How many of you brass people sing?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by b-flatcharlie, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. b-flatcharlie

    b-flatcharlie Member

    In the last few months I have been making a very gradual effort to try and get back into singing in my spare time when I am not banding – not an easy task. The last time I did this was at secondary school.

    I have been interested for a while in Gareth Malone’s teachings to society that singing is acceptable for anyone. I also have enjoyed watching The Choir on BBC2 I admit.

    We know as brass players the advantages of singing. Most of us will have learned this art at primary school.

    I now sing tenor in the local village choir. I know there are brass players out there who sing. The famous and biggest one I know has two be my brass band musical director Andrew Dunn. The solo horn player in my band also sings. Players at Black Dyke Band obviously sing and the list goes on. Not to mention smoker brass singers! :sup

    It’s not just a question of how many do this on an active basis, but how many feel free to admit this either if they sing in private or in public..…

    So how many of you brass or indeed percussion players sing?
  2. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    I sing, although it's rare for me to get a real chance to, these days. I have a good range and have sung everything from basso profundo to heldentenor! Eagley have a chamber choir, but we meet on an irregular basis at the moment.
  3. Dave Payn

    Dave Payn Active Member

    I sing in the Lochranza Choir on the north end of Arran. I also sang in a church choir in East Dulwich, London, for seven years. I love doing it!
  4. b-flatcharlie

    b-flatcharlie Member

    Yes fair enough I largely expected conductors and ‘tmp posting freaks’ to comment.:tup
    Is there any chance we can see a wider spectrum of players and general musicians contributing, even if they haven’t been using the vocal chords for some time?:)
  5. John_D

    John_D Member

    I sing in the bath/shower and (allegedly) when drunk .................... does that count :D
  6. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    I joined the choir that my grandfather conducted during the Seventies, initially because he'd promised me a pint of Guinness for every rehearsal (they practised in a pub). Within a few weeks I'd caught the singing bug and would have stayed on even if they'd moved into a church....loved it!....gotta do it again sometime.....
  7. Gorgie boy

    Gorgie boy Member

    Love singing! Not that fantastic at it mind, but do enjoy it. Have just taken leadership of the Songster Brigade at my Salvation Army Corps in Edinburgh (that's what we Salvationists call a choir!)
  8. b-flatcharlie

    b-flatcharlie Member

  9. Val.M

    Val.M Member

    My Husband has recently become an Elvis Tribute Artist. Hes been playing solo Euph for years, but because of his singin has decided to take the presure off and go on 2nd Euph. Although he does look a bit odd turning up for band concerts with black hair and long sideburns!
  10. b-flatcharlie

    b-flatcharlie Member

    I’ll tell you one of the reasons in a true story of why I’m interested in these contributions from people old and young and indeed any musical ability and faith….

    I was depping with a brass band last Christmas Eve at a supermarket on the Yorkshire/Lancashire boarder. (Colne) Since it was that time of year I thought I would go along, - of course not to get paid, indeed rather in pure spirit of the occasion. Besides it’s to raise money for good will and gesture which is still politically normal today. Thank God.

    The large numbers in the band that turned out (from either side of the roses) with enthusiastic stamina, played through botched up old green Salvation Army carol books. We possibly got through the books at least two and a half times in 3 hours. Wisely we were all taking it in turns to play. During that time we must have got all kinds of numerous people sensitively putting coins in the bucket.

    All of a sudden there was a load clash as a mixed race couple (possibly in their mid 20’s) had emptied a whole tray of penny coins into the bucket. With this kick of delight the band pressed on with the carol playing.
    It was nice to notice through out the Muslim people along with Whites etc in the supermarket being appeasing and appreciative and wishing Seasons greetings etc.

    When we neared the end of the night, the time came when Merry Christmas was called for the traditional encore. In shock we realized this carol wasn’t in the bands own botched up salvation carol books.
    All of a sudden a very spaced out and unassuming middle aged member of the band who at the best of times nobody really took notice of cried audibly, “Sing!”

    Ok we all still knew the words, even the youngest troublesome members had learned. We had no choice but to pull ourselves together and sing ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas in ASDA.

    The applause from the supermarket couldn’t have been more deafening and I don’t know if anyone else made more money for something so worthwhile last Christmas Eve!

    This is never the end. :clap:

    Charlie Doumani.
  11. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    When I was a member of Yorkshire Co-op band the MD was keen to use arrangments of hymns or slow pieces which involved us stopping playing for the middle verse and singing four-part harmony (Or five part as any bloke who couldn't hack the tenor or bass lines wound up on the tune an octave down!) We had some success with it too.

    I'm a great believer in sining as an aid to playing too. If conducting I'll try and get a band/section/player to sing a rhythm so it's in their head and then play it from that, as it's often easier to vocalise it and remove the complication of the instrument.

    If you can persuade them to sing their own parts for a hymn tune or similar it helps the band listen to each other better and aim for better intonation and balance - although some bandsmen of all ages don't always take to this approach. One thing that helps is if you pick a well-known hymn and have the words to hand!!
  12. b-flatcharlie

    b-flatcharlie Member

    This is excellent and fortunately for me, my main band can embrace singing if they want I’m sure, with thanks to nationally recognized choir conductor and once NNBB Eb bass player, Andrew Dunn.
  13. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member

  14. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    I only sing during hymn practise at school. Admittedly I do find it fun but I'm not in a choir.
  15. Mode For....

    Mode For.... Member

    Yorkshire Co-op indeed sing regularly as part of their performances - it's a great skill to have and makes for a great entertainment package.
    The band has sung recently in many fantastic arrangements by Simon Kerwin such as this one of Kumbaya which hears the band in 4-part harmony:
    They will also be singing in several pieces in Saturday night's Show Music concert including Bohemian Rhapsody, Edelweiss and Hello Dolly! It's not compulsory but great fun!
    I trained as a singer for many years and there are real benefits in terms of controlling breathing but there are also some elements of singing and brass which do not complement each other at more advanced singing levels. However, it's a great thing to do and develops musicality well.
  16. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    that's interesting Rapier - why are you so against singing? (not a criticism just curiosity)

    I sing in my school Chamber Choir (if any teachers here were at the SSAT conference in Birmingham in November, we were singing at about 8:15 in the morning!) after giving up after my voice broke. It was really too much hassle when you can barely speak like a normal being, to try and control a singing voice too. I'm glad I've gotten back into it as it is really good fun and I believe it helps your natural ear too :)
  17. Kjata

    Kjata Member

    I was told by my School that if i sung...EVER, they would slap an ASBO on me, says a lot really.... :(
  18. b-flatcharlie

    b-flatcharlie Member

    I’ve been able to whistle since I was three-four years old and learned the importance of singing and the fact I could sing very well around the same time at school, which is a huge musical benefit. It wasn’t until I was seven – a good two months after picking the trumpet up for the first time that I had singing lessons with a general school teacher.
    I still would like to join a band such as the Yorkshire Co-op for this reason but it would be hard two separate me from SilsdenTown band after eight years. I’m 21 now for the record.
    I feel 2010 will be a great year for the band. Most of the band wouldn’t be frightened to sing with the (very patient) Andy Dunn presently in charge. He is quite a vocally expressive Musical Director. :eek:
    It would be a great musical lift to do something along these lines of singing, not to mention increase the awareness of improving intonation and balance as the talented Andi Cook has pointed out.

    Silsden Town Band is a learning band in all respects. One of the major benefits of singing for these learners I feel personally is feeding a basic knowledge of how to work breath control as well as the aforementioned.

    Thanks every one for you pleasant contributions and keep them coming!:tup
  19. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

  20. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I did sing ... badly! At college, singing was compulsory as part of the curriculum. Although the voice training assisted my brass playing a bit, I hated going to the lessons, lol! Hiding in the choir eased the pain!

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