Choir – Thursday September 27, 2018

Mass Appeal – Choir
Winnipeg International Airport
(Arrivals level)
Thursday September 27
Rehearsal: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Concert: 7:30 – 8:00 pm

Choir at the Winnipeg International Airport

The choir remains one of the most popular Mass Appeal events – perhaps because our conductor Ben Campbell, is a fantastic conductor and educator, but it could also be that people love to sing in fun spaces. After taking the Mass Appeal choir to Union Station and the Manitoba Legislature building, we’re moving further west – to the airport! Ben has put together a fun program of travelling songs to be performed on the arrivals level of YWG on the evening of Thursday, September 27.

This is the perfect opportunity to learn how choirs work, or to join in and sing with friends and friends-to-be. Ben and his accompanists will lead you through covering a range of easy-to-sing songs that are bound to have your voice raised and your spirit soaring. Rehearsal will take place between 6:00 and 7:00 pm, with the concert running from 7:30 – 8:00 pm. To participate as a singer, download the songs below and practice them on your own. Each piece has some notes from Ben to help you discover where your range is, and what parts to learn. All you need to bring is the music, a pencil to make notes, and of course, your instrument! Here’s what Ben has to say:

Hello singers!

First of all, if you have never sung in a choir before, and you are an “occasional singer”, we are happy to have you! You will do best (probably) to sing the melody in whichever octave is comfortable to you. The melody is either clearly labelled in our music, or can be found in the top line of the music. Sometimes it’s the Soprano part; sometimes it’s simply labelled “Melody”.

If you are up for a challenge, and you know which vocal part you normally sing, feel free to self-select that part. We will deal with issues of balance in rehearsal, but we probably won’t ask people to sing different parts than they are accustomed to.

The theme of this set is Home. Which is to say that in a performance at the airport, we will be singing songs that connect with a sense of togetherness, community, and belonging. Some of our songs welcome strangers to our place, and some are welcoming our friends who are coming home from a journey. here’s what we’ll be singing this time around:

Mass Appeal Choir repertoire:

Come Together – The Beatles
Song for a Winter’s Night – Gordon Lightfoot
Goin’ Home – Anton Dvorak & Paul Langford
Home – Phillip Phillips arr. Alan Billingsley
Jet Airliner – the Steve Miller Band

1. Come Together – The Beatles


Ben says: This piece is so much fun! The words are nonsense, but there’s a really good groove to this song, and the chorus fits our theme.

This song is arranged so that sometimes we all sing together, and sometimes we divide into as many as 4 parts. The harmony sections are brief; though each part is written out, we often sing with other sections. Choose a part that you feel “comfortable” singing all the way through.

Enjoy the words! Pronounce all the consonants more than you would if you were speaking.

At the end, don’t repeat the last three bars. I will cue the last time, and we’ll end it. I erred in writing that note above the 3rd-to-last bar.

Come Together listening tracks:

Full Ensemble:


2. Song for a Winter’s Night – Gordon Lightfoot


Ben says: NB. We will be handing out original copies of this at the performance, so you may not need to print it at all! If you can download the .pdf file onto a device, you can practice from there.

OK, I know, it’s not snowing yet. But we have a LOT of experience with snow, and this song is relatable and fits our airport theme of togetherness and relationships.

Tenors, this song requires a 3-part split at the beginning and in the chorus. If some Tenors wanted to help out on the Baritone, they would likely be welcome. I will confirm this once we can see how many of us are there.

Other than that, there are divisi in every part at some point. Try to learn both parts if you can. If you learn one, that’s okay! Learning two parts gives you a chance to sing the one we hear less of in the rehearsal if changes are needed.

At measure 112 there is a Soprano Descant. If you are confident and have a clear sound in your higher range, you may be one of the 3 sopranos we need to sing that. We certainly won’t need more than 3 confident sopranos.

Just at the beginning and end of the song, you are asked to “stagger breathe”. This means, breathe at a different time than the person beside you, then gently start singing once you have taken in air. The effect desired is one of sustained choral sound (not gasps and holes in the sound).

Song for a Winter’s Night listening tracks:


3. Goin’ Home – Anton Dvorak & Paul Langford

Click here for a sample of Goin’ Home


Ben Says: Sing your voice part.

In this music, I have made quite a few markings. My aim is to help you read the music and to speed up our rehearsal. Some of the markings are for counting beats. If you have never sung in choir before, you probably still know that music has beats. I will conduct them, and we count them in order to know where we are together. The numbers (and symbols) I have written at the beginning are for you to follow, to get a sense of what I am conducting.

I have marked where the arrangement changes from Unison to 2 Part to 4 Part. Hopefully this will help us to listen to each other’s parts.

Long arcs are drawn to indicate what should be sung in one breath. NB means no breath. Check marks show breaths.

In measure 29 at the top of page 6, we are divided into 6 parts. Altos and Basses are asked to try both of the bottom notes on your line and to choose one.

mm. 32 I pose a question. Consider the answer, then sing with it in mind.

Top of P. 7 Altos are to sing that line alone. Sopranos rejoin at mm. 42

Again in mm. 49 at the top of page 8, we divide to 6 parts. For this one, choose the best note for you.

Goin’ Home listening tracks:

Full Ensemble:


4. Home – Phillip Phillips arr. Alan Billingsley

Click here for a sample of Home


Ben Says: If you’re interested in singing the Melody, by all means do so! If you feel you want to try a harmony, if you are an Alto probably choose the Alto part. If you are a Tenor or Bass, probably choose those parts. But if another part calls to you, choose the one you want! We’ll assume that most people will choose a part that’s comfortable for them to sing. Often the melody is doubled anyways. If you’re singing with us, great!

This is in cut time, and goes fast. There are only 2 beats to a bar (4 beats in the last tune) and the beats are faster. Follow the words, and listen to the recordings if this is all new to you.

I wrote some new rehearsal marks. Many of these were in odd places in terms of the form of the music, so I changed them.

Repeats. At mm. 44 we do not sing the top line the first time through, Sopranos. You will learn the Alto part, then sing the top after we come back to this section.

Mm. 52, stay on the Alto part. Also, this rhythm is best learned by listening. I drew an example of how the counting works, but just listen to it. Then, if you want, look at what I drew.


  • Mm. 79, we have a section that we sing 3 times. The trick is to follow the endings. At the bottom of p. 9 there are brackets over some empty bars. If we’re counting, we track through those empty bars. Ending 1 and 2 take us back to 79 with a repeat sign. Ending 3 says DS al Coda, which means go to “Settle Down” in mm. 44, on page 5. Sing through, then go To Coda from page 8 straight to page 10. Do not pass GO. 🙂
  • On Page 11, go back to page 10 halfway through the page.

Did you make it? If this is confusing, listen to the recordings!

Home listening tracks:

Full Ensemble:


5. Jet Airliner – The Steve Miller Band


Ben Says: If you want to sing the parts of the song that you know from listening, go ahead!  There are 2 parts in this tune (sometimes 3). It’s going to be a party!

If you want to sing anything in a different octave (lower, probably) I’m ok with that.

55, all Tenors and Basses sing the melody please, followed by Sopranos and Altos all singing the harmony 2 bars later. This will give us an octave effect. After that, go back to your business!

71 the notes are different. Check it. I put a * so we’ll remember.

Let’s clap on beats 2 and 4 during the last 2 choruses, starting at mm. 89. This means planning to know that part (with the different chorus lyrics) before the day.

Jet Airliner listening tracks:

Full Ensemble: