[Darkwood-SCA] Announcing the new Darkwood Choir

John Rossignol giguette at pacbell.net
Fri Nov 19 20:25:52 PST 2004

Oyez!  Oyez!  Announcing the new DARKWOOD CHOIR!  

Be it known that the Barony of Darkwood is forming a choir to perform Period
music and the occasional SCA song.

The choir will be open to anyone who loves our Barony of Darkwood and has
a desire to sing Period music with others.  

* You do NOT need to be a great singer.
* You do NOT even need to THINK you are a great singer.
* You do NOT need to be able to read music (we can teach you).
* You do NOT need to have any previous experience singing in a choir,
  although of course that will be welcome.
* You do NOT need to know Latin, Italian, German, Greek, French, German,
  Spanish, or Hebrew, although previous acquaintance with any of these
  will be helpful.
* You do NOT need to live within the geographical boundaries of Darkwood.  
  We welcome the "great unwashed" who are Darkwoodians in their hearts.

* Children are welcome, if they have the discipline to practice with us,
  and are allowed to stay up (practice will be in the evening).
* We especially need more MEN.  Come on, you guys, I'm going to need some
John Rossignol, Bard of the Oaks, will initially direct the choir.

We will primarily be singing authentic Period (pre-1600) music, both
sacred and secular, from Europe.  We will also from time to time perform
works by SCA composers.  At present we do not plan to perform music from
the Islamic tradition, partly because we wouldn't have a clue how to do
Our exact repertoire will depend to a large extent on the desires,
experience, and capabilities of the choir itself, but we will also perform
specific pieces and types of music at the behest of our Baron and

    * * * WARNING! * * *  Much of the music of medieval Europe is sacred
    music of the Christian religion, and contains words like "God",
    "Jesus", and "Hail Mary" in many languages.  Although the choir itself
    will have no religious orientation whatsoever, we will be singing many
    such works.  They form a very large part of the body of medieval
    music, they are extremely representative of the European Middle Ages,
    and many of them are supremely beautiful.  We may also perform some
    works from the Jewish tradition.  Many of us can enjoy singing
    beautiful sacred music even if we do not espouse the religion from
    which it sprang.  If singing such music would bother you, however --
    well, a word to the wise.  

* To perform formally at Darkwood events, both baronial and canton
  (although in time we will likely be invited to sing at other events as
* To provide an opportunity for Darkwoodians to learn and sing Period
  music together.
* To make our campfires more fun.

We will practice at the homes of such choir members as volunteer to host
us.  We will rotate the location so that the driving distances average out
for members in different parts of Darkwood -- it's a big place, after all.

Our goal is to practice once a week, probably for two hours.  This is the
minimum for a group of non-professionals to do justice to serious music.  
No details yet, but practice will undoubtedly be on a weekday evening
-- exactly which one will be decided when we get some information back
from you.

Please reply to this announcement and supply the following information.  
Don't worry, this is not an application, it's just so we can make plans.  
Preferably reply on the Darkwood mailing list, else e-mail:
     giguette AT pacbell DOT net

1. Your SCA name

2. If you don't watch the Darkwood mailing list, we need your e-mail
   address or some other way we can get in touch with you.
3. What weekday evening and time would be BEST for you to attend practice?

4. What OTHER weekday evenings and times would you be willing and able to
   attend practice on a regular basis?

5. If you know, what voice type are you (soprano, baritone, etc.) and what
   choir part (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) would you normally sing?

6. (optional) Are you familiar with modern musical notation (i.e. "can
   you read music")? What about any medieval forms?
7. (optional) What, if any, singing experience do you have?  Remember,
   this is not an application.  ;-)
8. (optional) If you are skilled at playing a musical instrument, would
   you be willing to play sections of music at practice to help us learn
   our parts?
John Rossignol, Bard of the Oaks

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