Page 50 - Voice for Life Songbook 1
P. 50

                                14. Bring the children
This song has been written by Bazil Meade, director of the London Community Gospel Choir.The text relates to Jesus’s encounter with children in Judea, as recorded in Matthew 19.The disciples rebuke the children but Jesus welcomes them for prayer, explaining that the kingdom of God belongs to them.
You may like to listen to and compare some recordings of gospel choirs and traditional cathedral or church choirs before learning this song. Ask your singers if they can hear what makes a gospel choir sound different from a traditional church or cathedral choir.What are the characteristics of each? Here are some examples:
Cathedral/traditional church choirs
􏰁 The vocal tone is as pure as possible and even throughout the vocal range.
􏰁 Notes are always hit exactly in the centre.
􏰁 Intervals between notes are negotiated as quickly as possible, with no slide between the notes.
Gospel choirs
􏰁 The vocal tone has more vibrato, and draws on a wider range of tonal colours for expressive purposes (e.g. breathy tone, powerful projection, a gravely, husky sound, etc.)
􏰁 There is a sense of freedom and relaxation in the singing: notes are not always struck immediately in the centre – the pitch is often ‘bent’ and intervals can be negotiated with a ‘lazy feel’ using slides on occasion.
Teaching the song
You can teach this song by rote, demonstrating the melody in two-bar phrases and asking your singers to imitate you. Remember to demonstrate this with a gospel feel, i.e. don’t feel you have to hit each note precisely in the centre each time – feel free to add in small slides between notes (portamento), etc.
Make sure your singers understand how to follow the music (how many times the repeat happens, and where the music ends, for example).Then try singing the whole song through.
Be creative
As this song is in unison throughout, you could add some variety by allocating solos or small groups to sing the verses, and everyone could join in for the chorus.You might also like to perform the song in keeping with a gospel choir performance by adding some movement: gentle swaying and clicking your singers on the second and fourth beats of the bar, for example. But feel free to experiment – relax and move in a way that feels natural.
Track 14

   48   49   50   51   52