to our weekly rehearsal. We began with our usual ten minute vocal warm up after which Aileen took over at the helm. She had an idea that she wanted to try out with the choir which was to create a multipart canon based on snippets of the folk tune, Loch Lomond. She started by teaching the choir a rhythmic exercise: splitting into 4 groups, each group clapping on a different beat of the bar. Group A clapped every 3 beats, group B every 4, group C every 5 and group D every 6 beats. The choir took to this very easily so Aileen gave out copies of Loch Lomond arranged (like a Bach Chorale) for SATB (no words) and separated into 2 bar phrases with a pause in between each phrase. After going through each part with each section we tried to put it together. The choir managed brilliantly and so Aileen began to split them into mini choirs. By the tea break there were three choirs singing simultaneously, each with their own conductor (Aileen, David and myself) but in three different tempi. It produced a wonderfully atmospheric sound and was rather impressive considering it had taken only 45 minutes. We are all looking forward to what will happen next in the process!

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