VOCAL FUSION REPERTOIRE & VIDEOS
Vocal Fusion singing at the BABS National Convention 2018
The Chorus usually have 2 to 3 new pieces in the "learning" phase, and would expect to learn about 6-8 new songs every year - adding these to an established repertoire of approximately 20 songs. As we learn new songs, we "rest" pieces that have been in the repertoire for 2-3 years, and this ensures that VFA's repertoire stays "fresh" and can easily embrace new styles or Member's preferences.
If there is an image to the left of a song, click on image for a video recording of VFA performing the song
"And So It Goes"- We really like Billy Joel songs, and this ballad written about his unsuccessful relationship with the model Elle Macpherson is no exception. Written in 1983, this song was not released until 1989 and we really enjoy this arrangement by Kirby Shaw.
"Bring Him Home"- From Act II of the Musical "Les Miserables", Valjean begs God to save and return Marius to Cosette, - even if he (Valjean) must sacrifice his life for Marius' safety. This is a beautiful melodic piece.
"Can't Take My Eyes Off You" - A lovely easybeat song, originally recorded by Frankie Valli in 1967, and reaching No.4 in the UK Charts that year. Recorded by many singers over the years, notably Andy Williams who recorded this on his own in 1968, and then as a duet with Denise Van Outen in 2002. This will form part of our 2021 repertoire.
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" A really great song performed by Queen, and written by Freddie Mercury in 1979 as a tribute to Elvis Presley. Freddie Mercury swore blind that it only took him 10 minutes to compose whilst lounging in his bath at his hotel in Munich.
"Deep River"- this anonymous African-American Spiritual has its origins in 1876, and its evocative moving words and music have been incorporated in a number of film soundtracks over the years. Recorded by many Artists including Paul Robeson, Johnny Mathis and Barbra Streisand.
"Ebb Tide"written in 1953, the build-up, tonal quality and dynamics of this song are representative of the ocean waves coming in and out, to and from the shores, and these complexities make this a really difficult song to perform well. Vic Damone recorded this in 1953, and Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones, have also issued recordings of the piece. The Righteous Brothers had the most commercially successful recording of this piece in 1965, with their recording peaking at No.5 in the US Hot 100.
"Everything's Coming Up Roses " - a really great song from the 1959 Broadway Musical "Gypsy," and sung in the original production by the fabulous Ethel Merman. The wonderful lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and music by Jule Styne, make this piece instantly recognizable to every audience, and it really tests the stamina of the Chorus. A new piece of repertoire for the second half of 2021
"Hello Mary Lou" - always an audience-pleaser,
this short song was written by Gene Pitney in 1960, and originally recorded by Johnny Duncan in the same year. In 1961
the song was released by Ricky Nelson,
who undoubtedly popularised this short "love at first sight" song.
" I Can't Give you Anything But Love Baby"This American jazz standard by Jimmy McHugh (music) and Dorothy Fields (lyrics) was first heard in a Revue in New York in January 1928. Recorded by literally hundreds of performers, it's instantly recognizable, and this 1994 4 part harmony arrangement is great fun. Coupled with some choreography, it brings a smile to everybody's face.
"If Ever I would
Leave You" Is a very
romantic ballad from the Musical "Camelot" written by Lerner and Loewe in 1960, and which ran
on Broadway for 873 consecutive performances. Originally sung in the Broadway Musical by Robert Goulet, this show -stopping piece has been
adapted for 4 part harmony, and will hopefully enter our repertoire in the early part of 2021.
" I Got Rhythm" Whilst we have sung several different Arrangements of this George and Ira Gershwin 1930 Jazz Standard, THIS fabulous Arrangement has been specially written for Vocal Fusion by Nick Bryant. We have had the piece since late 2019, but because of the Coronavirus outbreak in 2020, are unlikely to perform it publically until 2021. This really does have rhythm
"I'm On My Way" - the opening song , from the 1950s Broadway Musical "Paint Your Wagon" is another great favourite of Chorus Members, as well as audiences. With words and music by "Lerner and Loewe" it could hardly have failed to be anything other than a great song, and we love to sing and perform this piece in 4 part harmony. Men pretending to be singing cowboys....... what could be better ! This will become part of our repertoire in 2021, just as soon as we can enhance our performance with appropriate laddish choreography.
"Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho"- this well-known African-American Spiritual, is believed to have been composed in the first half of the 19th Century, and the lyrics allude to the biblical story of the Battle of Jericho, in which Joshua led the Israelites against Canaan. However, like those of many other spirituals, the words may also be alluding to eventual escape from slavery - in the case of this song, "And the walls came tumblin' down."
"Lately" - without any doubt, this haunting soul-ballad, written and initially sung by legend Stevie Wonder in 1980, has been particularly important to Vocal Fusion. The song, as performed by Stevie Wonder eventually reached No.3 in the UK Charts, and in 2017 was beautifully adapted into 4 Part Harmony by Matt Gallagher for "Voices of Gotham" Chorus, - an important Barbershop Chorus in the USA.
We heard this arrangement, and got permission to perform it - which we did with great success in May 2019, where Vocal Fusion won the Award for "Best Small Chorus" at the Annual Convention of Barbershop Singers.
This is a fantastic song and we all love to sing and perform it. I think it unlikely we will ever "rest" it from our repertoire. Hear Vocal Fusion sing this (Past Concerts Lindfield)
"Love Me or Leave Me"This popular American songwas written in 1928 by Walter Donaldson & Gus Kahn, and was a huge hit for the singer Ruth Etting. The song was such a success that the title was later chosen for the 1955 biographical movie about Etting's life, in which Doris Day played the part of Ruth Etting. The recording by Doris Day turned out to be a major hit for her too.
"My Romance"this is a wonderful lyrical song, written in 1935 by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, for the Broadway Musical "Jumbo". In the 1962 movie version of Jumbo, Doris Day performed the song. But it has also been performed by many artists over the years, including Sammy Davis Jnr, Mario Lanza, Carly Simon and James Taylor.
"O Love That Will Not Let Me Go"- this luscious and very meaningful hymn, was written by Dr Rev George Matheson - a Scottish Minister and hymn writer. This hymn has been wonderfully arranged by David Phelps.
"Over The Rainbow"- is a hugely well-known ballad, composed by Harold Arlen with lyrics by Yip Harburg. It was written for the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and in the Musical was sung by actress Judy Garland in her starring role as Dorothy Gale. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and became Garland's signature song.
"Somebody to Love" - First released in 1976 this song is another from our repertoire originally sung by the British rock band Queen, and written by their lead singer/pianist Freddie Mercury. Queen performed this piece at their live concerts between 1977 and 1985, and regularly at tribute concerts following Freddy Mercury's death in 1991. A new piece of repertoire for 2021
"Superstition"Released in late 1972, this superb audience pleaser was written by American singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder, peaking at No.11 in the UK Charts in February 1973. Our rendition in 4 part harmony will leave you amazed...........and our choreography, - skilfully, carefully and frequently drilled into us by Zoe Peate... will leave you gasping for breath - (well it certainly leaves us gasping for breath !!
" The Longest Time " is yet another song by Billy Joel - originally recorded in 1983 as an album track, but then released as a "Single" in 1984. Whilst it only reached No.25 in the UK Charts, this "Doo Wop" pop song is very catchy, and always seems to make our audiences smile - which is why we love to sing it !!
NOTE "Doo Wop" is a style of popular music marked by the use of close harmony vocals using nonsense phrases, originating in the US in the 1950s.
" The Way You Look Tonight" - is a song from the film "Swing Time" that was originally performed by Fred Astaire and composed by Jerome Kern with lyrics written by Dorothy Fields. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1936.
In the movie, Astaire sang "The Way You Look Tonight" to Ginger Rogers while she was washing her hair in the next-door room. An absolutely beautiful tune, with lyrics to match.
"This Could be the Start of Something Big"- This song was first published in 1956, and was written as part of the score for the 1954 television musical production of "The Bachelor". We really love this up-tune song, which has been covered by a myriad of singers, and it was our second song at the Annual Convention of Barbershop Singers in 2019, which won Vocal Fusion the Award for Best Small Chorus". This is a song which absolutely lends itself to being "performed".
"Tonight Tonight" - This beautiful love song is from the 1957 musical West Side Story with music written by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Originally sung in the Stage and later film versions, as a duet between Tony and Maria, - this piece has been adapted for male voice, and is always a real favourite with audiences, as well as the chorus.
" The Nearness of You" This fabulous soulful jazz song was written in 1938 by Hoagy Carmichael with lyrics by Ned Washington. Like every great song, this has been recorded by many many artists, - one memorable recording of this piece is the 1956 Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong duet - amazing !
Repertoire we are currently "Resting:"
Every singer in Vocal Fusion Acapella loves to learn new songs,- from all genres of music - it is what makes the Chorus thrive, and gives our audiences a chance to hear a different "mix" of songs every time they come and hear us sing. It's also good for our own vocal development that we learn new work - sometimes written in a style unfamiliar to us, and which challenges us, both individually and as a chorus. It's also good to occasionally perform work we may not personally like - but which other members of Vocal Fusion may admire very much. - all in the spirit of "give and take" We all inevitably have our favourite style, or favoured composers, but sometime it's good to try and master pieces that may not personally appeal to you.
So, from time to time we review our entire repertoire, and will select a number of pieces that we feel we should "rest" for a while, whilst other pieces may come back into the repertoire, - having been rested for a period. Pieces which have been "rested" invariably need to be "polished -up" after their rest, to get them back to performance standard. Our repertoire of course expands all the time as we continue to learn new songs.
These are the songs we are currently "resting", and doubtless many will make their way back into our repertoire in due course.
"Blackbird"written by Paul McCartney, (but credited to Lennon & McCartney) and recorded as a solo by McCartney in late 1968 for the Beatles "White Album." There are several different interpretations for the lyrics of this piece - from McCartney recalling he wrote the song after hearing a blackbird singing in Rishikesh India, to later conflicting recollections by McCartney of it being written in response to rising racial tensions in the USA, - and indeed there have been other interpretations too.
However, we love this quiet and reflective piece - the Leads sing the wonderful melody, and the rest of the Chorus provide the harmony support.
"Go Tell It On The Mountain" - is a very well- known African-American Spiritual Song, dating back to at least 1865, - that has been sung and recorded by many gospel and secular performers. It is considered a Christmas carol as its original lyrics celebrate the Nativity of Jesus. In 1963, the musical trio Peter, Paul and Mary adapted and re-issued the song, consequently repopularising this song for the Post War generation.
"If I Had My Way" This romantic ballad, - from a 1940 musical comedy film of the same name, - was originally sung by Bing Crosby. Whilst the film reviewers of that time were generally kind to Crosby and also to his Leading Lady Gloria Jean, the storyline was regarded as "timeworn" "unoriginal" and generally second rate. This complex ballad from the film came into our repertoire in 2016, and we were never able to really master it to our own satisfaction. So - we've decided to "rest " it for a while. Doubtless we will return to it one day - and try again !!
"In my Life" - another Beatles song - written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and featuring on their 1965 "Rubber Soul" album. The (much amended) lyrics were written by Lennon, and it was the first time he had written lyrics about himself, his own life and experiences, and it is this "reflectiveness" which makes this piece so endearing. McCartney seems to have been largely responsible for the wonderful melody and harmonies.
"Johnny Schmoker" - we learned this song for a concert in 2019, and in it, an old German musician tells his friend (Johnny Schmoker) about the instruments upon which he can play, and describes them by actions while he sings. It is a "serious comedy" song, and done well always seems to delight an audience. Like many comedy routines, "timing is everything" and the pleasure of this song is about the interplay between (apparently) serious singing, interspersed with the antics that portray the instruments. It's currently resting....................but not for long !!
"Let it Snow" Not surprisingly, we tend to rest this from around January to the following mid November - subject to prevailing weather conditions! The song was written by lyricist Sammy Cahn and composer Jule Styne in July 1945. It was written in Hollywood, California during a heat wave, as Cahn and Styne imagined cooler conditions. Originally recorded by Vaughn Monroe, it has, of course been sung by many singers, including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and others too numerous to mention. Audiences love this Christmas song.... - just not very much in Spring, Summer and Autumn !!
" Mr Postman" - is a song written in 1961 by Georgia Dobbins, William Garrett, Freddie Gorman, Brian Holland and Robert Bateman, and was the debut single by the Marvelettes for the Tamla (Motown) label. The song was the first Motown song to reach the number-one position on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart in the USA. The Beatles regularly performed this piece in The Cavern Club in Liverpool, during the early 1960s and it was popularised again by The Carpenters less frenetic version in 1975. A real audience pleaser and great fun to sing, and although it's "resting", it's actually really just pausing for breath !!
"My Girl" - is a 1964 soul music song, initially recorded by the Temptations for the Motown record label. Written and produced by the Miracles members, Smokey Robinson and Ronald White, it became the Temptations' first U.S. number 1 single, and it remains their signature song. Robinson's inspiration for writing "My Girl" was his wife, Miracles member Claudette Rogers Robinson.
"Return to Sender" - this up-tempo rock and roll song was first released in 1962 and was an instant hit single for American singer Elvis Presley and he also performed it in the film Girls! Girls! Girls! The song was written by Winfield Scott and Otis Blackwell (who wrote other Presley Classics like "All Shook Up" and "Don't be Cruel") and it went straight to the top of the UK Singles Chart, and was the UK Christmas number one of 1962.
"Stepping out With My Baby " - This popular song was written by Irving Berlin and first introduced in the 1948 musical film "Easter Parade". In the film, it was sung by Fred Astaire as part of a dance number involving Astaire on stairs and with three different dance partners. Since then the song has been recorded and performed by numerous artists, most notably Tony Bennett, and it has become a real jazz standard. .