From my notes, two weeks after the singing
The regular fourth Sunday Palo Alto singing was actually in Saratoga, in Connie and Tom’s house. There were about ten of us, with a nice even distribution through all the parts.
Someone decided to lead 497 Natick today. Recently, and for no good reason, I’ve taken a dislike to Natick’s bass part. Don’t get me wrong, I still like Natick as a whole, and the bass part sounds good in combination with the other parts. But I don’t care for the bass part itself. So today, I switched to the tenor bench for this tune. I love Natick’s melody, especially the quick shift down to fa in measure 4 after holding sol for three beats, and descending eighth notes in the last two measures. It was also a real pleasure to sing next to Phil; he is always dead-on accurate in his pitch, rhythm, and enunciation, and he’s musical to boot. But my voice doesn’t do well singing tenor for very long, so I quickly switched back to the bass section.
A woman from New Mexico has been singing with us while staying in the area for a few months (for the life of me, I can’t remember her name, even though I know it perfectly well), and today she led us in no. 553 Anthem on the Beginning. As it turned out, none of the rest of us could remember having sung it before, so we sang it once with the notes, and then with the words. It’s not a particularly difficult anthem, and we did a creditable job getting through it — though I’m not sure how well we would have done if we hadn’t had someone leading it who knew it well. When we got done, she turned to Phil and said that she noticed he had gotten every single note right. The rest of us, needless to say, had made our share of errors — but that’s our Phil: he can sight-sing just about anything you put in front of him, and sing it well, and make it sound musical.