Kathy's Korner

SUMMARY 2/19 - LOOK-AHEAD

posted Feb 20, 2019, 6:43 AM by Kathy Scheel

There were so many interesting things happening at chorus this week:
  • Show Meeting - Karen Wildman led our first meeting to talk about the December 7th show and there were about 12 people present.  Watch for an email from her with more information, as well as an opportunity to select a name for the show that is fresh and new.  Even though the show is in December, it's not just about the holidays; in fact, since it's also Pearl Harbor Day we'll be doing a couple of patriotic numbers.  If you'd like a sneak peak of the fabulous LoveNotes quartet (2014 International Quartet Champions - "Queens of Harmony") there are some great videos of them on youtube.  And you'll also get to see them up close and personal in Reno.  Here's one their most popular songs:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5rXQu9Flcc  
  • Valegrams - We heard some great stories from the groups who sang Valegrams, and Janice LaCombe shared that we made a profit of about $250 on this fundraiser.  
  • Reno ExpensesElaine Rosenberg led a discussion about the various options for OSC in Reno.  On Saturday (chorus contest day), we'll have a chorus breakfast that will include presentations and other fun activities to start our big day together, and that evening we'll have a dinner where I'll share the judges' scoresheets, we'll enjoy the entertainment from the many quartets who will stop to sing 1-2 songs (likely including the LoveNotes), and then dancing at the afterglow.  Members will receive an invoice in the agreed-upon amounts.  Elaine reminded everyone that the OSC Angel Fund is available to help any member with non-dues expenses such as Advance or Contest.  If you'd like a loan, see Finance Manager Cindy Meyers (all requests are kept confidential).
  • Anniversaries:  We will celebrate anniversaries on the first Tuesday of each month.  Last night, we recognized the following:
    • 7 years - Eileen Kemp.  Eileen is also celebrating her 40th year in Sweet Adelines this month!  CONGRATULATIONS!!
    • 9 years - Laurie Burk
    • 9 years - Toni Roush
    • 10 years - Kathy Smith
  • It was fun to share lots of the positive comments about our performance last Saturday in Canby, including our innovative staging and lighting.  It was great to show the audience some of our "spirit" and they thoroughly enjoyed our package.  Plus it was a good opportunity to go out and hone those performance skills!  Great job, ladies!!
Songs:
  • I'll Be Seeing You  
    • OO vowels need to be kept a bit more open and forward, not swallowed
    • Basses and tenors have a lot of the tonic note (B-flat) so work on maintaining that key throughout the song, especially the first chord after the intro, on "I'll".  Use a keyboard or PanoTuner app to train yourself.  
      Support phrase endings to sustain the sound
    • Move through phrases more naturally - speak them and then sing them with the same connection & flow
    • More "L" sound on "Lovely" and "Light"
    • "I'll" is always pronounced as AH-eel
    • It's really coming along nicely and we'll continue to add more artistry and finesse.  Record yourself and keep making it better and better each week.
  • After I'm Gone
    • Smoother phrases, more emphases on vowels (cannot ring chords on consonants so we want to minimize those).  Record yourself to check yourself on this.
    • The tempo is set on the breath at the end of the intro - will continue to work on unifying that.
    • Work on the visual plan so it becomes a part of your "muscle memory" and you'll have an easier time focusing on the vocal work.
    • Breaths must all be in the tempo of the song, very quick and energized.
    • The words "sinK" and "pinK" should have a hard K sound, followed by a VERY quick breath to maintain tempo.  Practice this several times before next Tuesday.  
    • Blend, blend, blend.
  • General notes:
    • We are in an excellent place on the two contest songs!  Thanks to everyone for the work you're doing to bring your very best self to rehearsals!  To quote a recent post on Facebook, "You practice for rehearsal, not during rehearsal."  Keep up the great work!
      Everyone is doing a good job and most of you have achieved 100% accuracy on notes and words.  YAY!  That's awesome!!  Now you can add all the wonderful things that enhance every song such as:
      • Pure/instant target vowels (EH, EE, AH, OH, OO)
      • Fully support phrase endings (especially soft passages)
      • Wide range of dynamics 
      • Smoother phrase flow - always
    • The riser chart will be adjusted to optimize the proper balance of the cone-shaped sound for barbershop.  
      • Baritones, mark your music where you are above the leads, and lighten your sound in those places.
      • Leads, mark your music where you are below the baritones, and bring those forward. 

Song Priorities:  Our next big performance is May 18th for the Willamette GirlChoir's (WGC) pops concert and we'll be working on a set similar to the one we performed last Saturday. Here are the songs we're planning to do:
  • OSC 
    • Happy Together (with choreography
    • Sweet Dreams (with lighted gloves)
    • Somebody to Love (with sections rockin' out)
    • And So it Goes 
    • Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (some choreography)
    • After I'm Gone
    • I'll Be Seeing You
    • Can't Buy Me Love  (maybe)
  • OSC + WGC
    • Fun in Just One Lifetime (a few OSC sing Part 1 with the girls)
    • Harmonize the World / We're the Future of the World
I received the sheet music for "Change the World" and will distribute it soon.  

NEXT WEEK (2/29)
  • 5:30 - Music team meeting
  • 6:30 - Choreography review
  • 7:00 - Announcements and fun stuff
  • 7:20 - Review songs
    • Can't Buy Me Love
    • Happy Birthday
    • The Parting Glass  (listen to the lovely Martini version - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9DE6GEjuMM)
    • Somebody to Love
    • I'll be Seeing You 
    • After I'm Gone



THIS 'n THAT

posted Feb 17, 2019, 8:31 AM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Feb 17, 2019, 5:10 PM ]

You ladies are wonderful!  Yesterday's performance in Canby was so satisfying and awesome for many reasons: your focus and personal work to get all of those songs performance-ready, your arrival at the venue 3 hours early to make up for lost time due to the cancellation of last weekend's coaching, the silliness and laughter you shared, and the genuine affection you have for one another that shines through in the pictures that were taken.  You sang beautifully and the audience truly enjoyed our performance!   In fact, three ladies gave us their names/contact information at the lovely OSC table that was set up in the lobby by Janet Owen and Diane Watson (and watched over by Patrick Owen, our biggest fan and best PR guy)!  So watch for a few more new guests to arrive soon!

Now we look ahead to what's coming up next for OSC:
  • New songs
  • Advance
  • Skill-Building 
  • Contest Prep
  • Send-Off Concert
NEW SONGS:  Three new songs are in the pipeline and I'll let you know when everything is ready for you to start learning them.
  • Change the World - tracks are being prepared and the sheet music is on the way.  I expect this one to get underway in early June so we can include in our show at the end of the year.
  • Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - we already own this song (in our music library), and the tracks will be prepared soon. This is a number we plan to sing on the pops concert with the Willamette GirlChoir on May 18.
  • Harmonize the World - this is a song that was traditionally sung by all choruses at the end of rehearsals (before How We Sang Today).  We will sing it on the May 18 pops concert while the young girls sing "We're the future, the hope of the world".  I'll be preparing learning tracks on that this week.
ADVANCE:  March 9-10 is a really special annual event for OSC.  It's a weekend dedicated to polishing the two contest songs, elevating them to a higher level as we absorb all the education and guidance provided by our coach, Lea Beverley.  A booklet will be issued soon to let you know what to expect, what to bring, the schedule, and more.  We'll have time to work on choreography, check costumes, do some fun craft projects, and of course, the annual talent show (hope you're all working up some kind of act; the more the better)!  Of course, a big part of the weekend is the strengthening of our sisterhood as we work and play together.  As Elaine Rosenberg noted last week, the chorus treasury will subsidize a portion of your cost (for those staying overnight) so you only pay $75 for 1 night's lodging plus 4 meals (Sat L-D, Sun B-L).  Everyone is expected to attend this important workshop specifically tailored for OSC and I'm so happy to hear that only 2 people will be missing on Saturday so we'll really have a great opportunity to solidify everything.

SKILL-BUILDING:  I invite anyone interested to come to my home from 12:00-4:00 or 5:30-7:30 on Thursdays to work on building your personal skills - including how to breathe to sing, showmanship, or whatever else you want to work on.  I would like to know how many to expect, so I ask that you send me a note on Wednesday to let me know if you're coming.  I will not charge a fee for OSC members; instead, I invite you to make a small donation to the chorus Angel Fund (give it to Cindy Meyers).  Another skill-building time will be our bonus session on April 6-7 at the Elks.    

CONTEST PREP:  Regional Competition is probably the most important single event on our calendar.  The weeks leading up to contest are when we get super-focused and experience a tremendous amount of progress, both personally and for the ensemble.  On May 4th, we get to perform for the entire region (and they love us) and also show the judges our musical growth and our spirited personality as a chorus, then get written feedback that will help propel us to the next step in our journey.  One of the steps leading up to this special performance is the EVERY member be 100% solid on both of the contest songs (of course, this applies to every song in our repertoire).  I ask that every singer send your recording of the two contest songs to your section leader immediately.  If you didn't record last Tuesday, you can sing along with a Lead track that's in our music library and send it today, so your section leader can review it and provide you with constructive feedback right away, giving you an opportunity to address any problem areas before the next rehearsal.  The work that you put into preparing for your audition to become a member of Oregon Spirit is the level of effort that is expected, and I have total faith and trust that you will achieve 100% by the end of February.  [At the time of this writing, 17 of our 31 singers have reportedly completed this goal.] 

In order to finalize the riser placement (which affects the sound and visual plan), I'm setting March 19 as the cutoff date for joining OSC and competing with us in Reno.  This will give everyone a solid six weeks (plus the April 6-7 weekend) to polish our set. [Please keep in mind that if an exceptionally talented and self-motivated individual walks in the door on March 26, I will use director's discretion to make the decision of whether that individual will be able to perform with us on the regional competition stage.]  


SEND-OFF SHOW:  On Tuesday, April 23, we'll do a pre-contest send-off show for our families & friends where we'll perform all of the songs that we did in Canby, plus Sister Act and the new ones for the pops concert as noted above.  This will be at the Elks and we'll need someone to organize a few things so please consider volunteering to help (room setup, simple decorations, snacks, fundraising project or donation jar, etc.).  



Our chorus family - a loving group of unique women who share your many gifts with each other joyfully.  Sisters singing, chords ringing feeds my soul. 










SUMMARY 2/12

posted Feb 13, 2019, 10:26 AM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Feb 13, 2019, 11:24 PM ]

Lots of good stuff happened last night!  First, we welcomed in two new members:  PAM WHITE and BARB USERA!  HOORAY!  These ladies bring with them many skills and talents and we're so happy they joined OSC!   

We loved Elaine Rosenberg's reminders about "Starting Out Right" - which prompts us to choose to do our very best each and every time we are together, and reminds us of the roadblocks that can get in the way of progress.  It's a great way to start the evening on a really positive note. 

Elaine also shared some financial matters with the chorus.  The members will be making some decisions about how to spend some funds earmarked for the OSC competition weekend.  Some of the choices will be: traditional pre-contest chorus breakfast, a sit-down post-contest chorus dinner, full or partial subsidizing of either, and maybe some other options.  Watch for more information from Elaine about this.   

Lynne Rice (Advance Chair) told us about our annual overnight "retreat" on March 9-10 at the Canby Grove Conference Center.  There will be a booklet issued that has everything you need to know, so watch for that in your email soon.  The fee for the weekend is $108, but the chorus treasury will subsidize $33 of that amount, so members only need to pay $75 for overnight lodging and four meals and all that education & coaching!  WOW - what a deal! 

Karlene Hancock presented the Spirited Sister boa (writing it down since she had no voice) to Janice LaCombe.  Janice is such a tremendous supporter of OSC and does so much for our fundraising efforts, having chaired the scrip program for many years, currently the Valegrams chair, and did facilities setup for several years.  Plus she's a great baritone! 

The LoveBugs quartet sang for us!  Janet Owen, JoAnn Perry, Janice LaCombe and Libby Stokes (former member) did a great job and are going to have a blast singing Valegrams. 

I taught a tag that I wrote for our GPS (Guiding Principle Slogan):  Sisters Singing, Chords Ringing Feeds My Soul.  I'll send it to you in an email so you can learn it and we'll sing it at the beginning of each rehearsal! 

On Thursday (2/14), a couple of leads are coming to my house to work on the songs at 1:00; other leads are welcome to come, too.  And if any of you (other parts) want to come and work at 2:00, let me know and we'll continue to work as long as you would like.  I want everyone to feel really good about the songs before Saturday. 

OSC is in need of a Competition Coordinator.  The main chairs are already underway, but we still need a chairman to be the primary contact for the region.  If you are interested in helping, please let Elaine Rosenberg and Norine Ask know right away as they need to notify the region.  You could co-chair it with someone and you will get guidance all along the way.  Norine Ask sent out an email with a list of the the competition committee:

  • Competition Chair:   TBD
  • Registration:  Tammy Flora
  • Lodging:  Karen Wildman
  • Meals:  TBD
  • Transportation:  Janet Owen
  • Charms:  TBD
  • Photos:  Eileen Kemp
  • Ads:  Diane Watson
  • Cards for competitors:  Judy Gobat

NEED TO KNOW FOR SATURDAY

  • We sure hope everyone gets healthy by then!  Your voice matters, especially since the group is smaller than originally anticipated.  I want to maximize the sound, so I'll need to make a few more tweaks to the riser chart still. Toss all previous copies.  
  • Mutual trust:
    • I trust YOU to make time every day to go through the songs so you're absolutely confident and will be able to perform freely and emotionally.  Your personal work is what makes the whole thing magical and joyful!
    • I ask that you trust ME to make the final decision on whether some songs are totally performance-ready or not.  If not, I will pull them from the show set and we'll sing them at the afterglow (more informal and no pressure). We'll still have a solid 20-minute package, so no worries.  
  • What to bring:
    • Costumes (watch for an email from our Costume Co-Chairs - Linda O'Donnell/Cindy Meyers). If you have a question, send them a note or text. 
    • Water bottles - you can refill in the fountains
    • Snacks - we'll be there from 12:00-4:30 so you may get hungry; we'll have food at the afterglow.
    • Mirrors, Kleenex, Q-tips, red lipstick
    • Props:  glow sticks, gloves, pizza box, dog
  • Makeup:  If you're not sure what heavy-heavy street makeup is, basically, you'll just be applying everything a bit heavier than normal so your face is beautiful and facial expressions are very clear under the bright stage lights.  We'll have a few ladies checking your makeup and helping you look lovely.
    • Foundation:  At least 1-2 shades darker than normal.  Don't spend a lot of money on this; just get something inexpensive.  Be sure it's applied down the neck so it blends past the neckline of the tunic.  No white necks (front & back).
    • Cheeks:  Pink tones (not orange tones). Blending is key!
    • Lipstick:  True red (not peach).  Line your lips first so the lipstick will stay on throughout the day.
    • Eyeshadow:  Brown shades, applied all the way up to the eyebrow
    • Mascara:  Black (false eyelashes are optional; I'm wearing mine)
    • Eyeliner:  Black - everyone needs it, so your eyes "pop" from afar
    • Eyebrows:  Black or dark brown - ditto above
    • I'll bring the chorus makeup kit for touch-ups.
  • Schedule:  Here's the general plan but the key is to remain flexible.
    • 12:00 -12:15 - Vocal warmups
    • 12:15 - 1:00 - Review the risers/staging plan
    • 1:00 - 2:00 - Rehearse the songs
    • 2:00-2:15 - Mic testing on stage
    • 2:15 - 2:30 - Rest, set up OSC lobby display, refresh  lipstick
    • 2:30 - 3:00 - Rehearse the set again - FOCUS
    • 3:00 - Showtime.  
      • We may be able to watch from the back of the auditorium. Last I heard, they hadn't sold the number of tickets they had hoped, so there may be seats in the back where we could watch the show and give them lots of support.  
      • At intermission we will quickly go to our rehearsal room and put on fresh lipstick and take a few cues, then we'll go backstage and get on the risers, as we open the second half of the show.  Everyone is totally focused at this point - anticipation is a delicious component of performing! 
      • After we perform, we can go back into the auditorium (very quietly) to watch the rest of the show, then go to the lobby to hug and shake hands.
      • At the afterglow we'll eat, sing, and celebrate our happiness in being able to perform!

SONGS: Here are a few notes on the songs that need the most "care and feeding".

    • I'll Be Seeing You - We made good progress on it last night but there are some lingering issues that may not be resolved by showtime:
      • Unity - everyone is not singing the same interpretive plan.  There is just one version; use the lead track that Kathy Smith sang.   Internalize the ebb and flow and let yourself truly feel the beauty of the poetry.
      • Tuning - 
        • Check your intervals with a piano or the PanoTuner app.  
        • Every time your part sings the tonic note (B-flat), check to be sure it's above the note (not under) - especially basses and tenors who have that tonic note repeatedly in your part.
        • Download a pitchpipe app on your phone or computer and play a continuous B-flat while you sing.  That's "home base" and everyone can work on training your voice to stay in that key.  
      • Quick, emotion-filled, happy breaths!  This is such a lovely nostalgic message so your emotional intention will lighten it and add a totally positive feeling for the audience.
    • Fun in Just One Lifetime 
      • Blend - Voices are sticking out of the sound throughout this song.  If it continues to be an issue on Saturday, we'll just go back to everyone singing the entire song together like we've done in the past.  That's an easy fix  
      • Balance - Part of my adjustments to the riser chart will be to fix some of the balance was between the two sides (realizing that we had some voices missing last night).  
      • Choppiness - This is especially evident in Part 2.  In order to sing it with much more vowel sounds (and just the bare minimum of consonants), try this:  
        • Sing a couple of phrases on loo-loo and notice how there is no break in sound between the words, the airflow and sound continues without interruption as it's all sung on one steady column of air.  Then sing the actual words with exactly the same tone flow and connection.  
        • Put your hand on top of a table pretend you are wiping the top as you sing - notice how the phrase smooths out.  
    • After I'm Gone 
      • This is really close to being ready and I'll send you the recording I made so you can hear how it's sounding. There are still a few things to clean up and we'll have time to do that on Saturday.
      • When we incorporate the visual plan, the sound suffers and sync issues occur, so use the recording to rehearse the choreography/characterization while singing at the right speed using quick/energized breaths in the tempo of the song.  You're doing really well on the fun visual plan (and thanks, Elaine, for fixing a few problem spots for us).  Look in the mirror and see if your facial expressions and body language are "big" enough to get across the footlights.   

I know that we're going to put on a really wonderful performance - as we always do!  It's so much fun to share our music with people (and remember, every time we're in public is an opportunity for membership recruitment).

 

See you Saturday!

 

 

 

 

 

JOB OPENING !!

posted Feb 7, 2019, 8:59 PM by Kathy Scheel

As all of you know, we've been blessed with the incredible organizational skills of Diane Watson in the role of Performance Coordinator for the past few years.  Diane has also been active on our Chorus Management Team (CMT) as our Marketing Coordinator.  Those are two very important jobs being handled by one woman and she is now ready to let the Performance Coordinator job go to someone else.  It's been a lot of fun meeting with prospective clients as well as seeking out new performing opportunities and last year, through Diane's efforts, we earned over $1000 singing in our communities!  Performances are valuable opportunities for our singers to hone their skills, increase OSC's visibility in the community, and recruit new members.

Diane would like to start mentoring/training her replacement in March, so let her know if you are interested in learning more about the position.  Here are the main skills required to be successful:
  • Strong communications skills 
  • Self-motivated 
  • Some spreadsheet knowledge (can be trained)
Position Summary:  Act as chorus contact for all public performances by the chorus. Provide information to the Director and chorus to determine the feasibility of the performance.  Work with the client and Director, to ensure logistical needs are fulfilled and communicated to the chorus. 

Tasks and Responsibilities: 
  1. Respond to performance inquiries in a professional and timely manner. 
  2. Contact Director immediately to determine her availability.  
  3. Notify chorus (by email)  in order to determine singer availability so Director can assess proper balance of parts. 
  4. Tabulate responses using Excel spreadsheet and email to Director for review and final approval on acceptance of the performance.  Communicate with the Chorus when this performance has been accepted.
  5. Negotiate performance fee with the client. Guidelines are:
    • Ask contact what their entertainment budget is for the event.
    • If they do not have a budget or are unsure, request $200 for a 20-minute performance. There may be occasions when it is appropriate to charge no fee as a way to “give back” to our community. The fee is higher for longer performances.
    • If contact is hesitant or unsure of funding, ask how many people are expected to attend the event and suggest they each contribute/donate $1-2, whichever amount will provide OSC with a minimum of $200.
    • It is important to keep the Director in the loop in all phases of the negotiations.  
  6.  Follow up with client to get and send a confirmation email with all specifics; date, time, fee and any special set-up needs. If possible, visit the site and photograph the set-up and send to the Director.
  7. Post information on the OSC website/Performance Central.
  8. On the day of the performance, ensure that the performance fee is collected and given to the OSC Finance Manager.

 

If you are interested or even curious, please send a note to diane.watson@oregonspirit.org.  And next time you see her, give her a warm hug for all her work to bring OSC and our music to the community!


 


MUSIC MATTERS

posted Feb 7, 2019, 8:36 PM by Kathy Scheel

What do I do on snow days?  I work on music for my wonderful chorus!   I’ve had a song on my piano for severalmonths now and I’ve decided that now’s time to reveal it.  But first, I want to share a bit of information with you about music arrangements.  For the past couple of years, the whole music industry has been upended by some new requirements by Hal Leonard Publishing, and it became very expensive to purchase new music – to tune of ~$350 per song (40 copies).  The recommendation from Sweet Adelines International, while they were negotiating with the company, was to use music already owned by the chorus, or try to find songs in the public domain.  There were people tasked with working out the issues and there has a recent development that satisfies Hal Leonard Publishing, so lots of arrangers are placing their songs on Sheet Music Plus (SMP) which has sure generated a lot of excitement and chatter among barbershoppers!  For the last couple of years, I’ve tried to save OSC some money by bringing out some of our former songs, but I know that some of you are as antsy as me in getting something totally new!

Change the World is a really cool Eric Clapton song arranged by Deke Sharon & David Wright and I’ve been waiting for the right moment to get it going.  This song is rhythmic and just feels really good to listen to, and I’m sure you’ll get hooked on it like I am.  Learning tracks will be done by Jen Cooke and she’s making a few changes for me so it matches the music (her 30-second sample was a customized version for another chorus), but I looked on YouTube and found a guy singing all 4 parts of the exact same arrangement (but  voiced for men).  

Here's the link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1U67DaKjE4

I’ve ordered the sheet music and it should be here in a couple of weeks (electronic copies not available to order) – and it only cost $121 (plus shipping)!  All you have is the audio for now – tease!  If you’re not familiar with the lyrics and can’t quite understand them on the youtube, here they are: 

If I could reach the stars; pull one down for you.

Shine it on my heart, so you could see the truth.

That this love I have inside, is everything it seems.

But for now I find, it’s only in my dreams.

And I can change the world.  I will be the sunlight in your universe.

You would think my love was really something good, baby, if I could change the world.

 If I could be queen, even for a day.

I’d take you as my king, I’d have it no other way.

And our love would rule, this kingdom we had made.

Til then I’d be a fool, wishing for the day

That I can change the world. I will be the sunlight in your universe.

You would think my love was really something good, baby, if I could change -- the world.

 Of course, we’ll be focused mainly on the contest songs for the next couple of months, but we’ll also need to work on the songs for the May 18th performance on the Willamette GirlChoir’s pops concert.  They want us to do some contemporary(ish) songs, so the current plan for our 15-minute performance package is: 

  • Sweet Dreams Eurythmics (w/glow sticks & lighted gloves)
  • And So It Goes – Bill Joel
  • Somebody to Love – Queen
  • Happy Together – Turtles
  • After I’m Gone  humor
  • I’ll Be Seeing You – luscious barbershop chords
  • OR MAYBE instead of the two contest songs, we’d be able to sing:
    • Change the World  ??  and....
    • Girls Just Wanna Have Fun ?? (this is a previous OSC song that was really fun to sing and would be perfect for the WGC)
  • PLUS, we are planning/hoping that OSC and WGC can do 1-2 easy songs together.  I sent a couple of songs to their director to review and have offered to come and help teach the songs  to the girls (with some help from a few of you).  Those songs are:
    • Fun in Just One Lifetime – the girls would sing Part 1 with a few OSC singers to help;  and OSC would sing Part 2; then the mash-up.
    • Harmonize the World (OSC)  / We’re the Future (WGC) – similar to “Fun” in that it’s two separate songs that are then sung together.  Super easy song that used to be our regional song before we started doing How We Sang Today.

 Personally, I’d love to have a couple of new songs to sing for our friends & families who come and support us so lovingly 😊  Hmmm…

Looking ahead, I’ll be talking with the music team about introducing more music in the coming months: 

  • A novelty song with some opportunity for percussion (i.e., slapping, clapping, or drumming)
  • Hopefully, my original song that’s currently being custom-arranged.
  • A new Christmas song for our December 7th show
  • A new barbershop uptune 

That’s all for now.


 

SUMMARY 2/5 and LOOK-AHEAD

posted Feb 6, 2019, 1:00 AM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Feb 6, 2019, 8:19 AM ]


WOW - WOW - WOW!   You were singing so well tonight - what a wonderful difference it makes when everyone BREATHES together (and knows the music)!  It improves synchronization (the basis of all ensemble singing) and makes everything fall into place!  Thanks for your focus and energy tonight, especially since I'm sure some of you were concerned about whether the roads would be safe on your way home.  We missed those who couldn't make it and look forward to seeing them again next week.

Before I provide some feedback on the songs in our performance package, I want to mention what may happen this weekend (Feb 9-10).  It looks like there is a chance of snow on Saturday night, so Elaine and I will be in touch with each other and will make a decision by about 2:00pm on Thursday, so keep a close eye on your emails for updates.  We are hoping we won't need to cancel our coaching with Tori Postma, but it will depend on the timing of the snow event.  If it's not expected until Saturday evening, we will very likely still be able to get a full day with her on Saturday, but may need to cancel Sunday.  I've only heard from 2 people who cannot attend, so it should be a great day of singing and learning, sprinkled with plenty of laughter and fun (you're gonna love Tori)!  I'll post a more detailed schedule in a separate Kathy's Korner on Thursday but be prepared to sing many of the songs that we're working on (not just the two contest songs, although they will be the focus of the sessions).  Keep posted!

Tonight (2/5) there was some really good singing and I sure appreciate the work you're all putting in to make sure you are rock solid on the songs.  Now that you know the notes & words, it's time to add in the passion, emotion, energy, humor, body language, facial expressions, and all the other facets of a really great performance that the audience will remember.  Dig deep and find that passion and let it fly (while maintaining a tremendous focus on the fine points of ensemble singing).  If it's something that's foreign to you, hey, fake it till ya make it and you'll become more and more comfortable with that element of performance.  But it takes lots of practice and repetition ... start now, and video yourself about once every but don't delete your first video - it's good for measuring your progress!

Here are the notes for each song - some of these are slightly different from the notes on the package that I sent you as we made a few improvements when we ran through the songs:

HAPPY TOGETHER (pitch:  B)
  • Great job!  Basses kept that tempo moving forward with energy (and doing the penguin slap), and the tenors, baritones, and leads did a nice job in showing the audience the fun of this number.  
  • Leads, you have a tendency to be just a bit late on your attacks (first notes of phrase), so work on really feeling that tempo and breathing just a fraction of a second earlier so you're right on time.  
  • Homework for everyone:
    • Practice the choreography.  I'll be singing with you so you can take your cues from me, but it's much better if you know it on your own, and can perform with total confidence.  By the way, I'm using both hands for the "I can't see me lovin' nobody but you" phrases; you'll only use your outside hand.
    • Practice with a metronome set at 132 bpm.
ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE (pitch: F)
  • Leads move towards the front (but maybe not into the "V" - tbd); baritones move back to the risers (but stay towards the front); tenors move up one row; basses stay on top.
  • The intro is very gentle and retrospective: leads sing it more softly, and tenors be ready to come in on time with a pure vowel.  
  • Basses, keep on the upper side of all the notes on page 1, "finding your love".
  • Baritones, need more of you on the end of the intro, "your love".
  • Sing the phrase "that trembles on the brink of a lovely song"
  • Always keep that tonic note (F) running in your head, and tune to the leads.
  • Every breath has meaning and emotion - add energy into the breaths throughout the song.
  • On m44, I want to hold the chord longer on "-day" so take a big breath and be prepared for that.
  • The tag should start somewhat soft and gradually build.  Work on that.
  • Homework for everyone:
    • Sing the intro and check to be sure you're staying in pitch (F), if so keep going; if not, do it again.  Train yourself to stay in key.
    • Work on the tag - it's fairly high for everyone, so sing it with no tension.
GO, TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN (pitch:  G)
  • Move into sections for this one. Do it deliberately, no wandering around - plan your route.
  • This song is sounding really good, but remember that when the tenors start singing, they have the melody so all the other parts should back off on the volume a bit.
  • Sing this directly to the audience for the first couple of pages, until I come back to the middle - then eyes on me.
  • Basses remember to listen for the tenor note on the tag so it's a perfectly tuned octave (which means singing it just a tad bit higher).
SISTER ACT (pitch:  C - this is raised from B )
  • As I'm introducing the song, the octet moves forward to the center mics while the rest of you move towards to edges of the risers and sit down.  You'll watch the octet perform, giving them your love and support, but don't clap when they're done (since they are an extension of us).
  • As they are singing, someone will get the gloves and glow sticks. They'll be under a black towel on the top riser; since they will be out of sight, the glow sticks can be turned "on" when we enter the stage during intermission.
SWEET DREAMS (pitch:  E - this is raised from D#)
  • As soon as the octet is done singing, I'll go to the mic and talk to the audience while you get the glow sticks and gloves ready and move into the long one-line semicircle.  The lights will stay on bright white so it won't be real obvious as you pull out the glow sticks and hold them at about waist level with your hands touching your neighbors'.  The 6 ladies will put the gloves on and come forward.  Then the lights will go out, the gloved ladies will turn around, and the audience will get the full effect.  I'll count 1-2-3 and we'll sing it to the delight of the audience.  (Baritones check your notes; I heard some errors.
PEACE ON EARTH (pitch:  B)
  • Remove the glow sticks and gloves and store them under the black towel as Elaine is introducing the next song, setting the mood for the audience.  
  • The gloved ladies will merge into the long semi-circle so scoot outward to make room for them.
  • This song has a strong and powerful message so rehearse it with a great amount of meaning.  Are you allowing your body to move just a bit?  Are your eyes sparkling and alive? Think of what YOU would like to see when you go to a concert - become THAT performer!
AND SO IT GOES (pitch:  D# - this is raised from D)
  • Move into friendship pods, look at each other, give support for the lost love that's depicted in this song. It's okay to look at each other briefly, as long as you don't get out of sync or lose sight of the director, so pick those places carefully and don't linger.
  • The higher key should be easier to sing for the basses/baritones.  
  • Baritones, check your notes on this; there are some audible errors.
  • There are some sections that need to move along more, so watch me carefully - really FEEL the ebb and flow of the poetry.
  • There are also some really strong dynamics in a few places, and also a few really tender places - just like our feelings.  My body language is real clear, so when in doubt just do what you see me doing with my face and body language (not my hands - ha!).
I'LL BE SEEING YOU (pitch:  B-flat)
  • Move into regular chorus position.  There were some voices sticking out of the sound tonight so I may make some adjustments to this before the next rehearsal.  Always sing within the sound around you; never louder than your neighbor.  Listen to those around you and don't try to lead your section with your voice.  We're an ensemble and it's all about blend and teamwork.
  • This song is coming along nicely but there are still lots of sync issues from not knowing the interpretive plan, and some of you still singing word-for-word, so think of the phrases and speak-sing.
  • Give a little more emphasis to the L on "lovely" and "light" at the bottom of page 1.
  • Homework for everyone:
    • Work on the interpretive plan for this song so it's a very natural and flowing delivery of a nostalgic message.  Every singer should approach this as if they must sing it in for an audition or in a quartet in front of the chorus.  Work to be THAT solid.
    • Smooth out the phrase delivery by focusing on the primary vowels (and barely any consonants).  Bubble a phrase and feel the freedom and lack of tension of airflow; now sing the phrase that same way.
    • Send your recording to your section leader today.  The sooner you do this, the sooner you'll get the evaluation notes and will know what to work on, and what you're doing well.
    • Sing with the Lead track by Smitty to get the feel of the interpretive plan.  Memorize how it flows.
    • Video yourself to see what you are actually doing when you sing.  Then have a glass of wine and do it again. heh-heh
AFTER I'M GONE (pitch:  F)
  • Stay in regular chorus position and get the props ready when I'm telling the audience the scenario.  
  • The notes are basically correct (just a few errors scattered here and there), but the main thing that needs work is BREATHING TOGETHER IN TEMPO.  Some of you are still taking inefficient chest breaths that makes you late, so try this:  Lay down on the floor on your back, set the metronome at 164 bpm, and sing thru it.  Even speaking through it will work.  You'll feel your tummy popping up and down as you breathe from your diaphragm.  Now reproduce that feeling when you stand up.  It takes practice and a real consciencious effort on your part, but I know that you all want to sing your best, and that comes from stronger vocal skill, which don't happen overnight.  Work on it continuously and you'll love the way you feel when you suddenly realize that you're having a BLAST on stage!  That' where you wanna be!
  • Some rhythmic problems here and there, most of which are the result of not breathing together in the planned places and losing tempo.
  • Just before the first key change, be sure to breathe together quickly after "everywhere" (before "There's).  
  • I could see that many of you need to work on the visual/characterization plan.  Don't wait - get started now because the best performance comes when you are focused on good singing, because you've got the physical/facial plan totally automatic (muscle memory).  
  • Homework:
    • Lay on the floor (as described above), and sing with the metronome at 164 bpm.
    • Sing with the Lead track by Elaine.  There are just two missing on that track: the little oopsy sound at the end of m54 after "floor", and the loving sigh just before the tag.
    • Practice the visual plan (especially the characterization) by going thru the written plan (in the music library folder for this song), and watching the youtube video:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvvl4hemV6E&feature=youtu.be 
      • Note:  I just listened to the video and I'm definitely rushing the beat in areas, so mainly look at the different facial expessions and the freedom of movement - never standing completely still - lots of body language.  There are some places where you will be reacting to someone/something and those are noted int he written plan.  I'll do another video when I get dressed again - ha! Or if we are able to get together this weekend, we'll make a good video for everyone.  But go ahead and work on it every day so you can think about SINGING well.  The more you do it, the easier and more natural it becomes - have fun!
FUN IN JUST ONE LIFETIME (pitch:  F)
  • Take one step to the outside (on my cue) so there are two evenly balanced choruses - Part 1 and Part 2.   Everyone sings the intro, then Part 1 sings while Part 2 turns and looks at them; then Part 2 sings while Part 1 turns and looks at them. Then everyone sings the tag together.
  • The Part 2 group needs to work on smoothing out the phrases and not allowing voices to stick out of the sound.  
  • Some of you (including some who are not performing) don't know the lyrics on this, so be sure you really know it.
  • Homework:
    • Sing with more focus on VOWELS and much less consonants.
    • Breathing plan:  "And let me write a song for the world to sing and I'll have fun (breath) in just one lifetime" - every time we sing this phrase, this is the breathing plan (some of you are breathing after "sing").
After the last song, you'll continue smiling (with teeth showing) while the audience applauds and the curtain is closed.  Someone will pick up the props, sticks, and gloves, and we'll leave the stage quickly and quietly and go around and enjoy the rest of the show.  There is a men's quartet (Local Boyz) after us, then the host chorus (Oregon Trail Pitchpipers), so we probably shouldn't go clear up to the balcony.  We'll find a place for us to go that will not be disruptive.  It's possible there will be open seats in the back of the main floor, so we'll scope it out.  Then there is a curtain call at the end of the show, and I'm sure we'll be expected to come onto the stage.   The men have a song similar to our "How We Sang Today" that they traditionally sing at the end of their shows.  Go to youtube and enter Keep the Whole World Singing (barbershop) and you'll hear the song so you can get familiar with it; here are the lyrics: 
Keep the whole world singing all day long.  Watch goodwill come a'winging on a song.
Smile the while you are singing, oh, carry your part. 
Keep a melody ringing and ringing in your heart.

After the show, we'll go over to the afterglow and sing a few songs and learn a few tags with the guys and have a great time unwinding.  

If we are not able to have a full weekend of coaching this coming weekend (due to the stupid timing of the snow), we may need to come to Canby earlier than 1:30 so we can get some much-needed practice in and get really prepared to wow 'em.  I'll let you know about that as soon as possible but please be flexible and prepared for whatever happens.  We all want the same thing:  to put on a really good performance and earn that awesome $400 they are paying us to be special guests on their show.  

As Marcia Pinvidic said last weekend at AIM, rehearse your standing ovation performance.  



SUMMARY - 1/29; PLAN - 2/5

posted Jan 30, 2019, 10:19 AM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Jan 30, 2019, 10:23 AM ]

What a wonderful evening with all of you!  I loved the presentation by Team Leader Elaine Rosenberg, helping us identify the goals for the evening, as well as what might prevent us from reaching those goals, and what will help us reach those goals!  Thanks, Elaine, for the really positive and loving approach to our time together, and to everyone for working on your craft and bringing the best of yourselves to rehearsals. 

We sure missed several of our singers and hope you're all better and will be back next week!  Each voice makes such a tremendous difference!

I'll be tweaking the performance plan (songs, lighting, script) for a few more days and will post that here on Kathy's Korner so check back here frequently for updates.  Here are my notes on each song:
  • HAPPY TOGETHER
    • It's sounding pretty good but some of you need to work on the choreography so you can build "muscle memory" and can do it easily and freely while singing beautifully.
    • Basses - you're doing a great job of keeping that tempo up - yay!
    • Baritones - need more "beef" but you were missing a couple of voices last night
    • Leads -  take quicker, in-tempo breaths cuz you're just a smidge behind on the beginnings of phrases
    • Tenors - more energy please
  • SISTER ACT
    • Needs more work by everyone in order to be performance-ready.  
    • Be ready to sing when the pitch is blown.  We have to restart this song every time.  
    • Basses - be ready to sing that first note solidly; and Leads be ready to sing that bell chord immediately.
    • Horizontal tuning is an issue (intervals from note-to-note) as well as energy and forward motion. It starts getting a big bogged down by about halfway thru.
    • Know your part and how it works with the others, as well as where the key change happens (late in the song).  That's when magic happens!  Sing this song over & over with Speed of Sound!
    • Read the lyrics and internalize the message that you're telling the audience (and each other) - then sing it with that intention (beyond mere notes and words)!
  • FUN IN JUST ONE LIFETIME
    • The main issue on this is the choppy delivery which is really affecting UNITY/SYNC.  Work on singing more VOWELS and minimizing/softening all those consonants so the line is smoother.
    • Try singing it on DOO-DOO and feel/hear how seamless it sounds; now just add the barest amount of consonants and try to maintain that smooth delivery.  This is one of the basic concepts of great barbershop singing and it takes focused practice but I know you can do it.
    • Also, look at the breathing pattern - many of you are breathing between m31-32, but there is no breath there - it's not until m33 (same with the end of the second verse and the tag)
  • ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE
    • This is sounding pretty good but we'll need more work on synchronized swimming - I mean - singing!    
    • Every breath should be emotional and energized (and synchronized) not just to sing the next phrase, but to really convey the message of every phrase.  Look at those lyrics - get passionate about selling the song - and you'll find a whole new level of performance!
    • Leads - be careful to listen more to each other and not let your voice stick out of the sound.  Blend-blend-blend.
  • GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN
    • This is a great song and the audience will love it, but work on finishing every phrase completely and not cut them off abruptly.  Stay musical throughout.
    • There are some unity problems in each section, so just stay in the tempo and we'll be great.
    • Perform directly to the audience, instead of "thru" me.
    • Tenors - internalize the tempo as it's coming across the risers from each section and take an in-tempo breath to start your melody; it's often just a tad behind the beat.
  • SWEET DREAMS
    • Another great song for us that the audience will love not only for the music you make, but also for the unique presentation (singing in the dark with lighted gloves).
    • The chorus will need to internalize the tempo because I'm not actually directing it; I'll be doing the glove thing.
    • I've got the gloves and we'll turn the lights out at our session with Tori so you can play with them and figure out how to push the buttons, etc. 
    • Gloved ladies are:  Elaine, Karlene, Janice, Denise, Amy, me.  I sent you the video so work on the moves.  We will work on unifying our hand positions, etc. 
  • PEACE ON EARTH
    • Another beautiful song, but it's getting a little stale, so dig deep to make it meaningful every time you sing it.
    • On "sisters all are we"  just look BRIEFLY at the person next to you, don't linger there.
    • Baritones - fix the notes on the tag on "and let it begin..."
  • AND SO IT GOES
    • This song has a much lighter/softer feel to it so you can really evoke the poignant message.  Sing it from the heart but with a gentle touch. 
    • I'll work out the clumps so it's more balanced.
  • I'LL BE SEEING YOU
    • The tuning is nice , but many of you are not yet embracing the interpretive plan so it feels like there are sharp edges. This is because of focusing on individual notes & words instead of on smoother, flowing phrases.  Trust yourselves that you know those notes & words, and allow the message to come through freely.
    • Look at the lyrics of this nostalgic song and work on selling the feeling of fond memories, always with a lovely smile in the eyes.
    • Sing along with the Lead track (sung by Smitty) that's in the music folder in order to internalize the interpretive plan so we can work on UNITY.  I'm attaching the recording at the bottom of this post for your convenience.

  • AFTER I'M GONE
    • Elaine refreshed the characterization/visual plan for this fun song.  The written plan is in the music folder so everyone is fully expected to be working on this every time you rehearse at home so you're building muscle memory.  Elaine or I will make a video for you soon, but go ahead and play with it on your own - starting now.  The sooner you do this, the quicker the whole chorus will make progress on the song.  Individuals make the difference!
    • Tempo is a big issue, so work on taking quick, in-tempo breaths at 164 bpm.  Sing along with the Lead track (sung by Elaine) that's in the music folder in order to internalize the rhythmic plan so we can work on UNITY. 
    • There are a few small tweaks to the plan and I'll be updating the sheet music in the next day or so:
      • m54 - remember to do a quick/tiny "whoop" on the end of "kitchen floor" 
      • m72 - add more H on the word "hungry"
      • m93 - lyrics are now "clothes turned pink" and are all half notes 
      • m115 - add a loving sigh before the tag
You'll likely notice that a lot of my comments are related to expressive, artistic, meaningful singing.  Work to go wayyyy behind just the right notes and words and move into the exciting world of musicality and salesmanship.


NEXT WEEK (Feb 5)
  • Bass sectional (5:30-6:40 in the Nest)
  • 1-2 Valegrams groups perform
  • Focus on songs that need the most work (as noted above)
  • Bring props for After I'm Gone
  • Everyone off the sheet music on all performance songs
  • Everyone committed to the Feb 16 performance attend every rehearsal
  • Hug each other and say something kind - share your warmth and joy of being together
WEEKEND OF FEB 9-10

TORI POSTMA will be in the house!  

I'm so excited to have her back again and as a Showmanship Judge, she'll help us dig deeper into our salesmanship & singing skills.  We'll focus on the contest songs, but will also show her our plan for a few other songs, so be prepared for lots of stop-n-go (refer to my coaching protocol post of a couple weeks ago).  You will absolutely adore Tori's warmth and sense of humor, but she's a lot like me in taking the barbershop art form seriously and wants only the very best from each of you to create a truly beautiful and authentic performance.  That takes YOUR individual work, and then the freedom to share your voice and blend it into the ensemble sound.  

Here's the basic plan for that weekend:
  • Saturday
    • 9:00-5:00 coaching.
    • 5:00 - dinner together somewhere with our coach (someone please plan ahead for this) 
    • Bring lunches, new tunics, snacks, props
  • Sunday
    • 9:00-2:00 coaching
    • 2:30 - CMT meeting


VOCAL TIPS, SUMMARY 1/22, AND LOOK-AHEAD

posted Jan 23, 2019, 9:27 PM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Jan 23, 2019, 9:55 PM ]

We're sure on a roll this year with guests Betty Jo Kraus, Monica Streight, Dagmar Amrein, Paula Hotaling, Barb Usera, and Pam White.  And we're so pleased that we also had two successful auditions last night:  Pam White and Barb Usera will soon become members of OSC!   

VOCAL SKILL-BUILDING

 After rhythmic warmups by Judy Gobat, we did some vocal skill-building and you can practice these at home:

  • Posture - Make a circle in front of your body, like holding a large barrel, and just keep your head out of the barrel. Notice how erect your body alignment becomes.  This is the optimum posture for your instrument, so check yourself frequently and it will become your new normal.
  • Bend your knees slightly and you can feel the lower abdominal muscles engage.  This is a simple way to strengthen those muscles that tend to be ignored (not used) over the years.  Those are the muscles that initiate the upward lift that moves the air out of the lungs, through the vocal tract, and out your mouth for singing!
  • Take a big breath and blow it all out.  Did you notice how your ribs naturally relax/collapse a bit when you blow out the air?  Now try this - take a big breath and blow it all out but just resist collapse of the ribcage.  You'll feel the upward lift of the lower abdominal muscles, moving that air out of the lungs, through the vocal tract, and out your mouth.  Singing!
  • Pretend you are going to yawn and just before you go into a full-blown yawn, you'll feel the slight "widening" of the space in the back wall of the throat, the nostrils, the soft palate lift.  Now sing a note into that space that you just created.  Breathe into that "pre-yawn" space every time! It takes conscious practice, but it will add a tremendous amount of resonance to your sound.  When everyone approaches singing with a resonant sound, the chorus will achieve a greater degree of unity (no individual voices sticking out).
  • Sing the primary vowels all on one note - EE, EH, AH, OH, OO.  Focus on creating pure vowel sounds, and a seamless delivery with great smoothness.
  • To expand your vocal range, do sirens every day.  Make sure you are supporting the sound (abdominal lift) and have a very relaxed jaw and tongue.  Keep going higher and higher, then lower and lower.
  • Check for tension in your tongue/jaw by doing this:  Hold your jaw with your fingers pressed into your cheeks so that your molars are apart.  You'll know you're doing it right when you cannot swallow - this means your tongue is out of use!  Now sing a few notes; don't worry about pronunciation, just focus on the basic sound.  It should be free and relaxed and lovely!
    • Basses - relax and allow your upper/head voice into the sound (like a light soprano).  Absolutely no muscle!
    • Tenors - relax and make lots of space in the back of your throat, like a dome.  No tension in your tongue/jaw.
  • Record yourself frequently to check your progress and your accuracy.  YOU are your own best vocal teacher!

 

NEWS 'n STUFF

  • Denise Taylor asked everyone for input on the redesign/upgrade of our chorus website.  Please let her know your thoughts before Jan 31.
  • Diane Watson got a show of hands for going to the afterglow following our performance in Canby.  It was voted to attend, and OSC will perform!
  • Sara Amato presented the Spirited Sister boa to Karlene Hancock.  Well deserved for her wonderful positive attitude every week.

MUSIC

  • The performance package for February 16 will be posted in a separate Kathy's Korner so you'll see that soon.  We're going to have some fun staging and lighting effects, but the main thing is to SING and PERFORM really well.  That comes from KNOWING the music and ATTENDING rehearsals every week.  I'll be doing the riser placement next Tuesday night and I won't know if it's working (sound-wise) unless all the voices are there.  
  • We reviewed several songs tonight:
    • And So it Goes 
    • Fun in Just One Lifetime
    • All the Things You Are
    • Go Tell it on the Mountain
  • Contest songs:
    • After I'm Gone - Sounds like most of you know this but in sectionals, I'm still hearing some confusion about the interpretation/rhythms.  There's a really good Lead track (by Elaine Rosenberg) so sing along with that and you'll get it.  Practice it at home with a metronome at 164 bpm.  The best way to maintain tempo is to take quick, energized (pre-yawn) breaths every time.  Have you achieved 100% on this song?  Where are the places that need work?  Do you know the interpretive plan?  
    • I'll Be Seeing You - You recorded it for self-evaluations last night, and I expect everyone to be completely off the sheet music by now.  If you're not quite there, do the work to make it happen, okay?!!  No more music on the risers (except for new people) so we can all focus on unity and artistry.
    • Strive for 100% accuracy on all the songs in our repertoire.  

LOOKING AHEAD

  • January 29
    • Leads sectional with me at 5:30 next Tuesday in the Nest.  Please be vocally prepared ahead of time.
    • At rehearsal we'll review the entire performance package, so be prepared by doing your homework and we'll make great progress.  Be sure to bring your recorders to the risers so you can get the most current interpretive plan for all the songs. We have just a few rehearsals left before our Canby gig (Jan 29, Feb 5, 9, 10, and 12) and we need ALL your voices/bodies present each week to work on the presentation so it's top-notch entertainment!  
      • Happy Together - light choreography and staging
      • Sister Act 
      • Fun In Just One Lifetime - split chorus
      • All the Things You Are
      • Go Tell it on the Mountain - some staging, in sections
      • Sweet Dreams - staging and limited choreography
      • Peace on Earth
      • And So it Goes - some staging
      • I'll Be Seeing You - totally memorized!
      • After I'm Gone - choreography
  • February 5 - Bass sectional with me in the Nest at 5:30.
  • February 9-10 - Coaching weekend with Tori Postma!! I'll post the schedule on a Kathy's Korner soon.  I'm expecting EVERY singer there to absorb all the wonderful things she'll bring to us!  You definitely won't want to miss it, and we'll work mostly on the two contest songs, but will also have some time to work on a few other songs in our 2/16 performance package.   
  • We have several members who have not had the pleasure of working with an outside coach, and there is a bit of etiquette when it comes to coaches, such as:
    • Avoid talking on the risers.  We are paying the coach a fee and we want to maximize our time with her.  Also, the talking is a distraction to what she (or I) want to work on.  If someone talks to you, just smile and point to the person in front (the coach or me or whoever is talking), and keep focused.  
    • Allow the coach the relax and unwind during lunch break.  Try not to bombard her with comments/questions.
    • If you do have a question during the coaching session, wait and see if it's answered later. I know that some of you ask a question because you want others to know something (you're so thoughtful).
    • If you don't agree with something the coach says/does, please keep your thoughts private.  
    • When changes are made, try your best to do them (no complaining or whining).  After the coaching sessions are over, I'll make a decision on what changes we do/do not incorporate.  
  • February 12 through contest (early May) we'll be rehearsing from 6:30-9:30 each week.  

 

 

 

 

PLAN - Jan 22

posted Jan 20, 2019, 8:29 PM by Kathy Scheel

Here is a list of the songs we'll rehearse on Tuesday, January 22:

  • And So it Goes
  • Go Tell it on the Mountain
  • All the Things You Are
  • I'll Be Seeing You 
  • Fun in Just One Lifetime
  • After I'm Gone



SUMMARY - 1/15/19

posted Jan 16, 2019, 8:40 AM by Kathy Scheel

YAY - Another fun night welcoming guests who we hope will become full time members:
  1. Frances Beranbaum - lead
  2. Pam White - lead
  3. Monica Streight - lead
  4. Bree Thompson - lead
  5. Betty Jo Kraus - baritone
  6. Dagmar Amrien - bass
  7. Barb Usera - bass 
We started the evening with rhythmic warmups led by Amy Amato, then moved right into vocal skill-building exercises.  Be sure to always bring your recorder/smart phone to the risers so you can record all these exercises that you can use throughout the week to continue to build strength, agility, and range in your voice, plus the reminders about vowel matching and other helpful hints on becoming a stronger, more skilled ensemble singer.

Toni Roush presented the Spirited Sister boa to Sara Amato.  Well deserved - Sara always works hard to know her material, is a really sweet woman, and a terrific mom to Amy!

We also passed around the Red Ball of Positive Energy - maybe we'll do a smaller version of this again soon.

REVIEWED:
  • Sweet Dreams - good work!  Most of you have this memorized - yay!  I presented the visual plan for this song - and it's in the Sweet Dreams music folder on our website.  Just 5 of you need to learn it at this time (Elaine, Karlene, Denise, Janice, Amy).  The plan is for total lights out and wearing lighted gloves.
  • Happy Together - another song that's coming along really nicely!  We'll go thru the visual plan on this next week.  It's easy and mainly just staging the parts on the risers so it's more visually interesting for the audience.
  • Sister Act -  Listen to the Speed of Sound quartet and analyze what makes this song so compelling and excellent from a technical perspective.  After you've listened to it with a keen ear, sing along with it and analyze where you may be doing something different, and try to imitate every little nuance of the quartet.  Especially the forward motion - a feeling of eagerly wanting to convey the message of the next phrase, the emotion of the lyrics!  The song isn't fast but it's gotta be filled with a ton of energy!
  • Peace on Earth - We worked a bit on the tag, especially addressing the problem spots for the baritones, and they nailed it (baris look it over and be really spot-on next week, okay?).  Again, this song is slow but it's got to be sung with a huge amount of passion and meaning behind the lyrics - way beyond merely just notes and words.
SECTIONALS were held for 30 minutes in which we worked on:
  • And So it Goes - This has a really cool contemporary vibe to it, with the melody in the tenor part, so we've added a few more ladies singing tenor.  Please take some time to listen to the interpretation and internalize it so we're all really in sync.  
  • After I'm Gone - This is a fast-moving song with lots of quick little notes (and words) so it's important that you check your accuracy by going slow, recording yourself, then speeding up gradually while maintaining that accuracy.  Now is the time for you to be at 100% accuracy so do your self-evaluations to be sure you're there.  
  • All the Things You Are - This gorgeous song has so many ebbs and flows, so it's important to get off the sheet music so you can watch the director (moi) and really feel the musical flow.  Watch the slight change on page 2 (remove "oh" and new breathing pattern).
TOGETHER on the risers we worked a bit on the above songs.  They are really coming along and your personal attention is sure showing!  Thanks so much for giving your very best!

Everyone had a chance to visit with the guests and Chorus Sisters answered questions.  The guests are receiving handouts each week that tell them the basics of who we are, what we do, and what to expect as they consider joining OSC.  As a current or future Chorus Sister, it's your opportunity to help them along the way, so please be sure to read the guest handouts located on this website under Resources / Prospective Members.  We have made recent updates to a lot of the information and you'll want to be well-informed to help our guests.  Then you can check off the steps on the New Member Checklist located on the check-in desk that Lynne Rice monitors each week.

Singing HOW WE SANG TODAY is such a familiar song that we sing at the end of rehearsals, but take a moment to read the lyrics and feel what those words mean:  Tomorrow's another day.  I hope and pray we'll be together.  Tomorrow, this today will be a yesterday that's gone forever!  So take my hand, my friend, I want to say I'm glad we laughed and loved and sang together today.  So take my hand; I want to say - I'm glad we laughed. I'm glad we loved.  I'm glad we sang - oh, how we sang today!!!

Thank you for another wonderful evening of music, friendship, fun, and togetherness!







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