Monday, October 30, 2017

Choral Cacophony Podcast #11 Warmup Tongue-Twister Time

A rushing river - near Facette, Quebec
This week's warm-up seems a lot like whitewater rafting - an out of control ride, moving forward. In reality, singing - like rafting - is about letting go and having control (so you don't lose it, tip or fall in.)

So, to our warm up.

Chapter 1 -  Pierre starts with a simple scale warm up on O,  A,  E, o and A - yes, it's High!
Chapter 2 - Now a fast scale - listen to Pete! He gives us a break and we don't have to do the "words".
Chapter 3 - Pierre says "no Jaw" - he means to keep the jaw relaxed and still. The vowel changes happen inside the mouth.
Chapter 4 - We start "Patapan" -  see photo of the sheet music.  The warm up had purpose re our speed and accuracy.

I've included the start of the first song of rehearsal, Patapan - a popular french carol about the little drummer boy, to show how the warmup is related to the performance of the song.
Patapan - new arrangement by Pierre Massie

This is a new arrangement by Pierre, performed for the first time last Christmas season. Watch for it on our YouTube channel!

If you are a choir director and want Pierre to publish this arrangement so you can do it with your choir, please tell us in an email at info (at)

Please DONATE to support our 40th year events ! 
All Donations receive a charitable receipt.
About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie started our a cappella choir in 1977 while a music student at Ottawa University. The Stairwell Carollers are ranked with the best of Ontario choirs, winning both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions. 

A registered Canadian charity, we also help local charities with our concert, CD and cookbook sales.


  1. Just checked out your blog and saw some of your wicked sense of humour, Holly. You are a wit: "Minor— is there anything finer?" and “Staying in key is right up our stairwell.” High-class music and wit too.

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You can also email your questions to me - info (at) stairwellcarollers (dot) com.
Holly :)

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