Practise at home

Choir recordings


                                  Listen to our latest choir versions here


My Bonnie lies over the Ocean

1. First of all have a look at the score (click the links)

Full score (10 pages)

Choir parts (6 pages)

2. Have a listen to the demo version, to see what we are preparing to record:

3. Then you have a choice to listen to to record - either the whole song

All verses:

Easier versions - verse by verse (with count-ins and some starting notes etc… 

SOP vs 3a(bars 47-57)
SOP vs 3b (bars 59-72)

ALTO vs 3a (bars 47-57)
ALTO vs 3b (bars 59-72)

TEN vs 3a (bars 47-57)
TEN vs 3b (bars 59-72)

BASS vs 3a (bars 47-57)
BASS vs 3b (bars 59-72)


Ae Fond Kiss

A beautiful folk song with words by Robbie Burns, but a song about parting and sorrow - so quite appropriate at this worrying time. 


Further info from Steve

1791-1796: Dumfries. Burns and his family moved to Dumfries, where he continued working as an excise officer, with some promotions in rank. He wrote many songs during this period, including:

'Ae fond kiss'

This song was written by Burns for Agnes (Nancy) McLehose and presented to her shortly after their final meeting in 1791. When she and Burns met in Edinburgh in 1787, Nancy was separated from her husband, who had emigrated to Jamaica after release from a debtors' prison. So, both Nancy and Burns were on the fringes of Edinburgh society, but for different reasons. Only a few meetings occurred between Nancy and Burns but a large amount of correspondence passed between them over four years. Burns found in Nancy a true meeting of minds which produced a deep, enduring but platonic friendship. Burns' references in the song to 'first and fairest…best and dearest', written some years after he was married to Jean Armour, are perhaps not as hypocritical as they sound, as Burns' relationship with Nancy was unlike any he had had with other women. In 1791, after her leave-taking of Burns, Nancy set sail for Jamaica in the hope of a reconciliation with her husband, but this led to humiliation. Her husband refused to meet her, and he remained with his mistress. Nancy took the same ship home to Scotland. In her journal in 1831, forty years later, she wrote: 'This day (6 December) I can never forget. Parted with Burns in the year 1791, never more to meet in this world. Oh, may we meet in Heaven!'



This will follow the same format as last time - headphones on, listen, sing, record, send! 
If possible change the name of the file to "<part>, <name>, <verse>"  eg "alto jenny smith vs 4".  Don't worry if you don't know how to do this! I can do it here. No need for a verse number if you record the whole thing in one. 

If you make a mistake no need to stop recording, just say so, wind the recording back and go over that bit again. I will chop out the mistake. If you choose to record the whole thing in one go, but make a mistake in eg verse 4 leave it alone, but send a recording of verse 4 (all verses are available on their own)

STEP 1 - download the music
Print versions below:

STEP 2 - Familiarise yourself with the music
Click here to listen:

STEP 3 - Choose what to sing along to

1.)  If you feel confident, you could record the whole thing in one go listening to the mp3 above

2.)  If you feel you need a little more help, then you will find these more helpful. You will hear your part a little louder, and a piano playing along too. 

3.)  If you would like to record it section by section (verse by verse) then use the links below:

Sop verse 2  - (there is no verse 3 for sops)

cassette - send it to:
Jonathan Rathbone
61 Clarendon Rd
E17 9AY

I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing

To participate, you will need some way of recording yourself. This could be either a smart phone, or your computer. I only need the sound, but if you're more comfortable with it, you could use the video recording facility on your phone. And if you have an old cassette recorder, that would work too. Give me a ring if you need any help or advice - I'm in a lot at the moment!
Ring me on (020) 8520 7648. 
You will also need some headphones if possible. That is so you only record yourself. I don't want to hear myself or the piano on every recording you all make. 

Here's a link to a snippet from "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing". You can download the pdf and print it if you have a printer, but there's really no need. Just have a little look at it first perhaps...

Now to the recording. 

Here are the recordings for each part. You need to hear the relevant one as you record.

Start by putting your headphones into the computer. Make sure you can hear the sound of me speaking and singing in your headphones, but not in the room. 
Start listening from the beginning and start recording whenever you like, but make sure you've started recording BEFORE you start singing!! 

When you hear the recording for your part, you'll hear me asking you to sing along with me. 

I explain as we go on the links above, but basically you will have a chance to sing along with the whole song twice. 
If you feel you nailed it on that version, simply send the recording of that. Don't worry about the quality. We might start getting fussy about that later, but let's just see if this works first!! 

Then, the recording breaks the song into 4 sections (you can see them marked on the pdf). You may find it easier to do in short bursts. For example if you find you can't hear the recording too well when you're singing and you get out of time. Short sections might be easier for you. Or perhaps a combination - suppose you got the rhythm wrong on the 3rd phrase - sing along with that phrase on its own - that can be inserted instead. I can do all that editing here, so don't worry about any of that. Please just send EVERYTHING you record, that will help. You've no idea how useful little snatches from one bad phrase can be used to mend another. 

And please don't worry what you sound like! It always sounds far worse than you'd ever imagine. No-one is going to listen to you - just the whole choir. Most of mixing a Swingle album was us trying to 'mend' certain notes. We'd have to sing phrases again, re-tune notes and most commonly simply 'lose' notes (pull the volume down to almost nothing - just for that note in the tenor 2 part for example)



Recording of Leap Year concert 29 Feb 2020 

Leap Year Concert February 2020




Rehearsals Spring 2020   

link to Soundcloud recordings:    Beethoven Missa Solemnis


Other practice resources for Missa Solemnis

This is free, online, and uses real singers. You can select which part you listen to (SATB)


Choraline breaks the piece down into smaller chunks.                                                              Librarians are willing to get block order of CDs if enough people want them.

You can also download your part - £9.99

John Fletcher
Electronic playing but free. If you were previously registered for subscription and it's expired you will need to re-register for free downloads.



Past rehearsals (from September 2019) can be found here 

Scroll down beside the tracks to find earlier rehearsal recordings on Soundcloud




Get new rehearsal recordings automatically every week by subscribing to our podcast:

  1. Get a podcast app on your phone, eg Podcasts or Overcast (iOS), Pocket Casts (Android) or Podbean (all)
  2. From the app, choose to add a new feed by URL (you may have to go via "Discover", "Search" or "+")
  3. Enter (you might wish to copy and paste this / send it to yourself by email to avoid retyping it). Now all our rehearsals will appear in your app automatically, usually within 48 hours.

Older rehearsals are available on our soundcloud page