At Hampshire Funeral Singers, we often sing for Catholic funerals, including both simple and full mass services. Indeed, soprano Toni is the soloist of choice for several Catholic churches in Hampshire, and in particular the Southampton/Portsmouth areas.
So far this year we've sung over 100 individual songs and hymns for funerals, burials and memorials services. As you would expect, this total includes some of the most popular items, including:
This song has surprised us by being a popular request for funerals. Not usual for opera.
Lascia ch'io pianga (Let me weep)
The composer is George Frederick Handel, and I never thought that a Handel aria would prove such a hit with people. I think it goes to prove if you have a great tune, then it doesn't matter when it was written it appeals to people.
Singing at funerals across southern England does ensure we sing in many different types of venues. The contrast in venues is sometimes very marked, but as professional opera singers we're able adjust our voices to suit each venue accordingly.
Choosing funeral songs can be difficult, and even more so if you're choosing for a Roman Catholic Funeral.
One of the great joys of singing at funerals is hearing the eulogies - and discovering some amazing lives. We genuinely enjoy hearing of lives well lived, whether across the UK, abroad or within 5 miles of their final resting place. Of families raised, careers and jobs, and retirements enjoyed. Of battles fought both personal and medical, and not always won.
Statistics do make interesting reading, whether it's the number of votes politicians receive, or the number of songs we've sung at funerals!
Throughout the years we've been singing for funerals, no pattern for bookings has emerged. However, over the last months, one has emerged - bookings for the middle Friday of the month.
One of the skills you learn at music college as a student of singing is to suit your voice to the music, and that includes volume. Singing a song with piano is obviously different to singing an aria with orchestra, for example. However, it;'s only experience that teaches you the art of self-regulating and adjusting your voice to different spaces as well. And it's not always about the size of the space either.
Who exactly is a funeral for? This may seem an obvious question, but the answer isn't quite so straightforward. We believe a funeral service should celebrate a life well lived, offering the family and those who attend the chance to remember, to reflect as well as say goodbye. Therefore, the choice of music, readings and tributes should reflect their choices.
Follow a funeral singer