Category Archives: Choir

Ignore this, trying to copy and paste but having issues, so hoping posting this will help break it down, not an actual blog post

()Hear the sleigh bells jingle, jingle, fingers freeze and then they tingle.
Friends are singing and we mingle while the snowflakes fall.

Section #2 (measure 9)
Sec Sop/Alto: repeat #1
Sops sing: Jing, jing, jing, jing-a-ling-a-ling, Jing, jing, jing, jing-a-ling-a-ling
Jing, jing, jing, jing-a-ling-a-ling. While the snowflakes fall jing, jing-a-ling, jing.

Section #3 (measure 14)
Sop/Sec Sop: With our friends, we ride together wearing coasts of fur and leather.
Toasty in the snowy weather, sleigh bells jing-a-ling.
Altos sing: Jing, jing, jing, jing-a-ling-a-ling, Jing, jing, jing, jing-a-ling-a-ling
Jing, jing, jing, jing-a-ling-a-ling. Sleigh bells jing-a-ling.
Jing, jing, jing, jing-a-ling-a-ling. Jing, jing, jing, jing-a-ling-a-ling.
Jing, jing, jing, jing-a-ling-a-ling. Sleigh bells jing-a-ling.

Section #4 (measure 23)
Sop/Sec Sop: Jing-a-ling-a-ling-a-ling-a-ling-a-ring-a-ling (7 times)
Altos sing: Jing, jing, jing, jing-a-ring-a-ling (7 times – different rhythm)
Jing, jing-a-ring-a-ling-a-ling

Section #5 (measure 31)
Sop: Jing-a-ling-a-ling-a-ling – Jing-a-ling-a-ling-a-ling
Jing-jing-a-ring-jing, jing, jing, jing
Through the hills, our song is ringing
Everyone joins in the singing
Laughter, smiles and faces beaming as we go along……
Sec Sop/Altos: Through the hills our song is ringing, everyone joins in the singing.
Laughter, smiles and faces beaming as we go along, we go along
(Sec Sop now join Sop on bold words above)
(Altos break off – “we go…… our song…… as we go along”)

Section #6 (measure 40)
All voices: ,,,,,We go along and the song is ringing through the town and by the river.
Cold winds blow and then we shiver, birds are winging, singing, teaming, joining in the song
Through the town and by the river,
Cold winds blow and then we shiver, birds are winging, singing, teaming, joining in the song.

Coda: ( measure 49)
Sop & Sec Sop: Jing, Jing, Jing-jing-jing. Jing, Jing, Jing-jing-jing. Jing, Jing, Jing-jing-jing.
Jing, Jing-a-ring-jing-a-ring-jing-a-ring-a-ring
Jing – Jing – Jing – Jing – Jing – Jing – Jing – Jing

Altos: Jing-jing-a-ring-jing-jing-jing, Jing-jing-a-ring-jing-jing-jing.
Jing-a-ring-jing-jing-jing-jing, jing
Jing, jing, jing, jing-a-ring – a-ring.
Jing, jing-a-ring jing jing jing
Jing, jing-a-ring, jing, jing-a-ring

(measure 55)
Sop: Jing-a-ring, jing, jing, jing-a-ring-a-ring
Jing-a-ring, jing, jing-a-ring, jing ji…………
Sec Sop/Alto: Jing-a-ring, jing, jing. Jing-a-ring, jing, jing-a-ring. Jing Ji…………………

All voices: Jing-a-ling-a-ling-a-ring-jing-jing. Hey!

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Samples of the choir music

I thought I’d post links to videos of some of the songs I’m learning. These are all high school choirs doing them, so I know we’ll sound quite different, being women.

I thought about embedding the videos here, but I know that youtube video controls aren’t accessible to screenreaders, so I’m pasting the links. The videos will play automatically when the link is brought up.

I’m too lazy to try and figure out cool links right now, so you’ll need to practice your copy and paste skills hehehe!


Merry Christmas Darling


Throw the yule log on Uncle John
This video is a co-ed choir, so where you hear men, our altos and second altos will be singing that part. Also, the video starts off with whistling that we won’t be doing, don’t know why they whistle…

Here is a link to the words:

We are also doing A Christmas Song AKA Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, but I don’t have a video, as well as a campy version of Santa Baby, with feather boas and plastic jewlery hehe. Also a song called Snowfall, which is gorgeous, but I can’t find a good video of it in the way we’ll be performing.

I’m a second soprano, and Uncle John and Sleighbells are the hardest ones, and I’ll be really focusing on learning them today. One of the women made a CD with tracks that have just the second soprano part, and then all the parts combined. I have the words in a text edit document, so I can toggle back and forth between those and iTunes. Its really wroking well. I can’t wait until I know braille well enough to read braille music!

I just wanted to show off the stuff that I’m learning blind, because its most definitely not easy music. So I’m really proud of how quickly I’m learning it, and also really touched at helpful the women and the director have been, to make me feel like I could do this, and special thanks to the director for including me, and having faith.

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Filed under accomplishment, Adjustment to blindness, Choir, iTunes, screen reader, youtube

Is my humor sick?

I’m pretty tame on this blog when it comes to my sense of humor and the jokes I make about myself being blind.

I just found this blog:

I love this guy. He is so incredibly funny and real about his blindness. Now, backtracking a minute because i just posted a link and I wish I could do those cool links that people do where I could say “kick ass funny blog” and it would be a link. Its been years since I dappled with html code and I don’t remember how to do it…so the link remains uncool and I’m not sure if its even a link or if people need to copy and paste it.


Sure I had plenty of kicking screaming crying in bed all day hating the world kind of days.

But I also made a lot of jokes and did silly things. That first day blind in the hospital, my friend brought a radio over. When she had arrived early that morning, she found me bawling my eyes out because it was so dark. A few hours later, I wanted to see if I could still line dance, so I was line dancing to the radio in my hospital room. The nurses got a huge kick out of it.

My first day home, my friend came over to help B remove a couch we had put on our back patio, which the apartment people wanted removed. I had been blind in the hospital and my main concern was how to remove the couch.

When my friend arrived I said, “Carl! Your hair’s purple!” Every time I see him now, his hair is a different color according to me. He is a lawyer and works in an office. He does not have magenta hair. But to me he does. He removed that couch, so he gets fun hair.

I have my favorite joke about myself in my “about me” area here. About how I used to think I’d never see 30 because of how I lived my life, and then I literally didn’t see 30. Yeah, it sucks not seeing myself at 30, but at least I don’t spend hours in front of the mirror noticing every new wrinkle.

Anytime I’m out with someone and they can’t find something, and then find it and exclaim it was right in front of them, I always point out that I’m the blind one.

When a friend was guiding me to a chair before I knew how to properly be guided, she said “ok” and I thought she meant “sit” so I sat. On the arm. And then on the floor. I cracked up laughing, and she burst into tears. Oh man, I’m laughing, she’s crying, it was totally my fault but she doesn’t believe me. I’ve learned now to always feel for the seat, so its all good, right?

In West Virginia over Christmas, I was crocheting, and B’s dad asked if I needed light. He felt silly, I thought it was hilarious.

One day B and I were eating dinner. I sit on the floor in front of the coffee table to eat, and he often reads the weekly paper or a magazine. We were eating and he shouted, “Scorpians!” I screamed and got up on the couch faster than I ever moved in my life and he had no idea what the hell I was doing until I said, “Where’s the scorpian??” Oh. He was talking about the band. Well, I can’t see. How do I know if there’s scorpians or not?

I was run into doorways, bushes, side view mirrors and who knows what else, oh yeah a beanie baby display once, back before I knew how to really be guided, and how to hold my cane for additional assistance when being guided. Everyone always felt so bad, but I’d just bounce off and giggle.

Seriously. Am I gonna moan and cry over every little thing? Heck no. Its more fun to laugh.

But I got to thinking, is my humor sick? Does it offend? At rehearsal on Tuesday, the director asked if I got my folder. I had already told her in email that I didn’t need the sheet music. She remembered and said “duh”. I mumbled, “Don’t need it, no use for it, don’t have a fireplace.” And the girl next to me who is a stranger laughed nervously and said, “You’re sick.” I don’t know her, so I don’t know if she was saying that appreciatevly or not…the week before, the director had said something about just going through the music blindly and I said “Like I am”, again to nervous laughter.

My close friends understand it. They know I’m not necessarily making light of blindness, but that I’m coping. Thats all it is. Its a coping skill. I choose the fun way of coping, instead of the old way of crying and being miserable. Or the most horrible way for me to have chosen to cope, to pick up a drink. Trust me, no one wants that. People asked me right after I went blind, if I thought about drinking. “Um, no. Then I’d be blind AND falling on my ass. And how would I know if I’m getting Heineken or Natty Light?”

Oh the best was right before my trip, when my friend took me to the salon for a hair cut and manicure. Side note: One of the things I love about being blind is I can totally justify having these things done for me now. Anyway, while I was getting my manicure, she sat there and held my cane. Then her brow wax was up, and she took my cane and pretended to be blind on the way to the wax room hahaha!!! Oh dear. When I get my dog, she wants to follow me with the cane. I just found out thats actually illegal in some states, for a sighty to hold a white cane and pretend to use it.

Anyway, I just wanted to share a little of my humor, because not too much of it has come out on here thus far.

In editing this post, which by the way is a big pain in the rear but thats another post, I thought about another topic I’ve been wanting to write on, the difference between blind, visually impaired and low vision. I’ve been nervous to express my thoughts on this topic because I don’t want to offend anyone. I want to say hear and now that it is never ever ever my intention to purposely offend someone. but I’m sure some of my views on this sort of thing will offend someone someday, so am I gonna keep it to myself for the rest of my life? Nah. So now I’m formulating my idea on that topic, coming soon.


Filed under Adjustment to blindness, Choir, humor as coping skill, plugs, silly girl, white cane

I need Victor!

Oh Victor, Victor darling, how I need you. You are so amazing, you are so multi talented, you are oh so incredibly accessible. I must have you, and you knew that as soon as I put my hands on you, didn’t you? You knew I would relentlessly chase you and conive a way to possess you. I realized today that I will have you by the end of the year, without a doubt. I am coming for you Victor, please be ready to fulfill your duties.

Oh the Victor Reader Stream. A technological wonder for the blind and visually impaired. I got to see Victor in Stars class at Saavi and It was like that moment in Wayne’s World when Wayne I think, is fawning over the guitar and he’s says “it will be mine, oh yes, it will be mine”

We only looked at it briefly, but I fell in love instantly. It is about the size of a Blackberry, maybe a tad bigger. I think there were about ten or so buttons on the front, and a very nice female voice reading out the options. It doesn’t sound very synthesized at all. You can put audio books on it, and read multiple books and never lose your place with the bookmark feature. You can put music on it too. These features are great, but this morning I figured out exactly why I need Victor.

The recording feature is incredible. We played with it a little bit that day, and the sound quality is unbelievable. Patti said she recorded an entire class lecture once, just by putting Victor on her desk, and it caught every word perfectly. I will have this by my next semester of choir. Everyone is trying to be really helpful and one of the women put the first rehearsal on a cd for me, and this last Tuesday she recorded the rehearsal and put it on a flash drive for me to take home. Having the rehearsal recorded is incredibly helpful but unfortunately I can’t figure out how to get the files from the flash drive to iTunes to put it on my iPod. The cd of the first rehearsal must be in some weird format, because iTunes won’t even read it.

If I had a Victor, I could record the whole rehearsal which is helpful, even when no singing is taking place, because the director is talking about the music. I could have it right in the middle of the second sopranos too which would be great. The lady that did the other recordings is an alto, so I could barely hear the second sopranos.

So my goal is to have Victor by our next semester beginning in March. I’m hoping to be back from guide dog school by March, fingers crossed.

On another note semi related, one of the girls made a cd with a music program, that reads scanned music, and makes a recording of the parts. She made mine with a track of the second soprano part alone, and then a track of all the parts together. I uploaded into iTunes yesterday. Since the cd isn’t of actual recordings, there is no title or anything, so I had no clue how I’d find the tracks once I ejected the cd.

I decided to make a playlist just for choir stuff. I’ve always added music to playlists by finding the album in the sources table, tabbing to the songs table, interacting with the songs table, opening up the menu on the song I want, selecting “add to playlist” and selecting playlist.

I went to do this again and the “add to playlist” feature wasn’t there!! I got so angry, because the last iTunes upgrade changed a lot of stuff, in ways I’m not so happy about and now it was telling me to drag and drop the song into the playlist. Well, I can’t do that. that requires a mouse. I don’t use a mouse.

So I got frustrated and made a nasty comment about Apple on Facebook, and decided to call them next week when I was cooled off.

I have noticed that with any computer issue, if I walk away, I almost always . find the solution. Well, this time it took sleeping on it, and I realized that I had interacted with the songs table, having selected the audio cd in the sources table. So I didn’t have the same options in the menu, since I was looking at the actual cd. I went to the sources table and selected “Music, library playlist” and did a search for “track 01” and it pulled it right up, with the proper menu. I had to search for each track individually, since there is no album name, but I got it all moved over to the playlist.

When I have Victor, I won’t need to mess with iTunes at all, because it’ll all be right there already, and portable. No moving to the iPod.

I don’t know why I felt the need to blog about this. I guess because I’m a technogeek and just love assistive technologies 😉


Filed under accessibility, assistive technologies, Choir, iTunes, proud geek, silly girl

New Challenge – Learning music

From 1988 to 1995, I was a member of a girls chorus. It was a chorus of girls from all over town, and I absolutely loved it! We practiced every week for months, and put on a big concert in December with holiday usic, and a concert in May with anything from old classics to showtunes.

There were 3 choirs at the time, a beginner group, intermediate, and advanced. I spent one year each in the beginner and intermediate groups, and 5 years in the advanced group. Being in the advanced group, I got to go on tours each April. We would go for 10 days, 40 girls, the director, the nurse, and I think 5 chaperones or “room moms”. My first year we took a tour bus to southern California, and it was the first time going away from my parents. I was in sixth grade. The next year, was my first time flying, to Washington D.C. This was my favorite tour. We got to spend time on at the Smithsonian, and we sang in a huge music festival called America Sings. I think there were 25,000 singers, and we all learned the same 3 songs and dance moves, and we all performed on the Washington Mall. What an experience for a seventh grader! The following year was New York City and Philadelphia. Our director made us t-shirts after we got back that said, “Remember New York!” because it had been the trip from, well, not from heaven. She put a bus company out of business after we had bees in the bus, a broken down bus that left us to walk 30 blocks to the Met, and almost being late to the Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. That was definitely a trip to remember. After that it gets hazy…I think it was Nashville and Branson, where I got to sing solo at the Lawrence Welk theatre, and my last year was Atlanta, GA where the church we stayed at used to be headquarters for the KKK! Yuck.

After that I retired to focused on my junior and senior years of high school. Imagine my consternation when the next tour was announced….England, Scotland and Wales! The choir’s first international tour! And I had graduated!!! Oh man…

I sang in choir in college but that didn’t last long because I had to leave college. After that it was just the karaoke bar and car singing.

Fast forward to now, 14 years after leaving girls chorus. The director, now retired, has started another choir, a women’s choir, and I just joined!

Back in 2005, the director was retiring after 20 years, and I got to sing in her retirement concert. That was so amazing, coming together one last time and singing on that big stage with all those girls for one last time, for the woman who had a huge part in who I am today. I love her. We sounded so amazing, women’s voices having matured. We sang some of the old favorites and it was amazing.

So when I had the chance to sing under her direction again, I jumped at the chance. She knew I was blind, and told me we’d figure it out. So I went with my oldest friend from the old choir on Tuesday evening.

I don’t know most of the women. Most of them are quite older than us, and a lot of moms of girls who used to be in chorus. There was one other girl there who used to be in with me and it was great to see her!

The director told us we’d just blast through the music for the first night, and vote on the remaining 2 songs, after singing through 4. Going into this I thought I’d know most of the music, having been in chorus so long in the past. Not the case…I know 2 of the songs. Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, and Santa Baby. Chestnuts I sang before, but Santa Baby I only know from hearing it.

We had been placed into parts, and again I’m a second soprano. Which is hard, because the part is between soprano and alto, so its often the hardest to hear. But I was always a second, and I’m a second again. One of the pieces is 5 part harmony!

Not being able to read the music, I mostly sat and listened, joining in when I knew where the music was going. At one point, I thought the natural flow of the music would be to sing an octave up and I did…but the whole room was silent hahahaha! It was the right note, but not the right timing!

So now the challenge begins. I can memorize a song no problem when I hear it in my playlist or the radio. But country songs aren’t like learning choral music. One of the girls is good with the computer, so she inputs the music, and will make me a cd of the notes for my part by itself, and then combine it with the other parts, with second soprano a bit louder. The director is going to email me all the words, and I also suggested I find recordings of choral performances of the songs, done in the same way, so she is working on that.

We rehearse for 2 months and then put on a concert in mid December! Yikes!

I wonder if my guide dog will be cool with performing in later seasons hehe!! So now along with my already fairly busy schedule, I’m adding learning some difficult music to the mix, and doing it in a whole new way. Bring it!


Filed under accomplishment, Adjustment to blindness, Choir, guide dogs

Obsessing, and this post led to part of my story

Most of the time after a social setting, I am just in a good mood and happy about the outing. But sometimes, I say something and then the next day it haunts me, like, man I shouldn’t have said that, that was stupid, what will they think, they hate me. Its not often that I feel this way, but thats how I’m feeling this morning. Its probably just fine, but I can’t help but wonder. I think I’ll say something next time I see the girls.
I’m a pretty confident woman. I think I’m likeable and funny and I think I would enjoy my own company, in fact I do enjoy my own company. I’ve always been pretty confident, but there have been times in my life where I’ve felt less than confident.

Growing up on the south side of town was fine until I got to sixth grade. Suddenly I was not liked, and people I had been friends with in elementary school were no longer my friends. In sixth grade, it was all about wearing Guess jeans and tons of gold. My family was ok money wise, but we didn’t buy that stuff. I wore Prowings from Payless and the kids would say “Prowing power!” and make fun of my non namebrand clothes.That was the least of it. I got made fun of in gym because I didn’t shave my legs yet. Geez, I was in sixth grade. I still played with Barbies. It got so bad, that my mom spoke with the principal to find out if I was making all this up just so I could shave. After having my story confirmed, I was allowed to shave my legs. I still got made fun of for my clothes, but the worst was being called “effing white b*tch” at ever turn. By seventh grade I was depressed and hated school. A girl was taunting me during lunch, and I finally asked her why she hated me. She said, “Because of what your ancestors did to mine!” Were these kids being taught this? Taught to hate white kids because of the distant past? Yikes. I just focused on my studies and contemplated suicide. I don’t really remember eight grade.

When I got to high school I was prepared this time. I knew I’d pretty much be hated so I wasn’t surprised. Grunge rock was in full force and I took to wearing ripped jeans, flannel shirts around the waist and rock tshirts. I found the other “freaks” and we banded together and played guitars in front of the library and crowd surfed each other haha! I was one of the few smart freaks, well they were all smart, but I was one of the few who applied myself, because I wanted to go to medical school.

In my junior year I really focused on school. I had left the choir I had belonged to since 4th grade, where I had really belonged, to focus on college applications. I joined the Academic Decathlon, just like it sounds, a decathlon, but not for athletes, for geeks 😉 I really found my place there, and in my AP classes. I excelled in writing and biology.

Finally I made it to senior year, and my team made it to the state competition. We smuggled up some Jack Daniels and Southern comfort and got drunk in the hotel room. That was my first experience waking up with a guy. I totally freaked out, not remembering what had happened, and he assured me nothing did. I can’t be certain, because I had blacked out, but I’m pretty sure he was telling the truth. I was still a virgin, so I think I would have “felt” if anything had happened.

I should backtrack a little at this point and explain that I was part of an atypical family. I say atypical, because my parents were still married. I was an only child, and therefor had everything I needed. (minus the rediculously expensive clothes my peers thought I should have, which led me never to step into a Gap, to this day). I never resented the life I had until I started feeling like I was the reason for my parents’ unhappiness. I know now that they did the right thing in staying married, because it gave me stability,and they scrificed for their child. I’m glad they did now, but at the time, I carried the heavy burden of feeling responsible for the fact that they weren’t the happiest couple. But, I had a good childhood, aside from the racism I had to live with. I was a huge X-Files fan and Star Trek TNG geek. Nirvana saved my life and got me out of hip hop 😉

My mom and I were very close. She kept me on a tight leash, which of course at the time I wasn’t too thrilled about, but understood. I had good morals and values, was a good kid and student, and remained a virgin until I was 21, a fact I am very proud of.

During my senior year, my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She was given 2 years with treatment. I was devestated. I jumped even more into my studies, to make her proud. I won a bronze medal in interview, and placed 4th in the essay competition, the one I had really hoped to medal in. We didn’t do anything at state, but have a good time.

I graduated high school with a regents waiver to the university, and I was premed. So bittersweet, knowing my mom wouldn’t be around to see me graduate college. She got to be at my high school graduation though, and lived until I was twenty.

I’ll get into my college years in another post. I wasn’t expecting to share part of my story in this post, but I guess starting off talking about obsessing over a stupid comment I made, led mt to it. I managed to regain the confidence I had lost in school, but at times like these, maybe that girl comes back out.

I learned in group yesterday that trauma is “anything that has a lasting effect”. I can see how this is true even of my school years. But, I am a survivor as long as I don’t still play victim. For the most part I don’t, but sometimes I do regress, like worrying about the impression I made with that comment. I sure hope I didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings…

Anywa, enough about me for now. I was half tempted to write about my cats, after reading puppy blogs all weekend. Maybe later =)

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Filed under accomplishment, Choir, mom, music, My story, proud geek