Kathy's Korner


SUMMARY (10/16/19) AND LOOK-AHEAD to SHOW!

posted by Kathy Scheel   [ updated ]

YOU WERE AMAZING TONIGHT!   Even though several of our singing sisters were not on the risers with us, you made such great music – rich, resonant, and ringing!  I noticed that nearly everyone was off the sheet music – good for you!  That’s when the magic really starts to happen, as you’re able to focus more on the sound and we’re much more synchronized because you’re looking at the director (me!).  If there is a song you’re not totally sure of, work on that one so it’s totally solid/memorized by next week.  (This, of course, doesn’t apply to those guests who are only on their first or second visit.  We’ll give you a couple more weeks – heh-heh.) 


One of the most exciting things to do is welcome a new member, and we are so very happy that Jess Wilberg has joined OSC!  She is certainly a lovely addition to the tenor section!  WELCOME, JESS!

If you are thinking of becoming a member of our chorus family, be sure to let me and our Membership Chair, Leah Law, know so we can give you the information you need and guide you through the process.  I guarantee that it will be the very best Christmas present you ever gave yourself!  The joy of singing music in harmony is wonderful in itself, but the added bonus of lifelong friendships is indescribable!


You made great strides last night on Mary, Did You Know as we worked through the timing and tuning of the tag. Be sure to review your recording several times before next Tuesday so it will be committed to memory.  (Please bring your recorders/smart phones to the risers each week so we don't lose time while you go fetch yours.)

If you haven’t already done so, read Performance Central (DECEMBER PERFORMANCES) on our website.  The most important one is on December 7 - you’ll also be getting a copy of the detailed schedule for that day.  As Show Chair Karen Wildman stated in her recent email, there are still several jobs that must be filled and we’re in our final weeks, so I urge you to respond to her email as ASAP so she can check that off her to-do list.  The main reason we are presenting this community concert is to SING and share our love for the music and each oeher for an enthusiastic audience but in order to be able to focus on the music, we need to get a lot of things set up ahead of time and that takes many hands, so we ask EVERY singer (including guests) to help in some way.  For instance:

  • Quilt raffle – sell tickets
  • Poinsettia sales – sell poinsettias; finalize sales after the show
  • Christmas gift wall (or tree) – sell gift cards for $20 each; finalize sales after the show   
  • Santa photo booth – set up area, and take pictures to send to the subjects 
  • Cookies and water sales – sell at intermission
  • LoveNotes CD sales – The quartet will sit at the table during intermission and following the show, selling and signing CDs - just need help with set-up and clean-up
  • Show programs – hand out to guests as they enter
  • Ticket booth – accept prepaid tickets and sell tickets to walk-ins
  • Clean up – everyone help after we thank audience members for coming! 

A poem:  Don't delay - send Karen a note today!


Continue your excellent progress on preparing songs for the show, adding all the work on vowels, dynamics, tempo, tuning, blend, and energy.  We’ll focus on 3-4 songs each Tuesday, and you will also have a sectional to really work on unity within your own section.  [Section Leaders:  Notify your singers of the date/place/time this week so they can put it on their calendars, and copy me on the note. This should happen before the November 5th quality check.  If you are missing an email address, send a note/text to Leah Law, Membership Chair.]

We now have just seven (7) rehearsals remaining and guests are asked to stay later so we can work on the whole performance – both sets.  The schedule below will help you plan ahead for the longer nights as we get closer to December. 


LOOK-AHEAD – FINAL SEVEN REHEARSALS!


#7.    October 22: I’ll be doing a slide show presentation of the visual plan and we’ll be blocking the staging and showing you some light choreography, so it’s VERY important that everyone be there. If you miss this rehearsal, contact your section leader and/or Chorus Sister to get caught up before the next Tuesday so we can continue to move forward.  Bring your smart phones to the risers so you can make your own videos for practicing this at home before the next week.  Smart phones are also an important tool for recording yourself so you can do a self-evaluation during the week and address any problem spots. 

#6.    October 29:  It’s Halloween Week, and we have a tradition of wearing costumes - I can’t wait to see you!  Remember that we will not be in our regular rehearsal space and we won’t have risers (due to construction at the Elks) so when you enter the building lobby, turn LEFT and go into The Nest where we’ll be meeting that night.  If a few of you could come early to help move tables and chairs to the edges of the room, it would sure be helpful. We’re likely to lose some valuable time in this setting, so I ask that you do vocal warmups on the way to rehearsal that evening – sirens, bubbling, scales on OO, and some light singing – get vocally and mentally prepared to sing!

 #5.    November 5:  We will be back in our regular rehearsal space but still no risers, so we’ll work a lot on the visual aspects of the performance sets, including how to enter/exit the stage professionally (thanks in advance to Tammy Lantis and Karlene Hancock).  We will also do quality checks tonight so all songs must be memorized by this date. If you miss this rehearsal, you are asked to send a recording to your section leader for some constructive and kind feedback.  This is part of OSC’s regular quality program to ensure accuracy and build confidence!  GUESTS are asked to stay until 9:00 (with a brief sit-down break at 7:30) for the remaining rehearsals until the show.  We will do announcements at the end of rehearsal, so stick around for those important updates.  Valley Girls Quartet (with Judy Gobat, Denise Leland, and Diane Watson, + former member Cat West) will be performing for us this evening, too.  

#4.    November 12:  Recording at CCTV (4:30-5:00), singing “Happy Holiday”.  As noted on Performance Central, we will carpool to/from the Elks, where we will once again have no risers, so will do lots of duet and visual work.  EVERYONE must attend these last few rehearsals.  That’s the Spirit Quartet (with Cindy Meyers, Barb Usera, Linda O’Donnell, and Laurie Burk) will be performing for us this evening.

#3.    November 19:  ALL SINGERS back on the risers for these final three weeks!  We’ll work on the entire performance from 6:00-9:00 (brief break at 7:30).  Important announcements will be done at 9:00.

#2.    November 26:  ALL SINGERS polishing the songs to a beautiful shine from 6:00-9:00.  This is our last rehearsal at the Elks before the show.

 #1.    December 3:  At the Dayspring Fellowship Church, 1755 Lockhaven Drive NE in Keizer, from 6:00-9:30.  This is our opportunity to go through the entire show on the stage, including entering/exiting the stage.  At this writing, it’s not confirmed that we’ll have risers that evening, but we will at least be able to work out the final details and get a “feel” for the venue so it’s more familiar to us on the following Saturday.

 

 

SHOW DAY – DECEMBER 7th – I CAN’T WAIT!


Then we have some fun performances (look closely, cuz one was cancelled just this morning) and our annual holiday party, and hopefully a few more auditions to join Oregon Spirit Chorus full-time!  


HAPPY KAT!

 

 

 

 

COACHING - Tori Postma

posted Oct 9, 2019, 2:27 PM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Oct 9, 2019, 2:33 PM ]

ROAD TO EXCELLENCE (RTE)

 

One of the most exciting ways to continue up our Road to Excellence is inviting coaches with specific skills to come and work with us.  The OSC Music Team discussed the coaching schedule and decided that we’d like Tori Postma to come and work with us on Showmanship as we prepare for our upcoming show.  The visual aspect of our performances are as important as our vocal skills!  Of course, the things that we learn from Tori will apply to every song in our repertoire.  It’s all about knowing why you’re singing a song and telling the story to the audience in order to evoke an emotion.  Tori’s wonderful creativity and sense of humor are a perfect fit for OSC and you will all learn so much from these sessions. 

WHEN

Saturday & Sunday, October 19-20

 

WHERE:

Sumpter Elementary School – 525 Rockwood Street SE – Salem  (South Salem)

Enter from the back by the softball fields and covered play area.

Guests are welcome to participate and learn, if you are very familiar with After I’m Gone and I’ll Be Seeing You.

 

WHO:

Tori Postma, Showmanship Judge, “I want every woman I coach or teach to have increased self-esteem because they have some new tools in their musical performance repertoire.” 

Education:  B.S., English Education, Utah State University, Minor in Music

Musical Experience:  Director, 35 years (Mountain Jubilee Chorus); International Quartet Medalist; piano study 12 years; vocal study 6 years.

Sweet Adelines Experience:  International Board of Directors; Certified International Faculty; Certified Showmanship Judge; Judge Specialist; Master Director; Sales & Marketability Committee; Showcase Committee; Novice Directors School Faculty; Regional Judging Workshops (many regions)!

 

SCHEDULE 

SATURDAY, October 19

9:00-9:30               Rhythmic and vocal warmups

9:30-11:30             Coaching

                              I’ll Be Seeing You

                              After I’m Gone

11:30 – 12:30        LUNCH

12:30 – 1:00          Fundraising Projects – What Do YOU want to do in 2020? - Linda O'Donnell

1:00 – 3:00            Coaching

                              Whether Good, Whether Bad

                              Sister Act

3:00 – 3:30            Break

3:30 – 5:00            Coaching

                              After I’m Gone

                              I’ll Be Seeing You

 

SUNDAY, October 20

9:00 – 9:30            Rhythmic and Vocal Warmups

9:30 – 11:00          Coaching

                              After I’m Gone

                              I’ll Be Seeing You

11;00 – 11;30        Break

11:30 – 1:00          Coaching

1:00 – 2:00            Lunch together somewhere to unwind and share the excitement (any volunteers to plan this?)

2:00 – 4:00            Tori coaching That’s the Spirit Quartet (in a private home)

4:00 – 4:30            Kathy Scheel drive Tori back to PDX Airport

 

PLACES TO EAT NEARBY

  • Paddington’s Pizza
  • Stone Front Grill
  • Subway
  • Little Caesar’s
  • Qdoba
  • Chipotle
  • Panda Express
  • Food trucks at Fabry & Commercial  (hmmm…maybe sing and hand out cards?  fun!)


BRING

  • Water
  • Comfy shoes
  • Recording devices/smart phones with recording app
  • Camera so you can take a video of any choreography/staging presented
  • Equipment from the Elks - microphone/speaker, flipchart/easel
  • Fabulous, positive, flexible, can-do attitude!


SUMMARY 10/8 - PLANNING AHEAD to SHOW!

posted Oct 9, 2019, 2:25 AM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Oct 14, 2019, 9:34 PM ]

Isn’t it just the best feeling in the world when you’re singing with your whole heart and there are over 30 women singing in harmony all around you?!  I LOVE THAT!   I can hear that you’ve been working hard to learn the songs and now we’re about ready to start the process of polishing them!  That’s when the magic really happens!   When you are off the sheet music (memorized), you are then able to focus more on the nuances of singing in a really great ensemble - synchronization, matched vowels, resonance, dynamics, as well as the visual presentation.

GOAL:  All songs memorized by October 15.  You can do it!

Here’s what you can do this week:

  • Read each song to get the emotional message of the lyrics. 
  • Sing in front of a mirror to see if you are actually showing the emotion you are feeling when you sing.
  • Make a video of yourself singing and see if you are performing with your whole heart and soul and body and FACE!

You’ll need to be really solid on your part because I’ll be working on a riser chart this week and you will likely be standing next to someone who’s singing another part.  In about 3 weeks (early November) we will do some evaluations to be sure everyone is singing the correct notes.  In order to be ready for that, be sure to record yourself every week, and every time you rehearse, then listen to the recording while you watch the music to check accuracy.  Your recorder is your best tool, so use it regularly.  

Think about how YOU can add to the chorus sound with your presence, your intelligent musical decisions, and your beautiful voice.   When you rehearse at home, do more than just sing through the songs – PERFORM THEM with great gusto, all the dynamics, and facial expressions, and your entire being.  Why do anything less?  It’s MUCH more satisfying to you, me, and the audience!  Totally own your part and you’ll be a confident, fabulous performer!

TENORS – Practice breathing with a great amount of space/height so the high notes are completely free of any tension or tightness.  Bubble each phrase and feel the way the notes are relaxed and open, as well the amount of air that is required – then capture that same feeling when you sing the lyrics.  Doing this will allow you to soar with ease, without vibrato, and you’ll match each other so no voices are sticking out – blend!

LEADS – You are doing such a great job of owning your part, but pay close attention to the accurate ascending intervals so that your highest notes are always sparkling and ringing.  You are much more than “just the melody” – you’re the lead section, so you are the prominent sound in every chord.  It all starts at the breath, so be sure to practice the OH space in each breath.  Work on singing the exact same phrasing for Whether Good, Whether Bad to improve unity.  

BARITONES - You have the fun responsibility of filling in the chord between the leads and basses, and you always need to sing with your entire voice at all times.  There are very few places where I don’t want more baritone sound, so work on singing a fully resonant sound at all times.  And don’t be afraid to use more of your chest voice so it has more presence in the sound.

BASSES – When you singing a lighter tone, it’s absolutely beautiful.  When you rehearse at home, record yourself and listen for places where you can sing with less volume and more finesse, allowing the beauty of your voice to shine through.  And it helps match the other basses, too!

LOOKING AHEAD

·       10/15 – We will be adding some visual plans to a couple of songs – staging and light choreography.  If you want/need a video of the plan, bring your smart phone and capture the moves on your camera.   

·       10/19 and 10/20 – Coaching with Tori Postma at another location (not the Elks).  Guests are encouraged to attend if you are familiar with I’ll Be Seeing You and After I’m Gone.  We’ll also do some work on a few of the other songs that we’ll be performing on the show.   More information will be posted in a separate Kathy’s Korner, so check there for details.

·       10/22 – Visual plans presented and polishing the songs.  EVERYONE try very hard to be at the remaining rehearsals so we can make progress with all the voices and bodies!

·       10/29 – Halloween costumes!  No risers, and we’ll rehearse in The Nest (the room that’s on the opposite side of the building, on the other side of the entrance) because the main room will be undergoing noisy construction/demolition that evening.  We won’t have risers, but we’ll do lots of duet work and get the songs even cleaner.

·       11/5 – No risers again, but we’ll be in the main room.  Duets and trios and staging.

·       11/12 – No risers again, but we’ll be in the main room.  Duets and trios and visual work.

·       11/19 – Working the entire performance package.  Be flexible on rehearsal time, because I’d like to work on the entire show package. Guests stay later.

·       11/26 – Working the entire performance package. Be flexible on rehearsal time because I’d like to run through the entire show package.  Guests stay later.

·       12/3 – Rehearsing at the Dayspring Fellowship Church in Keizer.  This is our final rehearsal and it’s essential that EVERYONE attend.

1st Half:

  • Sister Act (pitch blown: B, basses’ note, but may try C next week)
  • Change the World (pitch blown: B, basses’ note)
  • Whether Good, Whether Bad (pitch blown: B-flat)
  • After I’m Gone (pitch blown: F, bari/bass unison)
  • I’ll Be Seeing You (pitch blown: B, up ½ step from sheet music)
  • Star-Spangled Banner (pitch blown: D, first note for everyone)

2nd Half:

  • Happy Holiday (pitch blown: E-flat, the bass & tenor note)
  • Winter Wonderland (pitch blown: E, bass/bari unison, then build the chord)
  • BankAmericard (pitch blown: E-flat, bass/bari octave)
  • Scarlet Ribbons (pitch blown: E, ½ step up from sheet music)
  • Mary, Mary Rock (pitch blown: E-flat, basses’ first note)
  • Mary, Did You Know (pitch blown: D


I’ll be updating Performance Central on the website soon, so watch there for updates. If you said “maybe, unsure, or possibly” for any of the dates, send me a note to verify a yes or no so I can work on standing arrangement. 

Have a wonderful week (and please remember to check emails every 2 days and respond as needed). 

 

I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT THE AWESOME MUSIC YOU'RE MAKING!


 

 

 

10/1 SUMMARY - 10/8 PLAN

posted Oct 2, 2019, 12:13 PM by Kathy Scheel

We had another AWESOME night with 17 guests and 23 members – making a total of 40 on the risers this week!  The songs are really going to come together nicely because of the obvious homework you are doing.  Keep up the great work, ladies!

NEWS & STUFF

·       Congratulations to EVERYONE on a very successful membership campaign, “Build This Chorus” (created by Diane Watson and managed by Leah Law). Your ACTIVE involvement in putting up flyers, posting notes on Meetup, Facebook, and Instagram, and talking with women about our chorus has brought in nearly 20 guests this month.  Many of our guests are just here for the Christmas Chorus, and are not planning to join OSC full-time, so you’ll each need to continue the awesome work to build the chorus.  Touch bases with the ladies you invited who haven’t visited yet; let them know that it’s not too late to come and sing with us.  Both teams did a great job but the final winners are the Hi-Lows who will be enjoy a dinner prepared by the Lead-A-Tones at a time and date to be decided soon. I can’t wait to enjoy a yummy dinner with all of you!

·       Eileen Kemp has OSC’s show tickets so get a few from her to sell to people if they do not purchase them on our website (Shop OSC).  The push is on, ladies.  We want to fill the room!  Share-share-share the “event” that’s on our Facebook page, and “invite” your friends who live in the general area to get their tickets early.  Also send out the flyer via email, post it in your communities and on your work bulletin boards, talk about it with everyone in your circle of friends and acquaintances, and former guests at OSC.  We are really hoping to get a large audience from the general public (not just barbershoppers and family), so do whatever YOU can to bring people to our show. 

·       Pride of Portland Chorus gifted us two tickets to their October 26th show and we are raffling them off for just $5 per raffle ticket.  Linda O’Donnell is handling this raffle so see her before rehearsal net week.  We also have a stack of show tickets available to purchase at $25 each.  The show is in Portland, so plan on carpooling with lots of other OSC sisters.  Oh, and I’m the MC for the show, so it’d be cool to see lots of familiar faces in the audience!

·       Chris Moyers successfully auditioned for membership in OSC!  YAY!

·       I reminded everyone to read and respond to emails within 48 hours (so check your emails every 2 days).  Especially the emails about performances.

·       Thank you for the great birthday gifts – wine, gift certificate, and my very own metal straw for bubbling and straw phonation! 

VOCAL SKILL-BUILDING

Here are a few of the vocal exercises from last night.  Do these every day, along with the straw phonation described in earlier Kathy’s Korner articles.  You’ll be amazed at how quickly your breath support/management improves.

·       Hand on tummy, big breath, blow out air but don’t let ribs collapse – tummy (diaphragm) lifts to expel air. 

·       Pre-yawn breath, feel widening of the throat, lifting of soft palate.  Breathe into that space and sing OO.  Maintain that space as long as possible

·       Breathe in the “OH” space in your throat – maintain as long as possible.

·       Bubble on a descending 5-note scale, repeat and go up ½ step, and so on.

·       Do “sirens” every day, starting in your mid-range and expanding higher and lower so that your entire range is warmed up before rehearsals/performances.  Use lots of air and support and keep your lips and jaw very relaxed.

·       Target/primary vowels are EH, EE, AH, OH, OO and the goal is to sing from vowel to vowel for smooth delivery of lyrics.  When you practice the music, keep these general rules in mind:

o   Minimize hard consonants – t, p, k, d

o   Maximize singable consonants – m, n, ng, l   (need to add lots of energy)

MUSIC WORK

Christmas Chorus

·       Winter Wonderland – Work on adding more energy to the intro and check yourself against the key note frequently so it stays in tune.  Tell the story and paint a picture for the audience.  For ascending intervals (notes that jump higher), be really accurate by recording yourself.  If you read music, look at the note that is intended and check yourself with the free app, PanoTuner.  It’s an easy way to train yourself to sing in tune.

·       Scarlet Ribbons You are doing a lovely job on this song.  Leads will continue your work on building unity so you sound like one voice; harmony parts need to work on timing of the bell chords. 

o   Basses are on the 1st beat (1-and-2-3),
o   Baritones are on the up beat (1-AND-2-3),
o   Tenors are on the 2nd beat (1-and-2-3)

·       Mary, Mary Rock – Get your body involved by stepping right & left for much of this song.  It keeps things in tune and unified. 

Regular Repertoire

·       Change the World – Great job in holding your part even when you’re not surrounded by other singers in your own section!   The way to really have fun singing this is to be able to sing it successfully with all of the other parts, so practice with each learning track, especially the one with your part missing.  The more you do this, the stronger you’ll be and the whole chorus will benefit!

·       I’ll Be Seeing You – I’ll be adding much more dynamic contrast so the louds will be stronger, and the softs will be much softer (but with tons of energy and sparkle).

·       After I’m Gone -We’ll also be adding more much dynamic contrast to this one.  And the tempo is quicker and more driving, so git on board!  Keep up the awesome work on the characterization – it’s so much fun! 

PLAN – 10/8/19

·       Christmas Chorus

o   Happy Holiday
o   BankAmericard
o   Mary, Did You Know

·       Sectionals

·       Quick break to allow Christmas Chorus singers to leave risers.

o   Everyone else stay on risers, please – it takes too much time to get everyone back and we’ve got such a limited time together.

·       Regular Repertoire

o   Sister Act – see note below
o   Whether Good, Whether Bad
o   Star-Spangled Banner  

Homework

Here are some specific things you can do the prepare for the next rehearsal:

·       Mary, Did You Know – Sing along with the LoveNotes recording in the Music Library. Do this several times noting that they sing it much slower than we did it last year.  Check your intervals and tuning with the PanoTuner app to maintain the key throughout the song.  Although there are a few small differences in the arrangement (between us and the quartet), it will be okay as-is.  Although we might just OO in some parts of the song on the show, we will learn the entire song so that we can include it in the other performances around the area.

·       Sister Act – Check your tuning and intervals on this.  Sing it along with the Speed of Sound quartet, and sing it with your part missing.

·       BankAmericard - Read through the lyrics several times so they are familiar and you can focus on the music.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE to GUESTS:   If you are considering joining OSC full-time, we would love that!  If so, here are a few things you should know:

·       Let me know your intention!  I get pretty excited when people join OSC!

·       You don’t necessarily have to learn/sing the non-holiday songs on the show; you can just stay focused on the holiday music and then learn the other songs later if you’d like. They are:

Sister Act
 After I’m Gone
 I’ll Be Seeing You
 Change the World
 Whether Good, Whether Bad
 Star-Spangled Banner

·       If you do want to sing the non-holiday songs on the show, you will need to join the chorus and get a costume made for the first half.  It will take a couple of weeks to complete, so we need as much lead time as possible. 

·       If you do plan to join the chorus, I encourage you to participate in the coaching sessions on October 19-20, when we will work on the non-holiday songs.  You will learn so much from our coach and you’ll also have more time to socialize and get better acquainted with the other members.

·       I will be posting more details about the coaching weekend on Kathy’s Korner in the next few days. 


THIS WEEK'S GUESTS



 

 

9/24/19 SUMMARY - 10/1/19 PLAN

posted Sep 24, 2019, 11:58 PM by Kathy Scheel

WOWEE!!   What an awesome open house we had tonight, with 17 guests!  Thanks to Leah Law and her whole team for all the work that went into making the evening a success.  And to all of you who helped set up the risers, and brought munchies, and helped in so many ways!   Here's a list of the guests tonight:

 TENORS

  • Kelli Seymour 
  • Tessa Blanchard 

 

LEADS

  • Chris Moyers
  • Kathi Schie
  • Kathy Sandstrom
  • Sharon Dodge
  • Bree Gamble
  • EB Scott
  • Mercy Scott
  • Anita Eckstein

 BARITONES

  • Dixie Lorange
  • Angela Beckner
  • Betty Jo Kraus
  • Phyllis Martin

 BASSES

  • Margie Talley
  • Joanie Shelton
  • Judi Haynes
  • Diane Mitchell

 It is just wonderful to have so many new voices on the risers to add to our strong core of Oregon Spirit singers!  And it looks like there are a few more expected next week!

 

SCHEDULE

The Elks has asked us to be out of the building no later than 9:30 from now on, so our rehearsal schedule will be adjusted slightly as follows: 

5:30-6:00    Setup, warmups

6:00-7:30    Christmas Chorus rehearsal

7:30-7:40    Quick shuffle (Note 1)

7:40-9:10    Regular repertoire rehearsal

9:10-9:25    Announcements (Note 2)

 

Notes:

1)  If you are only singing in the Christmas Chorus, this is when you can quietly leave the risers.  Everyone else will stay on the risers and continue rehearsal.

2)  We will move into the chairs so the risers can be broken down & put away while we share news and announcements that cannot be done via email or website.

 

SUMMARY

We reviewed all of the Christmas songs tonight and everyone did really well with sight-reading.  Each week, we will focus on 1-2 songs so we can really polish them.  We'll have section rehearsals for part of the time, to identify problem spots, and establish unity within each section.  Unfortunately, since we only have 90 minutes for the Christmas Chorus, the section rehearsals will have to be fairly brief.  The good news is that the section leaders are scheduling sectionals at someone's home on a separate date - one in October and one in November - so watch for news from your section leader about that.  Bring your calendars next week so you can decide on a date/time/place for those sessions.

If you are interested in joining the chorus full-time (not just for the Christmas season), that's wonderful news - so please let me know by mid-October of your intention.  This chorus will change your life in a profoundly beautiful way.  OSC is not just about the music, it's also the close bonds of friendship you'll form that will last a lifetime.

  

HOMEWORK

  • Do some sirens every day to keep the voice flexible.  Use lots of air and keep everything very relaxed and tension-free.
  • Practice breathing in the "pre-yawn" space each time you sing.
  • Remind yourself to resist collapse of the ribcage as you sing each phrase.
  • Review all 6 Christmas songs and mark your music where you are having problems so you can ask your section leader about them.

 

NEXT WEEK'S PLAN

  • 5:45-6:00 - I'll lead some vocal warmups; also do some vocalizing on the way to rehearsals - sirens, bubbles, scales.
  • 6:00-7:30 - Christmas songs (90 minutes)
    • Winter Wonderland
    • Scarlet Ribbons
    • Mary, Mary Rock  (15-minute sectional) 
  • 7:30-7:40 - Quick shuffle (10 minutes)
    • Most singers remain on risers; others may leave
  • 7:40-9:10 - Regular songs (90 minutes)
    • After I'm Gone
    • I'll Be Seeing You
    • Change the World
  • 9:10-9:20 - Announcements 
    • If announcements can be made on the website or via email, that is preferable.
    • If not, this is the time to share news, while the risers are being put away.
    • Make sure we are out of the building by 9:30.

 

GUESTS pictured left to right:  Margie Talley, Diane Mitchell, Angela Beckner, Betty Jo Kraus, Dixie Lorange, Phyllis Martin, Joanie Shelton, Chris Moyers, Kathi Schie, Kathy Sandstrom, Anita Eckstein, Sharon Dodge, Bree Gamble, Kelli Seymour, Mercy Scott, Tessa Blanchard, EB Scott  (not pictured, Judi Haynes) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUMMARY 9/10 - and LOOKING AHEAD

posted Sep 11, 2019, 1:28 AM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Sep 11, 2019, 1:38 AM ]

WOW
-  Another awesome evening of singing!    And we welcome four (4) guests who had a great time singing with us:

- Tenor:  Jess Wilberg
- Lead:  Chris Moyers
- Baritone:  Dixie Lorange
- Bass:  Betty Wagner

Eileen Kemp presented the Spirited Sister boa to Laurie Burk.  Laurie is such a strong bass and a really wonderful friend to everyone!

Build the Chorus – keep up the great work!  I've got over 20 names of ladies planning to come and sing with us - either as a full-time member or just for the Christmas Chorus!  I hope lots of you took a moment to pick up a packet from Diane Watson to go and visit retirement centers. She and Janet Owen are like the dynamo sisters, visiting several places and getting the word out about our show, as well as recruiting new singers! 

The International Competition is next week, starting with the Harmony Classic Contest on Tuesday.  It starts at 4:00 (Salem time) and Elaine Rosenberg will set up the webcast at the Elks so come and watch it together.  Talk about what you loved about every group, and don’t miss Diablo Vista Chorus, who is from our Region 12 and will be on stage at 6:30 (Salem time).  

SONGS:  We won't have time to go through these songs again until October 1st so I hope you'll carve out time to work on them at home so we can keep making progress.

  • Sister Act – This is such a beautiful song with a strong message about the power of sisterhood.  It's very important to maintain a steady tempo that is seamless and has a sense of forward motion.  Be sure you have completed your self-evaluation so you are totally confident that you're solid as a rock on this opening number for our show.
  • After I’m Gone – The changes that were described in my email from last week were reviewed, and most of you made a recording to work with so keep working on those changes and you'll have it down pat very soon!  The learning tracks are not yet updated, so as soon as possible, I'd like 4 volunteers to help update those tracks for the new people to use.  Also practice with the video that's in the Music Library folder for this song.  It's got lots of fun characterization!
  • I'll Be Seeing You - We worked on a more natural delivery of the lyrics and phrase flow, and it's getting more and more beautiful every time we sing it.  We tried singing the tag as originally written but after listening to the recording from tonight, I've decided to leave it as we've been singing it for several months.  
  • Change the World -  YES!  You're singing it with energy, rhythm, and I'm loving it!  I'm looking at possibly adding some percussion so if you're interested let me know.
  • Whether Good, Whether Bad - We tried having the leads in a wedge but we'll try it again when everyone is there so we can see if it will work.  Nice job keeping it totally in tune, ladies!  And I love the emotional storytelling you are exhibiting on this special song.
  • Star-Spangled Banner - The melody on this song bounces around between parts, so great sensitivity and awareness is needed to create a seamless delivery.  Your skills have sure grown and this song is a testament to that.

TUESDAY REHEARSALS from now until December.

  • Sept 17 -  Harmony Classic Competition webcast viewing, 4:00-8:00. 
  • Sept 24 – Open House, Christmas Chorus kickoff, 6:00-9:30
  • Oct 1 through Nov 26 – 6:00-8:00 Christmas songs; 8:00-9:30 Regular repertoire
  • Dec 3 – 6:00-9:30 – Rehearse at Dayspring Fellowship Center, Keizer

OTHER DATES:

  • Saturday & Sunday, October 19-20 - Coaching with Tori Postma, Showmanship Judge. Everyone come!  We will be focusing on After I'm Gone and I'll Be Seeing You, as well as other non-holiday songs so we can improve our performance skills.  We'll work from 9:00-4:00 on Saturday, 9:00-2:00 on Sunday (with lunch breaks).
  • Saturday, Dec 7 – A’Cappella Spirit Show, 3:00-5:00, followed by Afterglow at Pietro’s Pizza Parlor
  • Dates to be determined - Your section leaders will be scheduling 1-2 section rehearsals at someone's home to focus on the Christmas songs.
  • Performances are being lined up for December and we'll provide dates as soon as they're confirmed.  We'll sing at the Oregon Gardens and the Capitol Rotunda, as well as a few retirement centers.

SONGS FOR DECEMBER 7 - A'CAPPELLA SPIRIT:

1ST HALF – wearing blue/black costumes (OSC members only)

  • Sister Act – in 2 long rows across the front of stage
  • After I’m Gone – on risers with full choreography
  • I’ll Be Seeing You
  • Change the World – in sections
  • Whether Good, Whether Bad – leads in a wedge in front
  • Star-Spangled Banner – a nod to Pearl Harbor Day

2nd HALF – wearing black/silver combinations (Everyone)

  • Happy Holiday – greet people, shake hands, bells ringing
  • Winter Wonderland – slide show of wintery scenes behind us
  • BankAmericard – credit cards
  • Scarlet Ribbons – in sections
  • Mary, Mary Rock – in sections, snapping fingers
  • Mary, Did You Know – with LoveNotes Quartet (finale’)

Note:  We'll definitely be singing at the afterglow, and you'll also get to hear the LoveNotes (up close and personal) as well as our own chapter quartets.  




 

 

 


SUMMARY 9/3

posted Sep 4, 2019, 12:54 AM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Sep 4, 2019, 8:47 AM ]

WOW - Another "small but mighty" group tonight!   Just 16 fabulous singers on the risers, and you sang beautifully and remained focused throughout the evening.  We sure hope we'll have everyone back next week cuz we miss those ladies and their voices!   We were so happy to see Jess Wilberg back with us tonight - she passed her audition and will become a member of OSC very soon!  We also had a visit from Sharon Dodge, who is eager to start singing in the Christmas Chorus.

RHYTHMIC FUNElaine Rosenberg led us in a fun new line dance to get our bodies moving, our blood flowing, and having a blast learning some new moves together.  

VOCAL SKILL-BUILDING:
  • Straw Phonation: Do this every day!  It makes such a huge difference in your individual sound, and results in a better blend for the overall chorus sound.
  • Flexibility:  Sing this quickly:  Beetle-itl-itl-itl, Beetle-itl-itl-itl, Beetle-itl-itl-ill, Bee quickly on a 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2, 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2, 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1, up 1/2 step, repeat.  
  • Wee-Wee exercise for unity:  Active listening, instant tuning, instant vowel matching.  
  • Quick Breaths: On one note, sing quickly 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, then go up 1/2 step and skip the number 2 (do it twice), then skip the number 3 (do it twice), etc.
GROW THIS CHORUS:  Leah Law presented the results of the contest between the Hi-Los and the Lead-A-Tones to actively seek new members for OSC.  You are all doing such a great job (and who doesn't love a friendly competition, right?), but let's see if there's more that we can do to share news about the chorus.  Be like Diane Watson & Janet Owen and go out there with a chorus friend and tell women about us. Share the excitement and anticipation of singing in a big chorus this season!  Take a few moments to send some emails with personal invitations to some ladies in your church, your heath club, your nail salon, your beauty parlor, or wherever you think women will congregate. Let's set a goal of at least 50 singers in the Christmas Chorus this year!   The kickoff is just 20 days away from now so it's a perfect time to take action!  Yes, it takes some effort on your part, but the results will be so thrilling!  It's really easy way to spread the news on Facebook, Meetup, and Nextdoor.com.  Refresh all three at least once a week, and send invitations through Facebook to every woman you know.  We can do this, ladies!  

GREAT SINGING!

  • Sister Act:  ENERGY-ENERGY-ENERGY will keep the tempo steady, and create a feeling of forward motion.  When asked what feelings you want the audience to experience when we perform this song, here's what you said:  LOVE, UNITY, RESPECT, SISTERHOOD, EMPOWERMENT, SUPPORT, GOT YOUR BACK, FAMILY.  
  • Mary, Mary Rock:  Evaluations went really well, but if you were absent tonight, send your recording to your section leaeder for review.  
  • Whether Good, Whether Bad:  We had a good chat about the meaning of this special song, why I wrote it, and how to keep the message upbeat and energized.  We did a general evaluation on accuracy and there are just a few places that need some attention.  Harmony parts need to hold phrases longer so the leads can take a quick breath and do all those pickups, and leads need to be more assertive in keeping the forward motion.    
  • Star-Spangled Banner:  This will come back together pretty quickly, so spend a bit of time on it at home.
  • After I'm Gone:  We worked on several changes to this song tonight and I'll be sending you some marked-up music for it very soon.  Practice the choreography/characterization along with the video that's in the Music Library, so we can get it back to contest level singing.  You did a really good job on the musical changes tonight, which tells me they are good changes because you picked them up so quickly.  

AFTERGLOW was a blast - hope more of you can join us next week for a glass of wine and lots of laughs.  It's a terrific way to unwind after rehearsal.


HOMEWORK AND LOOK-AHEAD
  • Homework:
    • I'll Be Seeing You - Sing it as you watch the slide show that's in the Music Library.  Do this frequently so you will have a mental picture as you tell the musical story with a unified vision.
    • After I'm Gone - Work on the choreography/characterization so it's automatic when Tori Postma comes to coach us in October.  As noted above, there will be a few musical changes but they will not affect the visual plan.  Sing in front of the mirror to ensure that your face and body are highly involved in bringing the character to life.
    • Sister Act -  Work on maintaining tempo and energy and selling the story with the key words noted above. Use a metronome at 74 bpm.  It may seem fast at first, but it will train you to keep that forward motion.  Pay attention to the breath plan (like Speed of Sound quartet) and know the song so well that you are able to sing it with absolute certainty.  
    • Ongoing - Self-evaluations on all the songs we're performing on December 7th.  
    • Straw phonation - every day
    • Invite women to come and sing with us and send me the names.
  • Sept 10 
    • After I'm Gone - Incorporate the changes we reviewed tonight.  Work on the visual plan.
    • Whether Good, Whether Bad - Add more depth and dynamics.
    • Change the World - add some preliminary visual plans.
    • Sister Act - Review progress.
  • Sept 17
    • 4:00 - Harmony Classic viewing party  (see Diablo Vista from Region 12!).  Elaine Rosenberg is going to set up the projector and get it going.  It would be very helpful if she knew whether you can be there (or not), so watch for an email from me and response right away.  
      • Sweet Adelines has a youtube channel.  Mark this link as a "Favorite" so you can revisit it as you watch the world's best barbershop choruses and quartets at contests from past years.  These are examples of what you'll see on the webcast. 
      • https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP9Xg3XQQ0Ajhr306aNzRPg?view_as=subscriber 
    • 8:00 - Review Christmas songs in preparation for Open House
  • Sept 24
    • Open House!  Arrive early to help with setup, participate in the group voice lesson - it really helps guests feel more comfortable when there are more singers, and there are some good reminders for you, too.
    • Remember to ask your guests to arrive earlier to get signed in. 
    • Be personally responsible for helping to stay on this schedule:
      • 5:30 - 6:00 - Help with setup, chairs, refreshments, folders, etc.
      • 6:00-7:00 - Group voice lesson
      • 7:00-7:15 - Visit, move towards risers
      • 7:15-7:30 - Rhythmic warmups and vocal skill-building
      • 7:30-7:40 - Introduce guests, get photo, tell about Christmas Chorus
      • 7:40-8:30 - Sing through all the Christmas songs - 1 time each
      • 8:30-9:00 - Refreshments
      • 9:00-9:15 - OSC sing for guests
      • 9:15-9:25 - Chorus Sisters chat with guests (join in a conversation if you don't have a guest assigned)
      • 9:30-   Afterglow
  • Subsequent Tuesdays through December 3
    • 6:00-7:45 - Christmas Chorus 
    • 7:45-8:00 - Shuffle (quickly please!)
    • 8:00-9:30 - Regular Repertoire

See last week's Kathy's Korner for list of songs for the December 7th show.







SONG LINEUP for Dec 7 show!

posted Aug 28, 2019, 11:30 AM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Aug 28, 2019, 8:12 PM ]

I've made a couple of changes to the lineup of songs we'll perform for A'Cappella Spirit on December 7th.  Please be sure you've got all of these on your schedule to rehearse so you can bring your very best voice and performance skills to chorus each week.  YOU do the individual work, and WE work on unity of all things - vowels, breathing, vocal placement and resonance, diphthongs, dynamics, attacks/releases, and choreography.  The sooner you are solid on these songs, the easier it will be to add the visual elements that bring the songs to life!  That's what our audiences want ad expect when they come to see Oregon Spirit Chorus - and it's what we want for ourselves.  Give yourself goosebumps!

When Tori Postma comes to coach us on October 18-19 (be sure it's on your calendar), we will be focusing primarily on the songs After I'm Gone and I'll Be Seeing You, so I've put them into the show lineup.  And I've removed Let Freedom Ring so you don't need to worry about that one.  Our nod to Pearl Harbor Day (Dec 7) will be the Star-Spangled Banner.  I am also considering a different finale - perhaps not doing the 8-part arrangement of Feliz Navidad because of the time constraints of rehearsing it with the men's chorus.  For now, I'll leave it as "possible" and will let you know as soon as I've made that decision (which will be soon!).

So here's the current show lineup:

1st HALF

Francine Raften – MC

·    Oregon Sprit Chorusmembers only, wearing blue/silver/black costumes

o   After I’m Gone

o   I’ll Be Seeing You

o   Chang the World

o   Whether Good, Whether Bad

o   Sister Act

o   Star-Spangled Banner

·    PDX-Quartet (3-4 songs – to be confirmed)

o   Santa Baby

o   Funky Rudolph

o   Christmas Time is Here

·    Willamette GirlChoir – Serenade  (3-4 songs – to be confirmed)

o   The Holly & the Ivy

o   Deck the Halls

o   Angels We Have Heard on High

·    Eileen Kemp – Storyteller

o   December 24

·    LoveNotes (4-5 songs – to be confirmed) 

INTERMISSION  (15-20 minutes)

Lobby activities to be managed by non-singers so you can stay focused on performing.

  1. Pictures with Santa (Michael LaCombe)
  2. Poinsettia Sales
  3. Quilt Raffle Sales (drawing to be done at afterglow or on show)
  4. Christmas Gift Card Sales
  5. Cookies n' Water Sales
  6. LoveNotes Table for CD Sales

2nd HALF

Oregon SenateAires (4-5 songs)

o   Alleluia

o   Bring Him Home

o   Sing We Noel

o   Rockin’ Christmas Medley

·     LoveNotes (5-6 songs)

·     Oregon Spirit Chorus  (wearing combinations of black & silver) – with Christmas Chorus

o   Happy Holiday

o   Winter Wonderland

o   BankAmericard

o   Scarlet Ribbons

o   Mary, Mary Rock

·      Finale' 

o   OSC + LoveNotes - Mary, Did You Know

o   All Sweet Adelines stand and sing “How We Sang Today”

§  SenateAires on one side; WGC on the other



AFTERGLOW - The show is over at 5:00pm and then we'll thank people for coming and get things quickly cleaned up and head over to Pietro's Pizza Parlor (corner of Hawthorne and Market) for food, drinks, and lot more singing and fun!  OSC and Christmas Chorus will sing, as well as the awesome LoveNotes (up close), SenateAires, and our very own chorus groups!    




 

SUMMARY 8/27 and LOOKAHEAD

posted Aug 28, 2019, 9:39 AM by Kathy Scheel

Well, I sure hope everyone is feeling lots better today!  We missed 15 members so much last night - but we had 13 ladies who sang their hearts out, plus 2 first-time guests:  

- Rachel Carina (lead - from Meetup)
- Betty Clark (baritone - from Meetup)

Visual Team:  I met with the ladies interested in participating in the visual aspect of OSC's performances.  Unfortunately, only a few were able to attend the meeting (thanks Linda O'Donnell, Leah Law, Kathy Smith, and Tammy Lantis) but we reviewed the various roles and expectations of a visual team with regard to choreography and staging.  We set a date for a creative session at my house on Thursday, September 12th, at 6:30.  Please send me a note if you would like to be a part of this team.  We'll be working on the songs for A'Cappella Spirit (Dec 7) so we need to get started soon (only 14 rehearsals remaining).  

Grow That Chorus:  Leah Law presented the current standing (thermometers) of the Hi-Lows Team and the Lead-A-Tones Team.  Go out and do something this week to let ladies know about Oregon Spirit Chorus!  It takes action from every person - email the flyer, repost on Facebook, write a new note on Meetup, go out and hang up posters, talk to people.  This is more than just the Christmas Chorus - this is our future!   And remember to bring (or send) your scoresheets to your captains this week (or come to rehearsal early next week).

Rehearsal:  Tonight's focus was on the importance of having a common vision/intention for each song.  I've attached a Powerpoint document to the bottom of this Kathy's Korner and I invite you to go through the exercises to see if you notice how your voice changes when you see different pictures.  We will continue to explore this in order to gain more self-awareness and establish greater unity.

VOCALS:
  • Breathing in the "pre-yawn" space will add more resonance to your voice, resulting in a lovely, blended ensemble.  It takes lots of repetition and positive self-talk ("I can do this", "I will do this") so next time you rehearse at home, incorporate this very important element into your singing! You'll be adding to the beauty of the chorus!
  • Do you have 6 minutes available?  Yeah!  Use those  minutes to do straw phonation 3 times daily for about 2 minutes each.  I'd love to see every hand go up next time I ask who's done this.  It is especially great as a warmup before and after chorus, but will train your voice to relax and allow its natural beauty to shine.  Bring your straws and bottles/cups to the risers each week.  When you're in the car, bubbling with a slow siren will also work nicely.
  • Basses, practice singing in your upper register so those higher passes are easier to sing, and will maintain tuning.  Try this:  Sing a phrase on an OO vowel (or DOO) very lightly, which makes it much easier to sing in your upper/head register.  Do the phrase several times, noticing how lovely and easy and relaxed it is.  Now gradually add the lyrics back in, striving to maintain the same vocal placement as you had on the OO.  It takes practice but will be worth it.
  • Everyone can benefit from using the PanoTuner app to check tuning accuracy.  When a song goes flat, it's usually because there's either a:
    • Lack of energy in the vocal line, or
    • Lack of awareness that the intervals from note to note are not quite right.
MUSIC

We've got a lot of songs to prepare for our A'Cappella Spirit show and just 14 rehearsals remaining.  This means you'll each need to spend some quality time rehearsing them at home since we only have a limited time together on Tuesday nights.  I've changed the lineup of the show and will write a separate Kathy's Korner with the list of songs to focus on.  Here's what we worked on tonight:
  • I'll Be Seeing You - In addition to the visual exercise (see PowerPoint slides attached), I am doing a slightly different interpretation on the intro.  Check with your section leader about this so you'll have it before the next rehearsal.
  • After I'm Gone - I ask everyone to practice this song with full choreography/characterization so we can bring it back to its former glory.  Review the contest video, practice in front of a mirror, record yourself - do whatever will help you to personally upgrade this song.  We'll be working on it with Tori Postma in October but you'll need to spend some time on it at home.   Here's the link to the YouTube video (copy the whole link):  
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX6Le-DYwAo&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0CIIAbS341lSWFs0pNj2h-1nBkZvniTvrzZnokem31nYkzpJZEZcX-1Y4
  • Sweet Dreams - Using some "emoticards" we went discovered how slight changes in attitude will bring unity to the presentation.  Words like:  STRONG, WARY, POWERFUL, RESILIENT!  See attached PowerPoint slides.
  • Whether Good, Whether Bad - We had planned to do evaluations but with only 3 leads and 1 tenor, we decided to wait until next week.
  • Mary, Mary Rock - Ditto on the evaluations, but we did a bit of work on this song, mainly unifying each section, fixing some minor tuning issues, and focusing on the last page.  I took out a couple of the bass pickup notes on page 3, and reinforced the interpretive plan on the tag.
  • Scarlet Ribbons - Reviewed a few times with the piano.  Work on this at home so it will come together and easily.  It's such a lovely song and I can hear the beauty already.  Nice job on the tag, Judy Gobat!

NEXT WEEK:
  • Show Meeting from 5:30-6:45.  
  • Evaluations:
    • Whether Good, Whether Bad
    • Mary, Mary Rock
  • Polish
    • After I'm Gone
    • I'll Be Seeing You
  • Review 
    • Sister Act (Note: work at home on maintaining tonality - use PanoTuner or keyboard)
    • Star-Spangled Banner

Now ....get HEALTHY and I'll see y'all next week!





SUMMARY 8/20 and LOOKAHEAD

posted Aug 21, 2019, 7:54 AM by Kathy Scheel

I sure had a great time last night - and it sounded/looked like everyone else did, too!  We had two returning guests:  Jess Wilberg (tenor) and Lori Hartman (bass).  Keep 'em coming!

Physical/Rhythmic WarmupsJudy Gobat led us in a great physical/rhythmic warmup routine.  Here are some reminders from the two workshops I recently attended:
  • The visual aspect of performing is equally as important as the vocal presentation.  They are not just for fun - they teach you how to move your body in unison with others.  And they get the blood flowing which helps your oxygenation and singing!
  • Physical/rhythmic warmups are an important part of the rehearsal; everyone is expected to participate.
  • All other activities should be wrapped up before 7:00 (meetings, visiting, getting set up, etc.). Come a few minutes earlier to allow adequate time for these things.
  • The person in front has spent time preparing the routine, so it's a sign of respect to be there on time. Take personal responsibility for being on time (nobody will need to remind you).
  • If you are interested in leading a routine, let Judy Gobat know.  
Build This Chorus:  Leah Law presented the thermometer for Build This Chorus!  The teams are pretty close so keep turning in your score sheets each week to your captain and she will tally the total and give it to Leah. The forms were emailed to you a couple of weeks ago, but if you can't find yours, contact Leah.  As you saw when you logged onto our website, there are just 36 days until our big open house - let's see if we can get 20-30 guests that night!  If you have some people you've invited, send me their names (and emails, if available).  We want to be sure to have plenty of guest books, handouts, and goodies.

Straw PhonationDo this 3 times daily for about 2 minutes each.   Here is how the LoveNotes described it at last year's Harmony College Northwest:
  • Get a straw - it's like an extension of the vocal tract.  Bigger straws are better but any size will work.
  • Blow into about 1" of water and feel the core engage as you blow bubbles, keeping them steady and even.  No air should escape the lips or nose.  Bubble until you are able to achieve consistency.
  • Add tone, keeping the bubbles steady. Repeat a few times - this adds strength and control over the respiratory muscles.
  • Add a glide up and down the scale (siren) in your mid-range. Repeat a few times.
  • Straw phonation is very good for tired or recovering voices.
  • If no water available, use VVV, MMM, or NG to achieve the same core engagement.
  • After you've trained yourself on how to make consistent bubbles, you can go right to the bubbling/glide.
Tag:  The tag written for our motto was reviewed and we had two octets come out and sing it.  Nice going, ladies!  I've attached the tag to the bottom of this Kathy's Korner so you can print your own copy and memorize it.  Wouldn't it be great to sing this at every rehearsal?  In fact, I would totally love it if groups would sing tags each week!  I've always believed that singing tags was the best education in barbershop harmony that I have ever experienced, as it trained my ear to listen and tune to other voices.  I've got some tag books I can send you if you're interested.

SISTERS SINGING, CHORDS RINGING, FEEDS MY SOUL!

MUSICAL TIPS
  • Singing a supported soft passage:  Singing a phrase softly without losing support is mainly a matter of maintaining the engagement of the core muscles (abdominal lift).  Try this:  Sing a phrase in "I'll Be Seeing You" as softly as possible.  Now sing it as strongly (loudly) as possible and notice what happens in your abdominal area.  You likely felt a firmness of the pelvic floor as the diaphragm lifts to steadily and slowly control the air (like bellows).  Now sing the phrase softly again, maintaining that SAME amount of lift in the abs.  It's all just a matter of keeping the core engaged at all times.  But it takes practice!  Record your before & after and you're definitely hear a difference!  Each time you are rehearsing at home, take time to train yourself on this important skill.
  • Singing with character and emotional intent:  Audiences don't come to hear technique, they want to be moved emotionally!  Our job as performers is to give them an experience they'll remember.  We will continue to explore the WHY of each song, the emotional intention of the message.  For instance:
    • I'll Be Seeing You:  Reminiscing with warmth and love as you see things that remind you of the person who is away.   It's an uplifting, positive, happy feeling as you encounter the places that bring up memories.  Before you sing it, look in the mirror and just recite the poetry of the words, with lots of feeling and facial expression.  Notice how your voice rises and falls, and the lyrics come to life, and your body language adds to the meaning.  Now sing it with that SAME amount of passion and energy.
    • After I'm Gone:  You've come home from a vacation and find an array of things that took place while you were gone.  The whole song is teasing and fun, with some surprise and even a bit of dismay in a few places.  Recite the lyrics in front of a mirror and see how much expression you have when you tell the story, see how your facial expression adds to the drama.  Have fun with it and go a bit overboard ("get it across the footlights") and the character will come alive!  Now sing it with that SAME amount of energy and fun.
    • Explore the other songs in our repertoire in the same manner and you'll be training yourself on how to really sell a song to an audience.  You'll find that you enjoy it more - and our audiences are certain to enjoy and remember the performance for a very long time.
  • Energy:  This element of ensemble singing in the barbershop style is a part of every judging category, which means they are important for every single rehearsal and performance.  They are something that must be practiced to reach a higher level of performance confidence (not just on Tuesdays...heh-heh).
    • Sound:  Add energy and emotion to the sound and things stay in tune.  Every breath is an opportunity to make the next phrase even better.
    • Music:  Energy reinforces the flavor and tempo of the song.
    • Expression:  Energy adds meaning to the lyrical interpretation and expressive delivery.
    • Showmanship:  Energy enhances the visual communication and connection to the audience.  
MUSIC
  • I'll Be Seeing You:  I'm going to continue playing with some of the interpretation of phrases in the coming weeks as we prepare the song for coaching by Tori Postma (October 19-20).  She is a showmanship coach, but always works from a vocal perspective.  When you are singing at the extreme ranges (very low or very high notes), think of the music as horizontal instead of vertical.  Put the notes right out "in front of you" and there will be less tension in the voice, making it much easier (and prettier) to sing.
  • After I'm Gone:  Tempo continues to be an issue on this song, so practice it with a metronome and you'll likely notice how quick those breaths need to be.  Stretch and lift every single phrase ending to its fullest value - then take a quick/energized/in-tempo breath.  It takes practice!  We'll also be working on this with Tori in October so make time to work on it (with the choreo plan from contest - study the video).
  • Change the World:  We did evaluations on this last night and you were fabulous!  Every time we sang it, it improved in unity - yay!  The main challenge we face every time we sing it is that first measure - getting everyone focused and ready to sing ... tenors, leads, and baritones, I'm talking to you.
  • Mary, Mary:  I added a small "tiddly" for the baritones and tenors (no change for leads & basses) so bring your recorders next week in order to get a recording of that.  Judy Gobat/Linda O'Donnell, please let the missing people in your section know about this before next week.
  • Feliz Navidad:  Reviewed with the piano (piano tracks are in the music library).  There was some discussion about the correct pronunciation of one of the phase in measures 57-60, specifically "anoy felicidad".  Haley Bault taught us that the 'A' should be pronounced as an AH sound - AH-no-EE fe-lee-cee-dahd.
At the end of the evening, we paired up and told each other why we appreciate that person.  Let's always remember just how special our friendships are; the bond that we form when singing in harmony is like no other and it's worth cherishing.

Then we had a really fabulous audition!  JESS WILBERG passed her audition with flying colors!  Please welcome her with open arms to OSC!


LOOK-AHEAD

August 27
  • Whether Good, Whether Bad - evaluations.
  • Scarlet Ribbons - review to get familiar with it.  Please take time to listen to it a few times before next week.  Piano tracks are in the music library.
  • Sister Act - work on energizing the song with emotional intention, which will help keep it in tune.  Personal time with the PanoTuner app will also help train yourself to feel when you are losing pitch.  
  • Visual Mini-Session - If you are interested in learning about the process of creating choreography and staging, or would like to participate on the Visual Team, send me a note and I'll send you a handout that you can print ahead of time.  I've heard from Karlene Hancock and Linda O'Donnell so far - anyone else want to be on the Visual Team?  
September
  • Let Freedom Ring - we'll be starting this in a couple of weeks, so please get familiar with it on your own. 
  • Octet for holiday performances:   I've heard from the following people who want to sing in an octet when we are at performances around town in December, plus you'd sing at the afterglow following our show.  If you are interested in singing a couple of songs, willing to have at least 3 extra rehearsals (1-2 with me coaching), and are planning to participate in most/all of the holiday performances, let me know. If we have a few more than an octet, that would be fine.  
    • Songs:  You can sing songs that OSC will not be singing on the show this year - choose from:   
      • Go Tell it on the Mountain
      • Jingle Bell Rock
      • Peace on Earth
      • Rise Up, Shepherd
    • Singers:  Current singers confirmed are: 
      • Tenors:  none yet
      • Leads:  Barb Usera (and Cindy??)
      • Baritones:  Denise Taylor and Linda O'Donnell
      • Basses:  Diane Watson and Janet Owen
  • December 7th show - A'Cappella Spirit - Holiday Harmony are:
    • 1st Half of show - OSC members only
      • Let Freedom Ring
      • Star-Spanged Banner
      • Change the World
      • Whether Good, Whether Bad
      • Sister Act
    • 2nd Half of show - Christmas Chorus (pass evaluations)
      • Happy Holiday
      • Mary, Did You Know?
      • BankAmericard
      • Scarlet Ribbons
      • Mary, Mary Rock
      • Winter Wonderland
      • Feliz Navidad (with SenateAires men's chorus)
Ongoing
  • Straw Phonation - do this every day  (3x daily for 2 minutes each).
  • Share-Share-Share our posts on Facebook regarding the September 24 Open House.  Invite all of our singing friends. 
  • Share the information about the Quilt Raffle.  Raffle tickets can be purchased on our website by clicking on the Shop OSC button at the top right corner of the home page.
  • Sell tickets to the show!  They can be purchased in Shop OSC on our website.
  • Bring your scoresheets for Build This Chorus or send them ahead of time to your team captain.
  • Bring guests (they don't have to wait until September 24th open house to visit us).
  • Bring your very best self!
WHERE YOUR MIND IS, THERE SHALL YOUR VOICE BE ALSO





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