It worked out very nicely, though, to have the singalong on Saturday, which was our Theresa Philomena's 9th birthday (See tribute and pics below). We had her hotdog and enchilada lunch, then presents, cake and ice cream, followed by the singalong, with all the brothers and sisters, all the grandparents and almost all the aunts and uncles in voice.
It was a wonderful time, though cut a little short so we could take a contingent to a hockey game at our alma mater, the University of Denver (We won!).
Things we will keep in mind when we host our next singalong:
1) Provide for the different levels of ability that you expect to attend. We had sheet music in four parts to accomodate our many choir members, but wish we had printed out some sheets with just the words on it for the little ones who were confused by the many lines of notes.
2) Print out enough music to go around and staple it, or put it in folders in the order you expect to sing it. We wasted a lot of time shuffling through sheet music!
3) Provide plenty of pitchers of just plain, cool water to drink, with plenty of cups available. We ended up thirsty and had to keep sending the little ones after water.
4) Try to avoid singing right after a heavy meal, and especially right after sweets! We all felt a bit sluggish and very thirsty after Theresa's birthday lunch and goodies. It might have been better, if the circumstances had been different to provide some plates of crudites and light munchies, along with plenty to drink.
5) It's good to have plenty of seating, in close proximity, as your voices blend better when you can arrange yourselves properly. We were a little disjointed in our seating, as this house is hard to fit everyone in together properly, but we all still thought it sounded nice, so it's not absolutely necessary. You can especially tell the difference when you record it, though, when everyone's not seated together.
The SingersHere are a couple videos of the day. We were too busy singing to get the best songs; everyone preferred to sing than to be the one to record... But, this is "Hark How the Bells," followed by the boys' arrangement of Loreena McKennitt's The King. Kevin rewrote the words to have a Catholic spin, and Jon changed the arrangement for their voices. We are all in love with it, though the boys are disappointed with how the recording came out (You just can't please some people!).
Click below to hear some of our day: