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Thespis - Chorus Practice

Photo: Mark Welker

or The Gods Grown Old

Words by W. S. Gilbert
Music by Alan Riley Jones

(and Arthur Sullivan where indicated)
Copyright Alan Riley Jones, all rights reserved.

The Durham Savoyards, Ltd., presented Thespis in a double-bill with
Gilbert and Sullivan's Trial by Jury, October 12-15, 2017, East Chapel Hill H.S. Auditorium, Chapel Hill, NC.

Using the Chorus Practice Materials

For each chorus number in the show, begin in the table below with the demo recording corresponding to your choral part, which isolates your part against subdued principals and accompaniment. Listen and sing along with the highlighted part until you are confident. Then try the Tutti recording to see if you can hold to your part when all choral parts are sounding together. Work back and forth between part and Tutti as needed. In some cases, the tempo has been moderated in the part recording (or excerpt), but kept full tempo in the Tutti (or full-length) recording.

Tempo slider: You can slow the tempo of the playback by sliding the light blue knob on the above "Change tempo" slider to left and right along the track. It begins at 1 (full tempo at the right end) and changes by .01 increments to a minimum of .5 (half tempo at the left end). Note that slower tempos introduce distortion into the audio playback. When you start a new selection or refresh the page, you may need to "nudge" the slider to reset the slowed tempo. (Supported in Firefox, Chrome, and Opera.)

This page contains audio examples from chorus numbers only. You can hear the entire score in either of two versions:

Page and movement numbering correspond to the April 2017 revision of the vocal/piano score, which can be purchased from the composer (use this contact form to inquire). The Pg and Ms give the page and measure number where the selection begins (sometimes with a pickup note or notes from the preceding measure). Refer to the measure number given at the start of each system in the vocal score.

Which chorus is which? There are several groupings of chorus from time to time in this score. Be sure look in the Chorus column of the table below to differentiate which cues pertain to you, and not to some other portion of chorus.

MIDI files: The table below provides MP3 audio files, which have a set tempo and prerecorded instrumental sounds. Some people find MIDI files to be more convenient than MP3 for their purposes. For example, many MIDI sequencing apps (i.e., MIDI players) can vary the tempo, and can allow you to select which audio channel or combination of channels to play (this lets you select your part and the accompaniment while muting all the other parts). One drawback is that the sound quality can vary, since the MIDI player creates the sound as you play, using whatever instrumental sounds are available on your computer or device. Playback on one person's system will not sound the same on someone else's, and on most systems they sound a very artificial. Still, if you prefer to use a MIDI player, you may wish to download the following zip file which contains MIDI files for all of the vocal/choral numbers in the Thespis score. Click here to download the MIDI zip file.

To listen to a sound file, click one of the buttons found to the right of the selection you wish to hear. It will play in the audio player located at the top of the page next to the menu. (Or click the arrow ↓ beside the button to play in your browser's audio plug-in, depending on your setup.) Button colors indicate vs.

Act I

Selection Chorus
Time Tutti Soprano Alto Tenor Bass
1. Throughout the Night the Constellations Stars
12 28      • "Throughout the night, the constellations" 1:50
11 1      • (Full Length) 3:11
7. Climbing Over Rocky Mountain (Music by Arthur Sullivan, arr. Alan Riley Jones) Thespians
45 17      • "Climbing over rocky mountain" (opening choral section) 0:52
50 77      • "Hail it as a true ally" (1st reply to solos) 0:15
52 105      • "Greet them gaily as they fly" (2nd reply to solos) 0:13
55 141      • "We'll be gods and make decrees" (3rd reply to solos) 0:15
55 152      • "Fill the cup and tread the measure" (ending choral section) 1:03
45 1      • (Full Length) 4:05
8. I Once Knew a Chap Thespians
68 138      • "Or stopped all night in the middle of a tunnel" 1:19
75 222      • "He followed out his whim with vigor" 1:19
61 1      • (Full Length) 3:27
10. Act I Finale
89 63      • "To mother earth to make a track" Thespians 0:45
93 105      • "'Tis mine the task" (1st stanza) / "By my fair rays" (2nd stanza) " 0:30
97 136      • "When armies meet" (3rd stanza) / "From mere oblivion" (4th stanza) " 0:31
99 159      • "Here's a pretty tale..." (with prep pitch and tempo) " 0:39
102 183      • "We will go down below" (with prep pitch and tempo) Olympians 1:10
102 183      • "We will go down below" Thespians 1:05
88 51      • (Chorus Section - Letter F to End) 4:48
82 1      • (Full Length) 6:37

Act II

Selection Chorus
Time Tutti Soprano Alto Tenor Bass
11. Of All Symposia Thespians
108 5      • "Of all symposia, the best by half" (beginning) 0:59
113 38      • "Of all symposia, the best by half" (ending) 0:36
108 1      • (Full Length) 2:11
17. Act II Finale
163 34      • "I'm Jupiter!" / "I'm Mars!" / "I'm Apollo!" Thespians 1:10
165 63      • "Let them remain" Olympians 0:51
165 63      • "Let us remain" Thespians 0:51
170 95      • "You shall all be eminent tragedians" " 0:30
175 151      • "A highly complicated function" " 0:32
177 172      • "Fa la la la la" (final phrase) Olympians 0:13
157 1      • (Full Length) 5:30

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