Hello HX Men’s Chorus!
In just under a month we will gather in Melbourne at F.I.T. for a weekend of harmony making. I am looking forward to the time very much as we get a chance to learn more about Barbershop and celebrate a truly unique a cappella style together. There is nothing better to connect people than singing and performing together. Many of you have been a part of this experience before. Welcome back! Similarly, this is going to be a new experience for many of you, but one that I am sure will be memorable.
I wanted to take a quick moment to introduce our dedicated men’s chorus material to you as well as encourage you to spend time learning the material before you arrive. Your learning media and charts will hopefully set you up for success so enjoy. We will have a limited amount of time once on-site. While we will have sectionals and note/word specific rehearsal, we will not have enough time to memorize the songs as needed for the show on Saturday night if you are not prepared before you arrive. PLEASE, do your part to have the material down. Our collective time will be better served if you show up having done your part with learning the songs. Thank you in advance for that part!
Our theme this year is Broadway / Musical Theater material. We have some great titles that we will be sharing. Varied material that will stretch is in every way musically, but all achievable if we put our minds to it. Here’s a run down:
Tonight - From the classic musical, West Side Story, comes the opener for our performance set. This arrangement passes the melody around to each section throughout the piece so all of you will enjoy sharing some of the ‘familiar part’ of the song with the audience. Beyond that, there are rhythmic back-ups and a killer tag that we will all enjoy. You will want to have this down upon arrival.
Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat - Those of you who know musical theater will recognize this tune from Guys and Dolls. While being a song that represents a specific scene from the story, this tune is familiar and catchy. It will serve as our middle song as it has a bit of variety with pacing. Again, the involved arrangement passes the melody around quite a bit between the top three sections. It also has some show off moments for our basses and another killer tag. Some tricky spots in this piece so again, listen and learn carefully.
Seize the Day - The closer for our set comes from Disney’s musical, Newsies. This is a pretty exciting piece, and the arrangement sets up the enormity of it wonderfully by starting with a deliberate tempo then getting to a charging finish with a huge tempo kick. You are going to love this one and so is our audience. Something special about this arrangement that you need to know. It was done specifically for THIS performance. Thanks to permission from our Dean, Steve Cragg, this piece was commissioned for this year’s HX camp. YOU WILL BE THE FIRST TO PERORM THISARRANGEMENT OF THIS SONG. All the more reason to have your part memorized when you get to camp.
Beyond the above, we will be performing Do You Heat the People Sing As our combined song with the girls chorus. From Les Miserables, this will be a huge finale for our audience, and a VERY enjoyable finish to a great weekend for you! Do not forget to include this one in your playlist for learning.
As you can see, we have GREAT material to chew on for our time together. No reason to delay in getting started on it all as soon as possible. If you want to make friends quickly at HX and get the most out of the time then KNOW YOUR MUSIC!
Please reach out with any questions about what part to sing as we move to our time together. If you are not sure then listen to the material and see what sits well without vocal strain. Do not be afraid to use your mix and falsetto as needed. You can also use some of the following tips to settle on a part before you arrive:
TENOR singers for this material is best served with those that have a natural voice tenor sound or a decently developed mix / falsetto. We will not need many in this section to correctly balance the full chorus.
LEAD singers will represent our biggest melody singing section. This is usually represented by a Tenor II range, but being able to move to mix or falsetto will be needed. Leading men’s sounds do not necessarily mean a louder voice. We are looking for accuracy within the delivery for sure.
BARITONE singers share a similar Tenor II range for much of this material. While there are a few Melody spots with these songs, baritone is the premier harmony part for Barbershop. Accessing a mix or falsetto will be VERY IMPORTANT for these songs even with the baritone part.
BASS singers represent the foundation for our chorus. We need foundation for sure, and there are some very specific places where a few notes below the staff will be needed.
Have a great time getting into the music and learning more about the style you will be enjoying at HX. I know we will have a super time! Thanks for your participation!
Please bring a pair of blue jeans to wear for our performance, preferably in good shape with no holes in them. We will also wear our camp t-shirt.
See you soon,
Mr. Tony (Mr. T / T-Dog, etc.)