Archive | February, 2013

Many Rivers to Cross

15 Feb


at last night’s session we started work on the Jimmy Cliff classic ‘Many Rivers to Cross’. This is such a great tune. I remember where I was when I first heard it as I was so blown away by it (it was in our old house in Armley….and i think it was on vinyl!) and it’s one of those songs that always ends too soon. From the organ intro to the massive vocals at the end the song is a journey; it doesn’t have a traditional verse, chorus, verse structure. Jimmy’s voice is at that point in his range that you can hear him strain to reach the notes, which just adds to the desperation and yearning in the lyrics.

so a perfect song for valentine’s day eh?!

For the first time since Christmas, the boys took the lead! there were 6 men singing the lead which was brilliant and they worked so well together getting the rhythm of the words just right. the girls had the job of providing haunting humming, powerful chords and gospel-style backing vocals. We looked at dynamics and whilst concentrating on rhythms and harmony. tricky stuff!

it is a testament to how far we have come then as a group and how much our harmony exercises and warm ups have been paying off that we all got to grips with the song so quickly.  it really was impressive work last night!

so we have decided on 3 songs we would like to perform at the Woolpack End of Term Showcase on 25th March:

1. Many Rivers (sheet music)

2. Killing Me Softly (sheet music)

3. Moving On Up (sheet music)

so these will be the songs we really focus on for the next couple of weeks

get listening and practising to the MP3 of Many Rivers to Cross…

Many Rivers all 4 parts MP3

Many Rivers – Melody MP3 – for the men!

Many Rivers – low harmony MP3

Many Rivers – middle harmony MP3

Many Rivers – high harmony MP3

Check out the MP3s of the other songs in the AUDIO section

so cheerio for now and see you soon!


happy monday lovely singers!

4 Feb

last week’s session really illustrated how far we have come as a choir in such a short space of time. i can really hear how much better we are singing as a group and really picking up harmonies faster and more confidently. killing me softly is sounding so lovely – i can’t wait for people to hear it!

don’t underestimate how difficult harmony singing can be! it is a new skill for a lot of people and can be tricky especially when you are learning a new arrangement of a song. that’s why i want to say a massive YOU’RE GREAT and have achieved so much all ready. let’s keep the hard work up and the momentum going!

so with that in mind – here is the bridge section for killing me softly (demo mp3)


Killing Me Softly Bridge (all)

Killing Me Softly Bridge (H2)

Killing Me Softly Bridge (H1)

Killing Me Softly Bridge (bass)

Killing Me Softly Bridge (lead)


and the sheet music

OAC Killing Me Softly Sheet Music


if you are ready this as someone who would like to come along but never sang in a choir before or are unsure about whether otley a cappella is for you….come along to the woolpack on bondgate 7pm on a thursday and see what you think. you couldn’t wish for a friendlier bunch of singers! alternatively – get in touch with me through the blog and i will answer any queries


ta ta for now