Page 145 - Voice for Life Songbook 1
P. 145

                                29. For Mary, Mother of our Lord
Track 29
This song may be used at a service for the Feast of the Annunciation or on Mothering Sunday.The text was written by John Raphael Peacey (1896–1971) who was born in Sussex, England but served as headmaster of a school in Calcutta, India, in the 1930s and remained there through the war years, returning to England in 1945.
The first four notes of the melody outline an F major chord.Ask your singers to prepare by singing the following pattern of notes:
Ask your singers to label the notes according to their degree in the F major scale (i.e. 1 3 5 3 1 5 1, where the underscore indicates a low 5). Scramble these numbers into different orders and try singing the new patterns that emerge.
What is the pattern of notes at the start of the melody? Can anyone sightread them without the help of the piano or another singer?
Teaching the song
Start by singing the first verse without the text on an ‘ah’ vowel: the singers will need to work to maintain a legato line, especially where there are wide leaps in the melody. If possible, they should avoid breathing at bars 8 and 15, preferably by managing two phrases in one breath or by staggering their breathing. Once the tune is familiar, introduce the text.
This melody is repeated in the upper part at bar 21 and then the lower part at bar 56.Work on these sections next, going through the harmony part and the descant respectively and then putting them together with the melody. If this is too demanding for your choir, you could stick to unison at bar 21 and only divide into two parts at bar 56.
Lastly, work on the the middle section of the piece, which begins at bar 38. Make sure that the singers are aware of the dynamic markings.To encourage them to sing piano you could first ask them to hum bars 38–46.When they add the words back in encourage them to retain that small, focused tone but to keep the text loud and energetic.
Using the voice well
When singing quietly some singers will use a breathy tone.This symptom indicates that their breath is not being used very effectively. Most of the time choral singers should aim to maximize their use of air
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