Sunday, December 30, 2007

Hosting a Singalong

We finally found a day that could accomodate everyone's schedule to have a singalong. It was just family this time, but next time the boys are home, we'd like to invite some more of our friends, as they are a very tuneful lot. Frankly, though, with all the comings and goings at this time of year, it was hard enough just to get all the children here at the same time.

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 Singers
Here 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:


Anonymous said...

'Sounds' great! My family did something similar with a couple of other home-schooling friends and their kiddos (y'know, that group of weirdos), and we got together to sing at area nursing homes. It was a fantastic experience both for our kids and the elderly.

Love2Learn Mom said...

What fun! I may have to try that some day!

Soutenus said...

Wow!! My whole family gathered around the computer to listen.

AND timely --- As I just learned:
"In the Middle Ages, Christmas week assumed the note of a hallowed time within the homes of the faithful. It is still the custom in many sections of Europe to light the candles of the Christmas tree every night while the whole family says the rosary or performs some other devotion, followed by the singing of carols.

Carol singing ... is an ancient tradition in central Europe on the twelve nights between Christmas and Epiphany." (From Catholic Culture)

We gathered with friends last night with the intention of singing carols but it never happened. :-(
But we did read with the kids - Clown for God, by Tomie DePaola.

John Michael said...

Wow! What a talented group.

Anonymous said...

Looks good fun..

His Servant: Ann Kraeger said...

Thank you so much for your encouragement on my blog. It is different raising your youngest after your older ones are gone. My only comments to them now is they'll understand when they are parents. Thank you also for your courage in saying that the enthusiasm level may also be waning. You live in Colorado!!!!! How lovely. We have new neighbors that God so lovingly gave us one year ago to encourage us and to sustain us in tragedy who came all the way across the country from Colorado. They came to live in beautiful central New York. We value their friendship and the gift of them in our lives.
Please keep my sailor and soldiers in your family's prayers. As a mom you understand my need to know they are being held before the Lord for their safety. Thank you.

Therese said...

That looks like a fun family afternoon.

Your sons sound very profesional.

GrandmaK said...

What glorious voices...and talent to boot!!! Happy New Year and God Bless!

Bia said...

Every Christmas I have in mind to host a singalong/caroling party, but have always put it off because I didn't quite know how to pull it off. With your suggestions I'm definitely going to do it next year.

Your boys sounded wonderful...such talent!

God bless.