Let's sing! March 10, 2008 8:41 PM   Subscribe

Admit it, MetaFilter really needs a Glee Club. San Francisco singers and would-be singers, lend your voices to make this dream a reality!

ClaudiaCenter and I would like to start up a choral group to sing for fun. What type of music is definitely open for discussion, but we would probably start with a cappella pieces for small groups (since we're likely to be a small group with no instrumentalists). However, that can mean anything from madrigals to barbershop, so bring your favorites!

If you're interested, please contact one of us and let us know:

Your voice (SATB)
Your musical preferences
If you have a place where we can meet
If you have a keyboard or some instrument we can use to play the parts and give us a pitch
Your general schedule/availability for rehearsals

We will coordinate something and send out an invite with time and place. Hope to hear from you soon!
posted by Quietgal to MetaFilter Gatherings at 8:41 PM (59 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

Aww, that sounds like a lot of fun! Please record and post to MeFi Music!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:12 PM on March 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

I am moving sometime soon, but I LOVE to sing, alto. I'm totally available until the move, no work, no nothin', but my place is no good since it's in Santa Cruz and I would be driving up there (which I'm doing for fun often anyhow)
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:38 PM on March 10, 2008

I find it hilarious that this was posted by quietgal.
posted by youcancallmeal at 9:57 PM on March 10, 2008

I am SOOOO glad you posted this! You know I was just thinking today that I didn't write you back, and I am so sorry! I just got crazy busy and preoccupied with work. Oh, and kicking cute men to the curb. (Sigh.)

So sure, what the hey. I'm in! I'm alto. I've never been in a glee club but I was in 3rd & 7th grade chorus. And I tend to automatically sing harmony so I'm totally on that.

People can meet at my place any time. But it's on... gasp... the Peninsula, about 5 minutes south of the airport. So I'm sure that means nobody wants to.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:17 PM on March 10, 2008

Totally up for it. I'm a soprano, and I "automatically sing harmony" too.

I live even farther down the peninsula, and refuse to apologize for it.
posted by tangerine at 10:31 PM on March 10, 2008

awww shucks! I wish I could sing. I'm god awful. Maybe I could cheer instead? Do you need an ASL interpreter for the performances?
posted by iamkimiam at 10:47 PM on March 10, 2008

I wish I were in San Francisco so badly. Nthing the MuFi suggestion.
posted by dismas at 10:57 PM on March 10, 2008

I would sing tenor for you if I weren't on the other coast.
posted by ludwig_van at 11:13 PM on March 10, 2008

How cool! If you do get one started, perhaps you should go on tour!
posted by chara at 11:35 PM on March 10, 2008

Alto in Oakland- and I'm pretty sure the Lake Merrit community center would let us have space, if people felt like going east-side.
posted by arnicae at 11:39 PM on March 10, 2008

And I tend to automatically sing harmony

me too. uh-oh!! we're a tribe of backup singers!

I would love to sing some motown. Maybe a capella new wave hits? Ha! I also love barbershop.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:21 AM on March 11, 2008

Tenor, sometimes bass. Usually terrible.

I have a large space, but you'll possibly drive my fellow art-weirdos crazy, I fear. I don't know. I'll ask around. If I can get enough of the girls in on it the boys won't complain as much.
posted by loquacious at 2:57 AM on March 11, 2008

I'm crossing my fingers that this pans out. I'm hoping to move to the SF Bay Area in a couple years, and I would be down like Charlie Brown.
posted by solotoro at 5:00 AM on March 11, 2008

Sorry - can't sing a note, but I'm willing to offer unfounded, biting criticism and wry commentary.
posted by grateful at 5:15 AM on March 11, 2008

This is the weirdest Mefi gatherings post I've ever seen

And one of the most wonderful! If this happens, I want video!
posted by LeeJay at 6:04 AM on March 11, 2008

Oh, this is tempting.

I'm an alto II/tenor I. I can't sightread for shit, but my ear is/used to be very good (which is probably why I never learned to sightread). I sang in junior high and all through high school, and four years in my college's glee club. Mostly classical choral pieces, especially in college.

Now I do all my singing in the car. Except once a year, when some friends host a Christmas/holiday singing...party, with lots of eggnog and songsheets and a good enough number of people that we can sort of do 4-part harmony. For years, thanks to high school choir, I really only knew the alto parts to Christmas carols.

I've considered auditioning for the SF Chorus, or whatever they're called (the ones who rehearse out by State), but I hate auditioning so much I get faint just thinking about it.

Count me in as a definite maybe. I have to think about it, though.
posted by rtha at 7:00 AM on March 11, 2008

Aw man, I would so be there if I weren't, you know, very far away. Wah.
posted by somanyamys at 7:15 AM on March 11, 2008

As long as you guys cover Mark Eitzel's 'All The Lost Souls Welcome You To San Francisco.'
posted by mykescipark at 7:23 AM on March 11, 2008

Ha, rtha, we've already counted you in (little did you know). I like the idea of madrigals, also maybe some Alison Kraus-y O Brother! (Sister!) type songs (Down to the River to Pray, I'll Fly Away). The ones in my Religion for Atheists playlist.

I found this page with madrigals.

I like the idea of an all-San Francisco-themed program.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 7:35 AM on March 11, 2008

Oh, I'd be into this.

My house in Redwood City is about a mile from the Caltrain station and has a big basement which also happens to be wired for recording (not to mention full of beer). Happy to offer it up.

My voice is mediocre but versatile.
posted by padraigin at 7:56 AM on March 11, 2008

I do something like this here in my hometown. Best of luck with the endeavour, and if you need advice about anything, I'd be happy to help.
posted by LN at 8:31 AM on March 11, 2008

I'll cheer y'all on from the sidelines!
posted by gingerbeer at 8:42 AM on March 11, 2008

Just a word of encouragement to all the people who think their voices are not so great: you are often the best types for a chorus, where "mediocre" voices that blend well work better than bright, brassy solo voices.

Don't worry about auditions - this is just for fun and I seriously doubt we'll have so many people show up that we'll need to turn anyone away.

Looks like we're heavy on altos (it always seems to work out that way) - maybe some of the 1st altos could move up to 2nd soprano, and a few 2nd altos could move down to 1st tenor? (I'm a 2nd alto/pinch-hit tenor myself.) Yay for tangerine's soprano and Loquacious' baritone!

Y'all should check out that link that ClaudiaCenter found - it's a great resource. MIDI files highlight each voice part so we can learn the music at home. If anybody knows other sites like this, please post them.

I'm at work right now so I gotta go, but it's great to see so many people are interested!
posted by Quietgal at 11:17 AM on March 11, 2008

I can sing alto or soprano.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 11:43 AM on March 11, 2008

Tenor/baritone here. I'm in Mountain View. And this is a brilliant idea.

As long as we're cool and not lame cardigan-wearing self-satisfied dingdongs
posted by scrump at 12:24 PM on March 11, 2008

Also, we need a MeFi Fight Song, if we're going to do this properly.
posted by scrump at 12:26 PM on March 11, 2008

OK, put me on your contact list. I'm a soprano.
posted by obloquy at 12:28 PM on March 11, 2008

I'd be in if we could be lame cardigan-wearing self-satisfied dingdongs.

Seriously, I can't sing but I will look forward to hearing you guys. Great idea!
posted by trip and a half at 2:10 PM on March 11, 2008

It sounds like there are a few people interested who are down the peninsula or even further South. I'm interested, and I'm in South San Jose (though I'd be willing to drive a little ways occasionally.) I'm always annoyed by all the SF meetups that I just can't bring myself to drive all the way to. Maybe a Redwood City/Palo Alto in-betweenish meetup?
Oh, and I'm a not-terribly good but enthusiastic baritone.
posted by agentofselection at 2:33 PM on March 11, 2008

That sounds awesome! I was thinking about finding a group to sing with. I've never sung in a choir, but I can carry a tune. Alto/soprano (I think...if it's not too high). Another vote for Mo-Town!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 2:37 PM on March 11, 2008

Yes! I need to get back into singing. I'm usually an alto, but I've been working on my range the past two years and am probably able to do Sop II or Tenor. I'm in Mtn View too.

ClaudiaCenter, I totally meant to respond to your AskMe about singing groups, but about 5 minutes after I read your question I unplugged my computer for moving and then promptly forgot. I'll send you MeFi Mail about it anyway.
posted by sarahnade at 4:47 PM on March 11, 2008

Just a word of encouragement to all the people who think their voices are not so great: you are often the best types for a chorus, where "mediocre" voices that blend well work better than bright, brassy solo voices.

Yeah, but I'm the antithesis of quietgal. I'm LOUDGAL, and I'm also TONEDEAFGAL, and OBNOXIOUSGAL. But I so badly want to sing. How about I give it a whirling screech, and if my vocals are not welcome, I will not take it personally. I can be spectator gal very gleefully.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:48 PM on March 11, 2008

Also, I have a background in a cappella music, and I have a bunch of the CASA Songbooks which probably have some songs people would be interested in singing.
posted by sarahnade at 4:52 PM on March 11, 2008

iamkimiam: can you learn to yodel?

Having a Designated Yodeler would be awesome.
posted by scrump at 6:33 PM on March 11, 2008

Hey, seems a dozen-plus people are interested. That's fantastic.

Even if all you can do is howl, we can work with that. And if you can't yodel but want to learn, ask scrump about his lederhosen. They might be able to help you.

It's been a while, but I bet I can still work up a serviceable, if uninspired, n-part arrangement of anything anyone urgently wants to sing, accommodating screechers, whisperers, and Ethel Mermen as necessary.
posted by tangerine at 11:22 PM on March 11, 2008

Metafilter, we revere!
For your lulz we'll
Raise a cheer! (paancakes!)
Hold our heads up
To the sky
As we raise your hitcount high

Hail to all your
Loyal sons (booyzone!)
Though their work is
Never done!
On their snark we'll
All rely!
We all hail thee
Mefi high! (yeehaw)

(Adapted from my own impressively memorized high school alma mater. Ask me about my lifelong joinerism)
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:57 PM on March 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

ClaudiaCenter and I are in the process of organizing our first meetup rehearsal (thanks, everyone who has offered logistical support!), but here's a small homework assignment to get us started:

"The Silver Swan" by Orlando Gibbons is short, beautiful, and not too hard. (It also has 2 alto lines, and we've got lots of altos!) The full score is available for free on the page Claudia linked, along with MIDI files of the individual voice parts and a balanced mix. Print out the score (only 2 pages), learn your voice part, and be ready to belt out THE quintessential madrigal. kidding, there - sing sweetly and save the belting for Motown or whatever else we choose.

Newbies: if you don't know how to read music or have trouble following a harmony line, listen to your MIDI file and team up with someone else in your voice part. It helps to stand next to a strong singer in your own section so you can just follow their lead. (Any second altos who want help can contact me.)

Logistical details to follow!
posted by Quietgal at 7:37 AM on March 12, 2008

Baritone/bass, though bluegrass tenor is still possible. I, too, like the midpeninsula nature of the respondants so far. I'll volunteer my basement, which is also wired for sound, for a group of up to twenty or so. But my house is in the woods west of Stanford, seven miles from the ocean.

How about rehearsing at padraigin's place, if not mine?
posted by lothar at 10:21 AM on March 12, 2008

I'm in San Mateo/Burlingame, right off the 101. Have a huge living room. No neighbors on either side. And an out of tune piano. Visitors must like wiggly dachshund mutts, since she basically owns the joint.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:35 AM on March 12, 2008


Okay, okay, I won't be moving to the Bay area until September-ish (or, if not September, December), but I'm a confirmed soprano and would -love- to come and join once I'm in the area! I would totally take a roadtrip out that way until then, but alas, I don't think my work/travel schedule will allow it.

I'm so jealous!

This brings back all my warm-fuzzy choir-singing memories from ye olde days of being in choirs since I was 8 or 9 years old... awwww.
posted by po at 2:42 PM on March 12, 2008

This is a great idea, and a neat example of something that probably no other large general-interest web community could pull off. I'm looking forward to recordings.
posted by gsteff at 9:23 PM on March 12, 2008

OMG, The Silver Swan! We did that in high school!

*is knocked down by blast from the past*
posted by rtha at 8:35 AM on March 13, 2008

what about the do-re-me-fi choral group?
posted by iamkimiam at 10:17 AM on March 13, 2008

I thought of "GleeFi" in the shower, but that only works for people who say MeFi correctly.
posted by padraigin at 11:23 AM on March 13, 2008

Dang, you know I could show up tonight, but we're not gonna last a month up here before we move, and that's finally a sure thing, so I'll go ahead and send my regrets. I'll have to sing alone... fortunately there are several genres of music made for just such a fate.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:41 PM on March 18, 2008

Good golly, was that fun! We had two sopranos and two alto ones and two alto twos, and we sounded damn good (after the first 20 minutes or so, anyway!).
posted by rtha at 8:35 AM on March 19, 2008

I'm so sorry I couldn't make it. Will there be a reprise?
posted by scrump at 10:44 AM on March 19, 2008

It was so much fun, and we sounded so good (eventually), we're planning to keep going! Seems like every other Tuesday in Padraigin's basement works pretty well for everyone so far, so we'll meet again on April 1st at 7 pm in our gracious hostess' well-appointed laundry room recording studio.

Please work on "April is in my Mistress' Face" and "Now is the Month of Maying" from Chorusrehearsal.com for our next rehearsal. If you can learn more than one part, so much the better. We have some rather ambitious ideas for other music to tackle, but these madrigals are a good way to get started since - among other reasons - the scores and practice files are available for free online.

Thanks to everyone who showed up, especially Padraigin for giving us a rockin' place to meet, and we hope to see those who couldn't make it yesterday at the next rehearsal!
posted by Quietgal at 7:58 PM on March 19, 2008

Oh, MAN. I completely blanked! Sorry. :(
posted by miss lynnster at 11:26 PM on March 19, 2008

It was sooper fun, thanks Padraigin and everyone.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 10:05 PM on March 20, 2008

Argh, it's not looking so good for the 1st. I'll try to have the arrangement done for the rest of you, though.
posted by tangerine at 5:08 PM on March 26, 2008

Did any guys show up? I'm kinda scared of being SA'ed without any TB's.
posted by lothar at 12:58 PM on March 30, 2008

Hey lothar, we didn't get any dudes last time but we might get a fella from Sac on Tuesday. And I've decided to hold down the T1 line unless/until some real tenors show up (I believe rtha is going to sing T1 too), so you won't be all alone in the T/B section. Hope to see you there!
posted by Quietgal at 7:23 PM on March 30, 2008

I'll be driving back to SF tonight if anyone needs a ride. I've got April down, and the dead swan song. :) I'm working on Now is the Song of Maying.

(What happened to the pub song, is that homework too or for later?)
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 2:06 PM on March 31, 2008

I mean -- TOMORROW!!! (Der, holidays get me messed up)
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 2:07 PM on March 31, 2008

I'll be there tonight, so there will be at least one halfassed baritone with occasional forays into bass.

QuietGal assigned me the pub song, and I am criminally behind on it, but with any luck, I can have something for, um, grfbltxt
posted by scrump at 8:41 AM on April 1, 2008

I will point out that I'm one of those people, in that I've been a bassist for 23 years but have never formally learned how to read music. I can limp along, but I'll probably need some help on timing.
posted by scrump at 8:43 AM on April 1, 2008

Any new homework I missed?
posted by tangerine at 5:31 PM on April 2, 2008

Same three songs, I believe. We killed the HELL out of the swan.
posted by scrump at 8:04 PM on April 2, 2008

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