On Saturday 26th September Spinnaker Chorus attended the Sweet Adeline’s International Ignite workshop (South East) in Redhill, Surrey. Our fabulous faculty coach was the amazing Lynda Keever who has a wealth of singing experience, being a member of SAI Champion Quartet, Four Bettys and the multi gold medal winning Melodeers. Lynda gave us lots of extremely useful tips on developing our ‘Vocal Toolbox’ by building stamina and learning how to recognise and release the tensions which cause vocal strain. It was a fun filled event thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.

Here is a report from the day by our President Maggi McEwan.

Ladies (about 120 of them) from the south east choruses assembled in the ‘home’ venue of Vocal Dimension Chorus for a fascinating and uplifting education day with the delightful Lynda Keever. Not only were we blessed to have Lynda on that gloriously sunny day, we were further blessed to have Vocal Dimension looking after us. They knew the venue so had all the answers on domestic and electronic issues ( a very grateful event facilitator here !) and as if that weren’t enough, they supplied hot drinks and a wonderful array of cakes all day. I cannot thank VDC enough. You were kindness itself ! Thank you too to Surrey Harmony for supplying a bling bazaar!

Now to Lynda. Her theme for the day was ‘exploring and examining your voice to make it the best it can be’ and her sub headings were:

Easing the mind and body into the singing zone
Learning and singing a new song with vocal freedom
Singing in tune with ease
Choosing your instrument
Performing with grace, ease and passion

We watched out for possible pitfalls – tension, tricky rhythms, accidentals, descending melody lines, bell chords, triplets etc and watched each other critically for any difficulties. We discussed and practised stretching, and vocal and breathing warm ups as an aid to avoiding tension, and then tried putting these things into practice with vocal exercises. We analysed the different types of resonance and pretended to be different instruments in an orchestra or indeed animals in a zoo. Much hilarity here ! We broke into pair work then to listen out for each other’s resonance or lack of same.

Then we listened to some famous singers performing to see what techniques they use, then talked about how affirmations could help us. This led on to a discussion about visualisations and how imagining ourselves as top flight performers could actually contribute to this goal.

As an experienced and high achieving barbershopper, Lynda filled us with her enthusiasm, as well as giving us further insight into this wonderful craft and passion of ours. I think we all had a highly memorable and profitable day. I know that Lynda enjoyed it too!

Thank you ladies for your enthusiasm and attention. Apologies to those who kept getting the sun in their eyes, in spite of my best efforts with the curtains!

Maggi McEwan

Lynda Keever