It is all coming together

Today we met the students from the Chennai Conservatory for our first full rehearsal for the Concert tomorrow at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.


The rehearsals were held in the City Halls with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.  It was a great rehearsal space and gave us the chance to come together and experience what each of our groups had been practising independently.


Aarthi and Vedika from the Chennai Conservatory.
Aashima and Niharika from the Chennai Conservatory

Tomorrow’s concert is to be broadcast on the BBC Asian Network live  .  The concert itself starts at 1930 to 2230.


The Rehearsal Process

For the Paisley Abbey concert we meet as an ensemble once per week, but it is important to arrive well prepared and ready for work.  If one is lacking preparation then these sessions can turn into a mad note-bashing practise which should have been done alone.  A rehearsal can be compared to a practise race. You should know your running track well, be prepared for the twists and turns that would catch you out. The niggly phrases which need learning into your muscles.   So that a director can advise and mould the colour and emotion of the sound.

What would I recommend to do before a rehearsal?

(1) Listen to recordings of the pieces being performed (if possible).

Why? This will give you an insight into different options the piece might be taken in. It gives you a flavour of the melody and the overall sound of an ensemble you can’t achieve in solo practise.

(2) Have your music and a pencil

Why? It is just good practise! Never come to a rehearsal without your music. It seems simple but if you are sharing a copy you can’t fully focus on your sound and combining it with the voices around you as you are constantly trying to look over someone’s shoulder.  A pencil is simply a must, how can you record what your conductors intentions are without one. You have to concentrate on so much when you are singing – your pencil provides a hint! So if you forget it, you are only stopping yourself from achieving greatness.

(3) Have a private note bashing session

Why? Sing wrong and loud alone. It is important to have these sessions. You need to be able to follow and lead in a choir.

(4) Get into a habit of being business like and looking presentable

Why? You don’t need hair and make-up, but at least you’d feel good!  I also think it’s a good idea to practise in some of the shoes, clothes, make-up I may choose to wear in a performance to see how it makes me feel and ensure they are comfortable.

(5) Look at the notes you made from last week (if applicable)

Why?  There is no point in making notes if you aren’t going to revise them.

Most of these points may seem very obvious but if you are very busy they can be easily missed.

Working in an ensemble is a fabulous experience. Creating something together is very worthwhile and brings people together.

It improves your musicianship and most importantly is a lot of fun.

I took my singing exam today at 16:20 pm and I hope it went well 🙂 Fingers crossed and I cant wait to get the feedback

49 thoughts on “It is all coming together

  1. Charlotte is great! Bravo for this debriefing. Not only are you very professional and very talented, but also you are able to take long enough to analyze your work and extract the working technique is rare, sincerely, and I congratulate you.

    1. Hi Pascal, when I first set the blog up last March it was my intention for the blog posts to log my journey through my training, and even though I drift off topic from time to time I am able to stay true to that when I’m at the Conservatoire as there is so much going on.

      Best wishes

      1. Hi Charlotte,
        I think it’s fine. I follow you now since September and I think it’s fantastic that you happen to manage your blog, your classes, your reps your concerts, your family life and your friends.
        You show great maturity always keeping a grain of artistic madness. I think all the people who know you and love you are very proud of you.

        All the best for you !

    1. Hi Deanie, there are sixteen singers in my year so it’s exciting to be in a choir with them all, in addition there are singers from other years it will be very exciting.

      Best wishes

  2. When I was growing up, I sung in a small church choir. Of course, songs would be broken up into sections only certain members would sing. And we never sung with an orchestra. 😀 If we did, I would have attempted to pick out the sounds of different instruments, I usually enjoy doing that. Have fun.

    1. Hi Eric, I’m glad my post brought back your memories of singing in a church choir. The Tideswell Male Voice Choir I sing with have expanded up to sixty men recently many of whom have come back to singing after many years or having never sung in a choir before.

      Best wishes

      1. Yes Charlotte. The cruise line is Norwegian and one of there best ships is called the Epic. It’s pretty amazing with great entertainment on it. Are you thinking of going on it or are you performing on one of their ships?

  3. So, the students from Chennai have arrived, best of luck for your rehearsals. Though most of my stage performances have been about trashing my juniors for not doing their work 😉 but I will still take those points into consideration 😀 😛

    1. It must be a lovely trip for them Gaurab, I’d love to do a trip to India to perform. I’ve often helped out in theatre groups and I used to choreograph dancers it’s very rewarding you must love it.

      Best wishes

  4. I know waiting time can also be an anxious time. Charlotte, I am sure you’ve put in your best for the exam. Lovely write-up of the visit of the Chennai students and the concert. All the best. 😉

    1. Mid-term exams certainly make you focus on technique and improvement so it helps to have goals. When I sing for pianists for their exams it’s lovely for me to just enjoy the moment to perform and hopefully do a good job for them. So all in all its been a great week.

      Best wishes

    1. I’ve decided I have to be this well organised in all areas lol. I arrived home today and hadn’t used my usual packing list tick sheet and forgot lots of things :/
      Best wishes

  5. You are so organized, Charlotte. No wonder you are so well prepared. I am sure you did well on your exam. You are a true professional. Great points you made on preparing too. Best wishes!

  6. Like a pilot’s list or surgeon’s before a procedure. I did not know it’s done also before rehearsal or performance.
    How did the conceert go?

    1. Thank you Marko I’m having a great bridge week, catching up on lots of work whilst my parents are cooking and looking after me, what’s not to like 😉

      Best wishes

  7. That concert hall looks incredible – blows the lid off many halls over here on the West Coast. Good insight into your process too – you’re so far ahead of many of my singer friends

    1. The City Halls where we rehearsed were brilliant but the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall is spectacular. I enjoyed the whole event. I’m getting great training at the RCS but I’ve got a long way to go.

      All the best

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