Preparation before Rehearsals
Learning the music
Everyone is expected to do some preparation before the Tuesday rehearsals. This may be just looking through the music and noting the repeat marks and the da capo signs so you know where you are going from one page / bar to the next. It may be reading the words in the correct rhythm. It may be listening to the work on a CD or playing your part on a piano or keyboard.
If you don't have access to a piano or keyboard it can be difficult to prepare between formal rehearsals. If you are reading this you clearly have access to a computer and the Internet, which is where you can find various on-line products to play back the music for you. Some play-back options are listed below.
There is an excellent piece of computer software called 'Scorch' supplied by Sibelius Software of Bedford. This is a wonderful means of rehearsing music of all sorts and as an additional bonus it is all free!
The Scorch software works as a plug-in to your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari etc etc) and enables your PC or Apple to show the score on your screen and to play the music with your 'voice' brought forward so that it is louder than the accompaniment. You can adjust the speed and repeat the playback at will using the menu bar at the top of the score. Download the Scorch software here.
John Fletcher Music
Note that 'Scorch' is software only and does not contain scores, playable music or even links to sources of rehearsal material. To find and download, or play the music on-line, you must first visit a suitable site such as John Fletcher's Music where there is a collection of scores and playable MP3 files. John is from Leicestershire and is often associated with local choral events. If there isn't a particular piece of music that you need you can email John and ask him to create it for you (and the rest of us). Just be patient! John Fletcher's music website can be accessed here.
There are many sites offering rehearsal scores and playback using WMP over the Internet. Beware as not all of these are free nor are all without overhead and other baggage.
An open site called Choralia - click here - has mp3 files with voice which works but sounds decidedly odd - a bit like 'Sparky'. As above, the procedure is to select the piece and then your 'voice'. You will need to repeat the process each time you visit the site or change the item you want to rehearse.
Adobe and pdfs
If you need the software to open PDF format files it is available for free on www.adobe.com; just follow the instructions. Note that at the download page you might also like to deselect the option to download the McAfee scan software as this can conflict with your existing anti-virus protection.