Tonight’s class was smaller than usual, presumably because of the holiday, and had more than the usual proportion of new or relatively new singers. Of the four trebles, one was relatively new (so 25% new); of the four altos, two were fairly new (50%); of the four basses, one was fairly new (25%); and of the half dozen tenors, there was one new singer, two experienced singers, and several newer singers. Yet for the most part the class sounded really quite good. Rebecca did have to remind us again tonight to not sing too loud (and yes, i got sucked into singing too loud yet again); but for the most part, it felt like all the sections were very attentive to the other singers in their sections, and to the class as a whole.
I like the way experienced singers in our weekly singing support the new singers. Experienced singers often make a point of sitting behind new singers, or of putting a new singer in between two experienced singers; that way the new singers can hear what’s going on. Of course since Sacred Harp is partly an oral tradition, this is what has to happen if newcomers are going to learn. But I have sung with other practice singings that are not nearly so welcoming and friendly to new singers. So I feel we go beyond the basic requirements of the tradition.
For the Other Book singing, I presented a revision of a plain tune that I presented a few months ago at the San Francisco monthly singing. Last week, I had picked up this plain tune and immediately noticed one fairly egregious mistake I had made. I corrected that, went through the rest of the tune, and saw several places that could be tightened up. [Sheet music removed.]