Spring Term 2021

Get Chorally Active!

‘Singing?’ ‘On Zoom?’ ‘On my own?’ ‘On mute?’ Does it work, or is it…weird…..!

The answer, in short, is yup, it works and yup, it’s weird! It’s been a pretty weird year for singers, and especially weird for those wanting to start singing. But rest assured, with creative vision and positivity, it is not only  possible, but…. fun to sing on Zoom!

Hullabaloo’s Musical Director, Kirsty Martin is used to teaching big, heart opening, spine tingling, politically poignant songs in well populated, dynamic and energetic workshops…so she has had to do quite a bit of reframing her craft throughout 2020!

Kirsty has been running Hullabaloo sessions on Zoom since March (and then on and off from October ‘Room’n’Zoom’  – simultaneous singing sessions) and at first, it was quite an existential feat, to squash a round singing circle into a square Zoom screen, as it were! But throughout these last months, Kirsty and her Natural Voice colleagues have embraced the challenge, developing new strategies, games and ways to engage with harmony singing on Zoom.

Of course,  the elements that we would rely on ‘in the room’ are not there in the same way….but Zoom singing has other gifts to offer….it invites you to listen differently, to experience musical waves (jazzy rounds work especially well!) in a new way, to allow your brain to connect to melody in a new way and to work with musical dynamics as a group in a new way – it’s been quite exciting!

It turns out that Zoom singing works especially well for those who are new to singing and coming in as a ‘beginner’. Remember, even if you think you are a beginner singer…you’re not! You speak, everyday, with varying pitch and rhythm, cadence and dynamics (unless you are a Dalek) – which are those lovely ingredients that also make up song. You almost certainly singalong to the radio now and then, and you know those ‘earworms’ that sometimes get stuck in your head at 3am? That’s your musical memory in action!

So, what can you expect if you join Hullbaloo in Spring 2021?

Our Musical Director, Kirsty Martin, is working on a programme to increase our collective ZoomSing skills – whether you are a ZoomSing novice or have been with us since Lockdown 1.0! It is important to us that choir rehearsals will continue to be valuable, sociable and fun! Zooming is, of course, visual as well, so there’s lots of singing with supported movement, singing in partners and small groups and communication on the small screen to enjoy too. Kirsty uses bespoke audio tracks to support our Zoom singing, as well as a selection of creative and interactive, magical breakout room moments. 

This term (January – May) we are working towards (hopefully a Real Live) performance on May 14th. This will be a collaboration with the fabulous Irish musician and composer Vyvienne Long. We will be singing some of her songs with her, that Kirsty has specially arranged for the choir, and Vyvienne will be joining us for some of Kirsty’s original music too!

At the moment we are able to offer Zoom rehearsal sessions, open to all. We want to get back to Real Life singing as soon as possible, but we don’t want to leave anyone behind! Therefore, as soon as we are able, we will revert to Zoom&Room – offering safe, risk assessed, Real Life sessions simultaneous to our Zoom sessions. 

“Singing and music is very important to me and I have really valued being in Hulla during this time and staying connected. I love learning new music and revisiting favourites. I am relearning songs we have previously learned and am really happy about this. Well done for keeping it going, it is very valuable. Singing in the dark times.”

– Anna, Hullabaloo Member