TED Talk: Record Diggers

Helpful in understanding one of your hosts of LVW. But also a great way of finding new and soul fulfilling music, if you find the algorithms of Spotify and other services less than helpful.

Posted in Musicianship, Notes to All, Recordings | 1 Comment

Voice Tutorials

A few of you have been asking for these, so I’m putting the 4 of them in one place.  These are a series of short voice tutorials that I did some time ago for some of my students and for anyone else who might find them useful.  I’ve since been contacted by several singers from various parts of the world who have watched them, and three of them have come for singing lessons. The power of the web, eh?

If anyone has a vocal or musical subject that they would like me to tackle in a video, please don’t hesitate to get in touch or leave a comment here.


Posted in Vocal Technique | 2 Comments

Lennon & McCartney’s lovely “If I Fell” for SAB

I said at rehearsal that McCartney was influenced by pop music from an earlier era––and of course, this was mostly written by John.


ROLLING STONE’s Top 100 Beatles Songs

26. ‘If I Fell’

Main Writer: Lennon
Recorded: February 27, 1964
Released: June 26, 1964
9 weeks; no. 53 (B side)

“If I Fell” was Lennon’s first attempt to write a slow, pretty number for a Beatles record. “People forget that John wrote some nice ballads,” McCartney said. “People tend to think of him as an acerbic wit and aggressive and abrasive, but he did have a very warm side to him, really, which he didn’t like to show too much in case he got rejected.”

Lennon said the lyrics — in which he begs a new lover for tenderness after being wounded by the last girl — were “semiautobiographical, but not consciously.” On the surface, they had little to do with his life: He had been with his wife, Cynthia, for years, and their son, Julian, was almost a year old.

But musically, it was one of Lennon’s cleverest songs to date: The harmonic tricks of its strummy, offbeat opening were miles beyond what other bands were doing at the time, and it was “dripping with chords,” as McCartney said. It also showcased some of the Beatles’ finest singing. Lennon and McCartney shared a single microphone for their Everly Brothers-like close harmonies.

If I Fell – 3 Parts, SAB

If I Fell – Soprano part

If I Fell – Alto part

If I Fell – Baritone part

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End of Term Business

Thank you all for a lovely term!  We enjoyed it thoroughly and are looking forward to next term by preparing new music based on your suggestions listed below.  Also, please note the dates for next term’s sessions and put them in your diary.


LEWES VOICE WORKS end of term business

Next term’s dates:

27 April

11, 25 May

8, 22 June

6, 13 July

Next term’s fees:  Subscription £60 for 7 sessions

HOT NEWS, not FAKE NEWS: Suggestion box results are IN!!


Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves

O fortuna (Carmina Burana)

Bei Männern (Magic Flute)

Anything by Mozart

Barber’s Adagio


SS Wesley, Blessed be the God, Father of our Lord JC

Shakespearean songs

16th century ‘stuff’

Madrigal: Twas in the Month of Maying



Fool on the Hill
If I Fell
She’s Leaving Home
Here, There & Everywhere

& Hebrew song from Sandria


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Handel’s Hallelujah chorus arranged for SAB

Well, it’s more pages than usual but it will all be worth it when you experience singing it.  Yes, I miss the tenor part but then, I’m a bit biased.  That’s life in LVW! 😉

Much of it will feel very familiar to many of you, I’m sure but I envy those who are being introduced to singing it for the first time.

Have fun!

All 3 Parts – Audio

Soprano Part – Audio

Alto Part – Audio

Baritone Part – Audio

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Name that Tune #5

As mentioned at our session last night, here is Name that Tune #5. Have fun with it and we’ll have a look at it in 2 weeks.
Remember––no cheating!  Stay away from that piano!

No Bonanza theme tune.  I promise.
Name that Tune 5 – Download PDF

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The first recording of Sturk’s Phos Hilaron

I mentioned in the last post that I would also post the recording of Stephen Sturk’s Phos Hilaron that 9 of us made at the Cathedral of St John the Divine in 1986.  You can listen to it here.

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The very lovely Phos Hilaron, by composer Stephen Sturk

I worked with composer Stephen Sturk for a few years back in the 1980s when I was a soloist at the Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York. I was fortunate enough to be in the evensong choir that recorded his beautiful Evening Service, of which the Phos Hilaron (O Gracious Light) is the first part. I still have the original cassette tape with him conducting. I’ll post it here at some point so you can hear it.

It was originally composed for ATB (alto, tenor, bass) but Carol has done a lovely job of rewriting it for SAB. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Download PDF of complete score here for printing.

Audio – All 3 Parts

Audio – Soprano Part

Audio – Alto Part

Audio – Bass Part

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Ralph Kramden teaches chest resonance

Here is the Ralph Kramden chest resonance demonstration that I mentioned at the last session.  For those of you who missed out, this is what happens when you use low abdominal support and keep a fine chest resonance.

This is a clip I created and uploaded from an episode of The Honeymooners called The Bensonhurst Bomber.

Enjoy! And please don’t take it too seriously. 😉

For those of you who must see the entire episode now, it is available here.

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Name that Tune #4

For those of you waiting with bated breath, and for those of you who couldn’t make it to our last session, here is Name That Tune #4.  We will go through this at our next session and have a bit of fun.

For those of you who haven’t done one of these before, the idea is to improve your sight-reading.  So, no cheating!  Don’t play it on the piano.  Give yourself a starting pitch and sing the intervals and rhythms as best you can to determine what the songs are.

Name That Tune #4 – Download PDF


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