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The Singing Tutor And The BBC Work Together
For Children In Need !

I had the great privilege of being asked by BBC Radio Scotland to help put together a choir of radio presenters from the MacAulay and Co. morning radio show presented by Fred MacAulay, to help raise funds for BBC's children In Need.

Without hesitation I accepted. I mean it's a great cause and the thought of taking some singers and working with them to polish their singing skills and make them work as a team is right up my street.

Hold on a minute this can't be this easy I thought and when I said the words "yes I'd be delighted to help", I heard words from Karen at the BBC which seemed to come to me in slow motion. "Oh I forgot one small thing, none of them can sing" she said.

Oh well it's not the end of the world I thought I've taught plenty of non-singers to sing in my many years as a singing coach.
Then I asked the question which I just knew would come back to haunt me, "how much time do I have to teach these non-singing radio presenters to sing for Children In need".

Karen's answer came back even slower this time " ten days, oh and they can only make rehearsals for thirty minutes each time".

As I recovered consciousness and picked myself off the floor I quickly worked out that what they were asking was to take a bunch of people who can't sing and get them to sing together in a choir good enough to sing live on radio with less than five hours rehearsal.

My first meeting with my choir hopefuls was booked. I had to get to work! And fast!

I needed a song which would not be too difficult for non singers to grasp but still have an appeal for the children in need charity.

I decided on the Bill Withers song "Lean On Me" and my next step was to obtain the help from friend and colleague Kenny Campbell at mp3backingtrax.com to arrange and produce a backing track which I could use for practice and on the live show.

At our first meeting with this enthusiastic (but reluctant to sing) bunch of people consisting of seven females and three males, I thought I had better listen to them sing as individuals, just to see if any of them could actually hold a tune and I was pleasantly surprised with a couple of the females but I found it hard to keep myself from laughing at others.

My forehead still hurts from throwing it repeatedly off the steering wheel of my car after that first meeting.

What had I let myself in for and more importantly was my reputation going to be in tatters at the end.

I thought for a moment. I was advisor to pop idol winner Michelle McManus before and during her time in the pop idol show. I was advisor to Fame Academy winner David Sneddon before he went into the academy house.

I quickly shook the thought of Last Choir Standing from my head and brought myself back to reality. My hat trick of successful artistes may have to wait for now.

To hear how the rehearsals have gone until now you can hear the full shows (Tuesday 4th and Thursday 6th November) by visiting http://www.bbc.co.uk/radioscotland/features/macaulay_and_co/

Can I actually manage to make a choir from ten non- singers? Or just the painful sound of a load of spanners being thrown down a flight of metal stairs.

Watch this space...

Sample of MacAulay and Co. website

MacAuley and Co web page

MacAuley & Co Choir Live Radio Broadcast 14th November  

 

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