Yield: 1 Wedding Under the Sea with Verdi’s Barbeshop Trio

In anticipation of another fun Arts @ the Aviary  night beginning in just a few hours, let me share last week’s evening with you.


1 soprano

1 tenor

1 accompanist/alto

2 mini-mezzos for comic relief seasoning, to taste

1 book of barbershop quartets or sweet adeline music

1 book of opera duets

1 book of wedding songs

1 Disney fake book



  1. Assemble first three ingredients in a small room with an upright console piano.  Try to keep the forth ingredients from contaminating the mix at this point.
  2. Open book of barbershop quartets to a somewhat familiar tune – preferably one that does not change keys after each phrase as this produces a sour and overly ambitious flavor.
  3. Prepare all your materials by reassigning the parts appropriately. For example, soprano will sing the lead tenor line, tenor will pretend to sing the bass, or perhaps the top line down the octave, and the altocompanist will attempt to sing the alto line without impulsively sticking her fingers into the batter [piano] to sample the mix for accuracy.
  4. Attempt a few more in like manner, rotating parts for even exposure and balance.  *note, this recipe may not work out very well.  In fact, some have report it being a complete disaster.  If that occurs, fold music up, and place tightly in the back of the bookshelf for use at a later date, when more ingredients are available.


  1. Retrieve vocal music collections from shelf.  Sift through three times.
  2. Open book of opera duets to page # 293 – “Parigi, o cara, noi lasceremo” fromVerdi’s  La Traviata.
  3. Nathan Bird assume role of Alfredo. Christy Anderson assume role of Violetta.  Naomi Bird assume that getting about 3% of the notes and rythms will sufice to bind the ensemble togther. *Remember, this kind of cooking is not an exact science.
  4. Sight-read vigorously for 7 – 16 pages.  16 if you prefer a more fully cultured experience, or you are one of those who cannot stop mid-song. 7 if you prefer to preserve the idea that this piece of music may actually be a lovely work of art.
  5. Laugh periodically and season lightly with mini-mezzos. *the 15-month vintage is quite satisfactory for filling the role of silly substitute accompanist.


  1. Pull out your best version of Shania Twain for “From this Moment.” Sing heartily.
  2. Reminisce over past out-door windy wedding experiences.



  1. “The Ballad of Davy Crocket”
  2. “Bella Notte”
  3. “Belle”
  4. “Tale as old as Time
  5. “The Beautiful Briny Sea”
  6. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”
  7. “Cinderella”
  8. “Ducktales Theme”
  9. “The Ugly-Bug Ball”
  10. “Under the Sea”
  11. “A Whole New World”


(sorry, I couldn’t resist)

By Naomi Bird

Wife of tenor Nathan Bird, pianist, organist, former music therapist, writer, tea-drinker, mom of two mini-sopranos and two mini-tenors, and learner of loving the arts.

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