Kathy's Korner

NOVEMBER 11 - PLAN

posted Dec 5, 2018, 1:39 PM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Dec 5, 2018, 5:58 PM ]

We will have three performances under our belts before our next rehearsal on November 11th, so we won't need a whole lot of time working on the Christmas songs.  But I'd like to spend just a bit of time on the songs we're singing at the men's show, and then changing up the rest of the evening.

 

5:00-6:15 -  Membership Team meeting (hopefully in the Nest if it's available)

We won't have risers this evening, so it would be very helpful if some of you could arrive early and set up chairs in the main room and possibly get the equipment set up in order for us to possibly view some of the video from the show.  


6:30 - 7:15 - Fairly brief review songs we'll do on the men's show:

Winter Wonderland

BankAmericard

Peace on Earth

Go Tell it on the Mountain

Joy to the World

Oh, Holy NIght 

 

7:15 - 7:45 - Chorus Chat

Share some of your experiences from the show/performances

Possibly view the video of our show performance

 

8:00 - 9:30 - I'LL BE SEEING YOU

Everyone got the learning tools (music & tracks) for this song over 2 weeks ago, and I hope you have been working on it.  I don't expect you to have it memorized by then, but to know it well enough to sing your part all the way through with the sheet music.  Reminder:  On November 18th, you raised your right hand and promised to learn it quickly.  I know that we've been focused on the show but now that the show is behind us with a warm afterglow of sweet memories, it's now time to do whatever is necessary to learn this song by next week.  I'll go through the things that changed from the original and then we'll break into section rehearsals, but those sectionals are NOT for teaching you the notes.  They are for:

·        Catching and addressing problem areas

·        Establishing a solid tonal center - using a keyboard to reinforce the key note

·        Working on unity of all things - breathing, tempo, vowels, energy, emotions, etc.


Be sure to print the most current copy (from Music Library) of both this song (dated 11/25) and After I'm Gone (dated 11/30).



 

NOV 27 - WOW!

posted Nov 28, 2018, 9:43 AM by Kathy Scheel

We have been rehearsing every week since early October and now you are ready to go out and show your families and friends and the whole community just what you've been up to!  You can go out and strut your stuff and sing your heart out with total confidence!  Each of you should be very proud of the work you've done (and the homework you will continue to do this week) to prepare for our show and all the coming performances!  Last night's rehearsal was really great - I bet you could feel/hear the excitement in the air, too!  You were more focused, more confident, more energized, more accurate, more unified, more fabulous!  It was awesome!

Next Tuesday, we'll be at the Chemeketa Auditorium at 5:00 and you should warm up your voice on the way - sirens are a great way to warm up your vocal chords, touching your entire vocal range.  Get really vocally ready before arrival because we will not have time to do that at the college.  As you prepare yourself, think about the technical side of your performance - the pitches for each song, the tuning and accuracy of each note, the unity of breathing so we start/stop each phrase together, and all the things that so many of you worked on in our vocal coaching sessions.  As you get closer to the venue, get mentally ready, too.  Think about each song's message and the emotions you want  to share with the audience. Every song has a special "feeling" in the way we deliver it.  Then, as you're performing, you can just look at me for guidance on facial expressions to convey those feelings.  When I'm standing between you and the audience, I am part of YOU, the performing group, and I am in total performance mode.  I love being on stage!

We will be wearing "heavy street makeup" (see the description on Performance Central) so try to apply your makeup and do your hair before arrival.  (I'm going to be wearing false eyelashes; they're not required, but I do recommend them for a really glamorous look on stage.)  I know that getting makeup on may be challenging for some of you who are coming directly from work, but hopefully you can figure out a way to do that; however, there will be some time available for touch-ups before we perform so don't fret.  The complete schedule for show day is under Performance Central which includes people doing decorations, setting up lobby etc, but here's the plan for EVERY SINGER:

5:00-5:10    OSC arrive - in costumes, makeup/hair done, drop off your purse in our room and go directly to stage
5:10-5:30    OSC run thru cues and as much of the first set as possible
5:30-6:30    Sound checks for other groups; OSC will go thru the rest of our songs in our dressing room
6:30-6:50    Doors open to public, final touch-ups on hair/makeup
6:50-7:00    Assemble backstage, get on risers, focus, take a pitch
7:00-9:00    SHOW TIME!  

I want you to savor every moment of performing with OSC.  This is a GIFT you are giving to the audience, sharing your beautiful voice with people who are eager to hear our harmonies.  Let's show them the joy that's in our hearts when we sing together.  You are a vital part of our sound and presentation and I am truly grateful that you are singing with this wonderful Christmas Chorus this season!  (Of course, I'd love it if all of you decide to stay and become permanent members of the OSC family!)

Have fun rehearsing this week - check yourself out in the mirror, smile and say:

I AM A GREAT SINGER!
I AM A WONDERFUL PERFORMER!
I AM AWESOME!






LOOK-AHEAD to JANUARY

posted Nov 25, 2018, 11:34 AM by Kathy Scheel

With all the activities and performances in December, I'm sure it will just whiz by and suddenly it will be January 2019!  We are "dark" (not rehearsing) for two weeks during the holidays (Dec 25 and Jan 1), so our first rehearsal will be the traditional first Saturday of January to get things rolling. >>> SATURDAY, JANUARY 5th, 9:00-5:00, at the Elks.

We have some performances to prepare for and with only 2.5 hours of rehearsal each week, this is our opportunity to go through all of the songs and start the process of refreshing/learning them.  If you don't already have copies of these in your folders, print and bring them with you, as well as recorders, color pencils/highlighters, lunch, and your great positive, can-do attitudes!  Here's what we'll go through (hint: there are a lot of repeats in this list so don't freak out):

  • REGIONAL COMPETITION on May 4
    • I'll Be Seeing You -  music & tracks were sent to everyone on Nov 20th 
    • After I'm Gone - tempo/rhythms; we may have an updated visual plan
  • PITCHPIPERS SHOW on February 16
    • (at this writing, we are not yet confirmed, but I'm optimistic)
    • Peace on Earth
    • Sister Act
    • Sweet Dreams
    • Fun in Just One Lifetime
    • Somebody to Love
    • Happy Together
    • Who's Sorry Now
    • And So it Goes
    • After I'm Gone (if it's ready)
    • I'll Be Seeing You (if it's ready)
  • VALEGRAMS on February 14 
    • (Put your quartets together soon and start practicing these easy songs for a FUN day of $inging)
    • Let Me Call You Sweetheart
    • Now I Know Why
    • I Love You Truly
  • POPS CONCERT on May 18
    • (some of the same as Feb 16th gig)
      • Happy Together
      • Sweet Dreams
      • Somebody to Love
      • And So it Goes
      • Fun in Just One Lifetime (girls will sing Part 1; OSC sings Part 2)
    • Can't Buy Me Love
    • Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (maybe)
    • Harmonize the World/We're the Future (OSC and WGC together) - attached at the bottom of this article.
  • MISCELLANEOUS
    • Happy Birthday - we're going to start singing this on 1st Tuesdays to celebrate birthdays of that month.
    • The Parting Glass - a pretty Celtic closer
    • How We Sang Today - so our new people will be familiar with it

AND....

MEMBERSHIP GROWTH is on the horizon and we need YOUR HELP.  We are planning a two-week membership campaign for January 8 and 15, so we'll talk about the schedule for those nights, as well as a refresher on what is expected of Riser Buddies. Your personal connection with new guests is a major factor in whether they return and consider joining OSC.  You'll be getting a flyer from Diane Watson, so be thinking of who you can send that to, where you can post/share it (salons, church bulletins, exercises facilities, etc.), and how you can make a renewed effort to grow the chorus.


We're going to have an awesome time of making music, performing, growing members, making new friends, geting coached, attending workshops, and more!  


SISTERS SINGING, CHORDS RINGING, FEEDS BY SOUL



SUMMARY 11/20 - PLAN 11/27

posted Nov 21, 2018, 5:51 AM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Nov 21, 2018, 6:34 AM ]

Lots of things are happening at OSC!  WOW, what a busy night!   We started with a Show Team meeting at 5;00, where Karen Wildman and Norine Ask addressed the final details as we head into the home stretch.  Now it's time for EVERY SINGER (including guests) to help make the show a successful event from every aspect, such as:
  • KNOW your music thoroughly, especially starting pitches.  The information posted in Kathy's Korner 11/13 has the pitches and reminders for each song.  Review every song this week.  Here's the link to that post:
    • http://members.oregonspirit.org/kathy/summary1113--plan1120 
  • HELP with the various fundraising efforts (this includes guests who are just singing in the Christmas Chorus).  Every time we make money for the chorus, it means less out-of-pocket expenses for such things as Advance weekend, Contest expenses (lodging, travel, food), and helps meet the budget for coaching, music, learning tracks, and more.  It takes money to operate a chorus and your help is sincerely appreciated.
  • SELL tickets!  The show is also on Facebook so refresh it several times each week so it stays at the top of people's news feed/timeline.  Send out an email to remind your friends about the show.  Turn in your unsold tickets and ticket money to Eileen Kemp next week at 6:00 so we can get started singing right at 6:30.
  • SELL program ads and send the information to Carilyn.Ellis@oregonspirit.org.  We'd love to fill the auditorium with future singers, so visit places where you'll find women such as exercise facilities, hair or nail salons, wine shops, etc.  
  • Get gift cards donated for the Christmas Gift Tree.  Visit businesses (with the flyer) and ask them to donate a gift card and they will get a mention in the program, as well as a new customer (whoever buys the gift card) who is likely to spend additional money in their store.  Spend just 1 hour visiting some local businesses and you'll help pay for expenses on the show, so that all tickets sold are pure profit for OSC. Send a note to Karen Wildman and then turn in your gift cards to her to put on the tree.
  • SELL quilt raffle tickets -  This fundraising project has the potential to make lots of profit because the quilt was donated to the chorus by Cindy Meyers and Linda O'Donnell.  It cost them several hundred dollar$ to create it, and we are woefully behind in selling tickets.  So everyone's help is needed for the next few weeks.  The easiest way is to keep it fresh on Facebook.  It's most effective if you continue to "share" the information repeatedly so it appears at the top of the news feed/timeline for your Facebook friends.  If you did it once, it is now buried many 'pages' down and likely forgotten.  
  • HELP NEEDED - If you know non-members who can help with the various activities in the lobby, send a note to co-chairs Norine.Ask@oregonspirit.org and Karen.Wildman@oregonspirit.org so they can check that off their to-do list.  As of last night, we still need the following:
    • 2 people to collect/sell tickets at the door, 
    • 1 person to watch the Christmas Gift Tree, and 
    • 1 person to be Stage Manager who can help keep things moving backstage.
    • 1-2 people to watch the cookie/water sales before the show and during intermission.
I will send out a schedule for the day of December 4th in an email, so watch for that important information.


PLAN - 11/27

We have just one rehearsal left to get the songs performance-ready, so EVERYONE needs to be at this rehearsal.  We will go til at least 8:30 so plan accordingly.  We'll go through the entire program to make sure you are fully prepared for our show and all the performances in December, including riser positions, taking pitches, etc.  


REGULAR CHORUS 
  • I'll Be Seeing You - I sent an email with the sheet music and some instructions so please review that email, mark your music, and bring it next week so we can review those changes together.
  • After I'm Gone - I got a couple more edits last night and will be updating the sheet music and reposting in the Music Library so check back in a couple of days and see if there's a newer version for you to print your own copy (it will have a new date on it).  It's VERY important that you always have the latest version so that when we are working on a song, we are all working from literally the same page.
  • Homework - Make time during the month of December to keep the songs fresh so we don't backslide and can keep moving forward into January.  We will also start refreshing some previous songs in preparation for the Pops concert in May with the Willamette GirlChoir.  
  • Membership Growth - January 8 and 15 we are having a membership recruitment campaign, and Diane Watson will be sending you a flyer to share with potential singers.  Growing this chorus has been a goal every year, so let's make 2019 the year that it happens.  
  • Calendar - Make sure you have all of the chorus dates on your calendar and try very hard not to schedule anything else on coaching weekends.  Every voice is needed in order to work on tuning, blend, balance, showmanship, and all the elements of performing in an ensemble.  The dates are all on the chorus calendar here on this website.
  • Performance - We have a potential performance with the men's barbershop chorus in Canby in February (date not certain yet).  I just got information about it last night from one of the men and will be phoning their contact to find out more.  
  • Valegrams - Looking ahead, we have another fun and musical project coming up - Valegrams!  Go ahead and start putting your group together in December so you can practice those easy songs, then you'll take the day off work on Valentine's Day and go all over the area singing to people whose loved ones have purchased a Valegram.  You'll be getting more information on this soon, but I guarantee that you'll have a fabulous time doing these, and it's a easy/musical way to earn money for the chorus.   Again, the more successful our fundraising projects are, the more possible it will be for OSC to help subsidize some of each member's expenses for such things as Advance (March) and Contest (May).  It will also make it possible to continue our musical program of excellent coaching!









Guiding Purpose Slogan (GPS)

posted Nov 14, 2018, 9:32 PM by Kathy Scheel

Sisters Singing
Chords Ringing
Feeds My Soul


SUMMARY 11/13 -- PLAN 11/20

posted Nov 14, 2018, 8:52 AM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Nov 14, 2018, 9:09 AM ]

Another fun night - I love being so "in the moment" with the music that time just zips by!  We had lots of guests and we made it through almost all of the songs; nearly everyone is off the music - NICE GOING, LADIES!  

We have two rehearsals (Nov 20 and 27) before our first performance, the Holiday Harmony Show (12/4), and everything is coming together very nicely!  We will spend the next two weeks working on the showmanship side of things - staging, riser placement, on/off risers, so every body is needed at these final two rehearsals in order to work things out, and for you to continue to gain confidence in your own personal presentation.  One of the things that will make a big difference is the work you do away from rehearsals, so try this:  Sing the songs in front of a mirror and see if you are actually changing your facial expressions, moving with the rhythm of the song, really telling the story of the lyrics.  It's very possible that you feel like you are doing a lot, but when you actually look in the mirror, you'll realize that your face needs much more animation, and your eyes should twinkle and shine.  What's really wonderful is that when you free up the body and face like this, the VOICE is also affected in a very positive way.  Try it and you'll see what I mean!

Here is the show lineup (see more details in Performance Central) as well as a few notes about each of them so you'll know what to work on, along with the staging plan.    
  • Staging:  Sections in rows (leads on top, basses in front)
  • HAPPY HOLIDAY(with Kathy Sandstrom's finger bells)
    • Pitch:  E-flat
    • Basses - it's a high E-flat 
    • Everyone - try not to hit the B so hard on "bells" 
    • Every time we sing ding or dong, go right to the NG 
    • Tempo should be lively as we invite the audience into our performance and send the message of happiness (does your face show you're happy?)
  • Staging:  Leads split, go around the sides to the front 
  • PEACE ON EARTH
    • Pitch:  B-flat
    • Everyone starts on the same note; work on singing it softly but with the same amount of energy you use on the louder passages (keep your softs supported and solid)
    • On "sisters" and "sister" look briefly and meaningfully to the person next to you
    • On the tag, need lots more baritone
    • When everyone sings "me", think of the back wall of your throat being dome-shaped so the soft palate is raised and the EE vowel is tall (rather than thin/wide).
  • Staging:  Stay in same position, but people in front (leads/basses) can move slightly forward/downstage so you are nearer the audience and really telling the story
  • BANKAMERICARD
    • Pitch:  E-flat
    • Have fun with this and get physically involved so the audience is drawn into the silliness
    • Have a credit card hidden in your clothing so you can pull it out on the last word of the 1st verse (Mastercard).
    • Go ahead and gesture throughout, play with your neighbor, play with the audience.
  • Staging:  Move into sections (basses on your left, then baris, then leads, then tenors on the right)
  • WINTER WONDERLAND
    • Pitch:  E  (written in E-flat)
    • Build the chord one part at a time, start with lowest note in the chord, so it will be bass, lead (you're below the baritone), baritone (you're above the lead), and tenor
    • The song should have a romantic feel to it, and the intro and tag are especially wistful.
    • Work on the key changes so you stay in tune with the chorus.
    • Use lots of energy to keep in key so the basses are able to easily sing measures 31-32
    • Tag is really lovely - love the way you're softening it so it feels dreamy
  • Staging:  Sections move slightly away from each other so each section is separate, on my cue, the tenors-leads-baritones turn and face the basses as the pitch is blown.  I give a quick cue and count to 8 as the top 3 parts are snapping their fingers, basses are facing the audience
  • GO, TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN
    • Pitch:  G  (basses' first note)
    • Remember where the "push" beats are (where you note is slightly before the beat)
    • Tenors, remember not to speed up when you come in, and sing within your unit sound (no soloists)
    • Everyone work on your pure OH vowel, so every time you sing GO, it will ring.  Also the last word of the song is "born" but you should hold open that BOH vowel until you put the brief "rn" on it, then we'll hold that last NN for a moment.
  • Exit stage left (your left as you stand on the stage)
  • Guest performers
    • Local Boyz Quartet performs
    • Serenade/Willamette GirlChoir
    • Eileen Kemp, December 24
    • Valley Girls quartet
  • INTERMISSION (20 minutes, but you'll only have 10 minutes so you're ready backstage for 2nd half)
  • Staging:  In sections
  • MARY, DID YOU KNOW?
    • Pitch:  D  (basses' note)
    • The pitch is built from the bottom to the top (bass-bari-lead-tenor), then changes to the chord
    • Leads, keep that beautiful softness in your voice, and always breathe together so you start & end each phrase as a unit
    • Harmony parts, stretch those chords out when the leads are doing the pickups (Mary, did you) then take a catch breath to sing "know" 
    • Leads - Be aware of where the tenors or basses take over the melody
    • M56-57 has a slightly different breath plan.  Don't breathe between "boy was", then breath after "heaven's".
    • Everyone - Continue your great work on those last 3 notes so those chords really ring!  
  • JINGLE BELL ROCK
    • Pitch:  G
    • The tempo is very lively so work on your choreography which will help keep the tempo steady.  Get the audience's toes tapping!
    • Baritones - check your interval accuracy on the last two lines of the song.
  • Kathy and OSC teach audience the Doggy Tag 
  • Elaine Rosenberg announce winners (per fundraisers)
  • Exit stage left
  • Snow Bells Octet
  • Gary Raze, The Night Before Christmas
  • Oregon SenateAires (5 songs)
  • OSC backstage on their 5th song.
  • Staging:  Both choruses (women and men) will be on the risers (or possibly some on the floor at the sides).  The SenateAires will be at the 11/20 rehearsal and we'll work out the logistics so you'll know where you'll stand.
  • JOY TO THE WORLD
    • Pitch:  B-flat
    • The men start the song, then just our leads/tenors sing M5-8, then basses/baris come in.
    • Bring your own recording device/smart phone to the risers so you can get a really good recording of this and can work on it at home for the next couple of weeks.
  • OH, HOLY NIGHT
    • Pitch:G
    • The men start the song and we come in M3
  • Curtain Call - all performers on stage, singing with audience "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"
  • Go to the lobby to thank people for coming to our show.  

REGULAR REPERTOIRE
  • AFTER I'M GONE
    • Pitch:  F
    • Elaine Rosenberg and Karlene Hancock presented the fun visual plan for After I'm Gone.  Elaine sent the choreo sheets to you via email so make a copy and study it so it's familiar.  It's going to be a lot of fun, and it's really easy and natural stuff.   We may go through some of it this coming weekend, so Sandy can see if there are any spots where there may be problems that affect the sound.  
    • Note:  Sandy Marron is the Sound Judge at the next Region 12 Competition in May.
    • Breaths should be energized and quick so you maintain tempo and tonal center.
    • Great job on this one, ladies!
  • ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE
    • Pitch:  F
    • Lovely work on the intro.
    • The main challenge on this song is to keep it in key, especially on the first page.  Practice singing it while you plunk an F (the key) repeatedly.    Highlight your sheet music every time you sing an F (baritones and basses, you've got a ton of 'em), so it's critical that you maintain your tonal center; otherwise, it will be really hard to sing the lower passages on page 2.
    • Work on taking energized breaths that are packed with emotion and passion!  It's so much more than just notes and words!  Dive headfirst into the lyrical poetry!
  • SISTER ACT
    • Pitch: B
    • The main challenge on this is remembering the lyrics, and the places where it's slightly different than expected.  Sing with the Speed of Sound recording (over & over & over) so it begins to make more sense, and you will sing with more anticipation.  You'll also hear their breathing plan,which is what I'd like OSC to do.  As you listen to them, mark your music in whatever way will help you remember how the song progresses.  
    • Highlight your part, mark where you have the key note.  Remember that we're actually singing this 1/2 step up from where it's written, but here's what you should mark:
      • M1-21:  mark every B-flat
      • M22-43:  mark every B
      • M44-57:  mark every C
    • First measure - be ready.  That's all.  
    • Check for clean/accurate intervals.  Sing the first page and then check yourself at the bottom of the page.  If you end up slightly under pitch, it will affect the rest of the song (and several people around you), so each singer's attention to this is important.  It just takes a bit of self-training and you'll get it (and the basses will thank you on the bottom of page 3).
    • Harmony parts - good job on holding those chords while leads do their pickups.
    • M23-25 -  Leads, your part is very high and you're burying the Tenors, who are singing the melody below you.  Some of you switched to tenor for these measures, so sing those low notes strongly.
    • M40 - Baritones be ready for your melody moment; everyone else be ready, too.  This measures always sounds like it's a surprise - heh.
NEXT WEEK

5:00    Show Meeting
6:25    On the risers!
6:30    Rehearsal starts
7:00    Oregon SenateAires arrive
8:00    Guys leave; we continue rehearsal, staging, etc.
8:30    Christmas Chorus leaves; OSC refreshes coaching highlights
9:30    Afterglow - unwind at Denny's


NOTES:
  • Leah Law presented the Spirited Sister boa to Toni Roush, who always has a smile on her face and is a total delight to be with!
  • Everyone is on the marketing team (members and guests alike), so help with advertising our show, sell tickets!
  • If you can sell a few ads for the program it will offset costs of printing, so if you can contact one of your local businesses, or your hair or nail salon, or real estate broker, ask them to buy a space in our program where over 300 people will see it, and they'll be helping a non-profit group (OSC).  Please be sure to send a note to Carilyn Ellis (cellisalaska@yahoo.com) to let her know what size of ad you have (business card, half page, full page).  
    • Deadline is Monday, 11/19. 
  • Amy Amato was presented with a 3rd Place Division AA Medal.  She worked hard to be ready and was just so sick she was unable to be on stage with us, so she earned that medal.
  • Please help us all stay on schedule.  Arrive early - vocally and mentally ready - and stay through the entire rehearsal.  as it makes it difficult to work on various aspects of the music when voices/bodies are missing.  We need you:) 
  • We welcomed in our newest member, Elaine Mishey!  Elaine travels from the coast each week to sing with OSC, so give her a big hug when you see her Saturday!


SANDY MARRON COACHING - SCHEDULE

posted Nov 11, 2018, 5:03 PM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Nov 14, 2018, 1:44 PM ]

Get ready to have your mind blown this coming weekend as we work with Sandy Marron, Sound Judge and internationally-acclaimed coach!  Most of you have been at coaching sessions and know what to expect, but some of you are new to the chorus - either way, here are a few tips as well as the schedule for the weekend:

TIPS
  • Get lots of rest on Friday night.  
  • Hydrate more than usual this week so your vocal cords are ready for some heavy-duty singing.
  • Vocalize every day for 10-15 minutes, to build up stamina/strength/range.
  • Warm up on the way to the morning sessions - do sirens, bubbles, scales, etc.
  • Do your self-evaluations so you are sure that you know the songs.  We'll stop & go a lot, and it's much easier if you really know the song. 
    • Sandy knows that we have some new people who may still have your sheet music; that's okay.
  • Prepare yourself mentally.
  • Go through the visual plan that you'll see on Tuesday night so you're familiar with it and can show it to her, if asked.
  • Record everything - warmups, instructions, your singing, everything!
  • Wear your section's colors:
    • Tenors:  Red
    • Leads:  Blue
    • Baritones:  Green
    • Basses:  Purple
  • Songs - be sure you have the latest version from the Music Library:
    • All the Things You Are
    • After I'm Gone
  • Bring (but do not put things on the risers - use your apron)
    • Water
    • Recorder
    • Lozenges (non-menthol)
    • Lunch 
    • Snacks
    • Music 
    • Colored pencils

SCHEDULE
  • Saturday
    • 8:45 - Arrive and get ready for the day, move towards risers to visit
    • 9:00 - Coaching begins
    • 11:30 - Lunch break
      • Bring your own lunch or go to a FAST food place (key word is fast)
    • 12:30 - Coaching continues
    • 2:00 - Break
    • 4:30 - Coaching ends
      • Go to dinner somewhere?  Pizza parlor?  Burger joint?  Denny's?
      • Get a good night's rest
      • Review what we worked on this evening
  • Sunday
    • 8:45 - Arrive and get ready for the day, review what we did on Saturday
    • 9:00 - Coaching begins
    • 11:00 - Break
    • 11:15 - Coaching continues
    • 1:00 - Coaching ends
      • I'll take Sandy directly to the airport, but she'll have time for lots of hugs and thanks before we take off.


Notes
  • If your voice is not at its usual strength, don't stay home; you can still learn a ton of things by coming and observing.   
  • If you signed up to attend, be there.  
  • This is important - on many levels.



SUMMARY 11/6 - PLAN 11/13 (and beyond)

posted Nov 7, 2018, 8:42 AM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Nov 7, 2018, 8:42 AM ]

WOW - I'm so impressed with how many of you are off the sheet music on almost all of the songs!  Good for you!  Now we can really polish the songs in the next three rehearsals before our show.  Yep - only 3 rehearsals remaining so it's really important that everyone attend all of these final sessions leading up to December.  Please try not to schedule anything else for Tuesdays so we can have all voices/bodies on the risers; and if you cannot attend, send a note or text to me (503-710-4995) no later than 5:00pm.  Here's the upcoming schedule:

    11/13 - 6:30-8:00  (go thru all songs)
    11/20 - 6:30-8:30  (SenateAires will be with us from 7:00-8:00)
    11/27 - 6:30-8:30  (on/off risers, staging, MC work, etc.)

We had several returning guests last night:  Frances Beranbaum, Sol Santipi, Sharon Dodge, Kathy Sandstrom, Angela
Beckner, Maddie Sims, Shelly Sims, an
d Tammy Flora (who passed her audition!).  We missed lots of singers, though (11 voices), so hope all of you are back with us next week making beautiful music together!

The show lineup has been added to Performance Central (on this website under the "Resources" tab), and there will be more updates for each of the performances so remember to scroll down to all of those articles each week.  Keep yourself well-informed so we can maximize our timing on Tuesdays with more singing (and less time on verbal announcements).  

GENERAL TIPS:
  • Breathing - Breathe in the pre-yawn space every time.  This more spacious breath will add to your resonating space, allowing you to access the wide area at the back of the throat, and it will improve the unity of every song.
  • Breath management - Be mindful of the way your abdomen moves inward/upward through every phrase, steadily moving the air out of the lungs, through the vocal tract, and out the mouth.  Also be aware of whether you are adding any tension to your jaw or tongue, and strive to release all tension.  You'll find that it makes it much easier to sing and the beauty in your voice will emerge.
  • Resonance - An easy way to check to see if your soft palate is raised is by plugging your nose and listening/feeling if it sounds different.  If so, simply raise your soft palate slightly (no tension), making an arch in the back of your throat.  You should be able to hear the way your voice suddenly sounds more open and clear (and less nasal).  The basses and baritones all need to work on this particular skill.  Do this "test" frequently to retrain your voice so you can resonate fully and freely.  (If you're not sure what/where your soft palate is, come to a vocal coaching session.)
  • Self-Evaluations - Do this on every song to see where you may have a few problem areas.  I've attached the form at the bottom of this article.  And, hey, remember to notice all the things that you are doing RIGHT, too! 
  • Visual - The audience hears what it sees, so have fun practicing in front of the mirror and see what you're actually doing when you sing. Every song has a special message through the chords and the lyrics, and it's our job as performers to totally embrace every emotion to convey the meaning to the audience.  It's more than just singing the right notes and words - it's using your facial expressions, body language, rhythmic movements, and more!  Read the lyrics as if you are telling the story to a small child, and use that kind of energy when you perform.  It takes practice to do this so start today!  Basically, inform your face that you enjoy singing :) 
  • Vocal Coaching - I still have plenty of open slots on Monday Nov 12 and Nov 26 (not available Nov 19).  Send me a note if you'd like to come up and work on the songs, and how you can improve your skills.  These sessions are FREE for this season. 
  • Unity - Watch the Director.

For all of the songs, when you rehearse at home, sing along with the OTHER parts to really test yourself and see how solid you are on the material.  And if you sing tenor, baritone, or bass, you can rehearse with the Lead track so you are singing in tune and in sync with the melody at all times.  

CHRISTMAS SONGS
  • Happy Holiday:  Work on singing your first note in perfect tune (a bit higher than you may expect), and know who is singing the melody (be sensitive).  Kathy Sandstrom brought her finger bells last night and it was a neat addition to this song. 
  • Peace on Earth:   The message is what's important on this song.
  • BankAmericard:  Practice the rubato phrase flow so it's more natural by singing along with the Lead track.  Also work on really selling the story and use lots of gestures (like Elaine Rosenberg showed us last night).
  • Winter Wonderful: The first chord is "built" from the bottom of the chord to the top (bass, lead, baritone, tenor) so listen for the pitch and work on knowing right where your  The key changes need some attention, too, so as you are rehearsing it, think ahead to those places and prepare for the NEW, HIGHER key.
  • Go, Tell it on the Mountain:  Listen to the whole chorus and keep the tempo steady (tenors, don't speed up).  You can all add lots more physical movement to this rousing spiritual, so practice singing it with your body moving rhythmically so you can do this without it affecting your sound.
Lots of announcements were made regarding the show so be sure to read your emails and Performance Central to stay updated.  If you have not yet shown your black & silver outfit to our costume chairs, please come early to do that.  Go out and help publicize our show; it's a big fundraiser and each of you can help by taking flyers and letters (per Karen Wildman) out to businesses in your respective communities.  Are you proud of singing in OSC?  YEAH!  And if you're on Facebook, share the posts about the show, the quilt raffle, and the poinsettia sales.  

REGULAR REPERTOIRE
  • All the Things You Are -  Leads, check your first note to be sure you are singing a pure TAH vowel, and be very careful not to sing that note too low.  Think of the interval on "Born Free".  Everyone, keep working on those energized, emotional breaths!  It makes a HUGE difference in so many ways:  improves unity, conveys the meaning of the song, maintains the forward motion, keeps the song in key.  Hopefully you made a recording last night so you can do your self-evaluation.  Work on the interpretive plan so you can more easily manage your air/space to enrich your delivery.  Basses, this song is pretty rangy for you, so you should work on singing anything above middle C in your pure upper register (head voice).  
  • After I'm Gone - This is really coming along nicely and you were ringing some great chords last night!  Practice speaking it at 155 bpm (metronome) and you'll notice your quick/energized every  breath has to be in order to stay in tempo.  Then sing it with the metronome.  Train your body to breathe in this rhythmic way.  Do it every day and you'll be amazed at how much it easier it becomes.  This helps us stay unified, and also keeps the song in key (and also keeps everyone's toes tapping steadily)!
  • Sister Act - Work on this by singing along with the Mixed track.  It's such a beautiful song but is not yet performance-ready. Your individual work will make the difference.
  • Generally speaking, when you can hear the other singers, you feed on each other's energy and your singing and unity is great.  However, we can't perform in a square (facing each other- ha!), so as ensemble singers, it's important that you always listen to the whole chorus, and always watch the director.  I know that I'm working too hard at trying to get all of you physically and emotionally involved in the songs, and I know that you are capable of being more "singer-driven" (instead of director-driven).  The more that YOU can do, the more it affects everyone around you in a very positive way, and the more I can focus on the details and artistry (which is where I always want to be).  YEAH!

NEXT WEEK

  • 5:30 - Sectionals for Leads, Sectionals for Baritones
  • We'll go through out the Christmas songs, and start some staging work.
  • Regular chorus - Fun in Just One Lifetime, Sister Act
  • Elaine Rosenberg and Karlene Hancock will demonstrate the visual plan for After I'm Gone - you're gonna love it!

Looking Ahead:
  • I'll post the plan for Nov 17-18 (Sandy Marron coaching) in a separate Kathy's Korner.  This is an open session so if any of you guests would like to come and observe, you are certainly welcome to do that.  We'll be working on two songs that weekend (After I'm Gone and All the Things You Are).
  • We are planning a membership recruitment campaign for January 8 and 15, so be thinking of women you'd like to invite to come and join OSC.  Flyers will be available in December.
  • I'd love to have all of your Christmas Chorus singers audition for membership in OSC.  Let me know when you're ready!
   









SUMMARY 10/30 - PLAN 11/6

posted Oct 31, 2018, 12:04 PM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Oct 31, 2018, 1:45 PM ]

The night started out with a fun parade of costumes and yummy treats!  If you're not Facebook, I'm attaching a photo at the bottom of this post.  We had 9 guests last night:  Paula Burgess, Kathy Sandstrom, Sharon Dodge, Frances Beranbaum, Maddie Sims, Shelly Sims, Angela Beckner, Karen Rutledge, and new guest Sol Santipi (from Meetup).

Rhythmic warmups to "Ghostbusters" - led by Judy Gobat were really pefect!!

Karen Wildman presented the Spirited Sister boa to Leah Law - the second time she's been honored!  (If anyone would like to see who has already received this fun "award", see my Kathy's Korner of last week.

VOCALS
  • Hiss slowly, then change it to a really LOUD hiss.  Did you feel your core muscles suddenly engage fully? Those are the same muscles that control the inward/upward movement of the diaphragm which pushes the air through your lungs as you exhale (and as you sing).  After you've hissed 3 times, really getting the feel of those lower abdominal muscles working/lifting inward & upward, sing a phrase with that same feeling of lifting.  Practice this several times daily and you'll be amazed at how much more breath support you'll have!
  • Hoot like a big owl several times (very exaggerated), noticing how your soft palate and back of the throat widen, and your voice suddenly has much more resonance and spaciousness.  That's the basic sound that EVERY singer strives for in order to achieve true blend.  I think this is one of the hardest things we do as ensemble singers - giving up just a tiny bit of our own personal sound in order to match the voices around you.  To achieve this also requires good listening skills.  So do the exercises on your own, and then when you get to chorus, you can see how much you've improved.
  • Do sirens on an OO vowel, stretching your range to the highest and lowest notes possible.  This improves the flexibility of the vocal cords if you do it about 3 times each week.  Just 3 minutes of sirens will make a difference. 

GENERAL RULES
  • An INTERVAL is the difference in pitch between two notes.  Singing clean, accurate intervals singing is a very important element of in-tune ensembles.  It requires attention to singing each ascending note with a sense of more space between each one, and singing each descending note with very little space between each one.  
    • Always sing ascending notes higher, and further apart, with each step adding more height.  Mark your music with an arrow UP or some kind of reminder to sing those intervals higher each time.
    • Always sing descending notes very close to each other, teeny moves.  Mark your music with an arrow UP, or some kind of reminder to be very careful in keeping those in tune.
  • In barbershop singing, it's essential to maintain a careful BALANCE of each chord.  The music is arranged so that a
    "cone-shaped" structure is built for each chord with the basses singing the broadest sound as the foundation of the cone, the tenors singing the lightest sound at the tip of the cone, and the baritones & leads filling in the middle as they alternate being above/below each other in the chord.  When the baritones are above the leads, they must lighten their sound; when leads are below the baritones, they must broaden their sound. We played with balance a little at rehearsal so you could hear the difference it makes.  It actually sounds out of tune when chords are not balanced.  Interesting, huh?!!!
    • Total accuracy exists both horizontally (individual part lines) and vertically (individual chords).
    • According to the Judging Category Description Booklet, which describes in detail what each of the judges (and audiences) are looking for in a wonderful, authentic performance, "The wise singer will work steadily on breath support; mastery of this one skill will accomplish more than any other single factor in improving the caliber of vocal performance in all four categories".

CHRISTMAS SONGS

Do your best to memorize the songs that we'll be working on each week so you're not holding sheet music.  When all EYES are on the director, some pretty incredible music can be made together.  At the bottom of these Kathy's Korner posts, I always list the songs we'll be working on each Tuesday, so you can focus your efforts accordingly. Keep all the music in your apron, with colored pencils for markups and reminders, and always bring your recorder on the risers with you.
  • Mary Did You Know - Great progress on this one!  I think everyone can is ready to be off the sheet music next week.  Pay attention to the breathing pattern so all the sections are breathing as a unit.  Harmony parts (tenor, baritone, bass) need to hold out your notes while the leads are singing the pickup to the next phrase (Mary, Did You) until the quick/energized breath to sing "know" together.  Everyone, always remember to do a slight crescendo on all "held" notes (like Mary, did you KNOW...).  Mark the breathing pattern on your sheet music so you can rehearse it that way.
  • Oh, Holy Night - Keep working on this as there are still some rough spots.  We must know this song by November 20th when the men come to rehearse it with us.  Let's show 'em we know our stuff!  Lots of octaves on this so listen to the whole chorus to make tune those accurately. singing it with the recording of the mixed chorus.
  • Joy to the World - ditto
  • Winter Wonderland - Sing each key change HIGHER, as you transition into the new key.  The last page has a lighter vocal texture, and the tag (last line) is more fluid and flowy.
  • Go, Tell it on the Mountain - Good job (especially since you could snap your fingers on the right hand).  Be sure to listen to the whole chorus (on every song).
REGULAR REPERTOIRE

Please mark your music with a colored pencil so you can rehearse these changes before the next rehearsal.  This will help us move forward (less repetition of information) - thanks!  The sheet music will be updated after Sandy Marron's coaching sessions, when I'm sure she'll be making additional suggestions for changes.   
  • All the Things You Are - Keep working on taking quick, emotional breaths in order to really draw the audience into the romance of this song.  The energy of the breath will propel you into the next phrase, and it will also have the added benefit of keeping the song in tune.  (Remember that notes "go up joyfully and go down reluctantly").  We solidified the changes that were noted in last week's Kathy's Korner, including interpretation, however, we tried a new approach to the INTRO that I really loved so let's keep this plan:
    • M1 - Leads only
    • M2 - Add the tenors - duet for 1 measure (I sent tenors the notes an email with the notes)
    • M3 - Add baritones - trio for 2 measures
    • M5 - add basses.
  • After I'm Gone - Lyric changes were sent in an email so mark your own music and practice these several times so they become habitual.  The main things we worked on for this song were:
    • Tempo -  It's important that we maintain a steady tempo, so download a metronome on your smart phone and practice singing this song at a steady 155 BPM pace.  Here's the best way to rehearse this:  Speak the lyrics in their correct rhythms with the metronome, and notice how you are forced to take quick/energized breaths in order to stay in tempo.  Then just transfer that same feeling when you sing it.  This method trains your body to feel the coordination and rhythm of those breaths.  If we breathe together, we will sing together!  Cool stuff!
    • Breathing - Speaking of breathing, it's important that everyone know the breathing plan for every song.  If you haven't already done so, mark your music with all the places that have a planned breath, and rehearse with that knowledge.
  • The Parting Glass - This is such a lovely song and I'm so glad that we'll be able to put it back into our repertoire soon.
  • Happy Birthday - Thanks for your work on this!  Leads, after hearing it last night, I would like for you to sing the intro as written (with your notes included).  I think it would be great to start singing Happy Birthday to our birthday girls at the first rehearsal of every month, starting in January.
  • Consider Yourself - This is still a little rough around the edges, so please take a moment to work note accuracy, as well as tempo.  Here's the metronome speed:  140 BPM.  Also, the middle section needs to be sung very quietly in order for someone to tell us about the new member we are welcoming into the chorus.  
OTHER GOOD STUFF
  • Visual - Karlene Hancock, Elaine Rosenberg, and I had a very productive and creative session to develop the visual plan for After I'm Gone.  It will be reviewed on November 13th, and we'll need all bodies there to see it come together.  It's really easy (but fun-filled) so you can maintain your vocal skills throughout.  I shared a few hints about the plan last night, but the main thing that YOU will need to do is to bring the CHARACTER to life!  Here's what you can do:  Tell the story (speaking) in front of a mirror and pretend that you're telling the story to a small child, with lots of huge facial expressions and body language (really overdo it).  Then it will be really simple to just add a few planned moves to unify the chorus.   We will provide a video of the final plan so you can rehearse along with it at home.
  • Stamina - Who would like to come up with a plan for building stamina?  This is something the judges have commented on for the last two competitions - losing energy by the end of the uptunes.  Here are some ways that you can build your singing stamina:
    • Sing while you walk.  
    • Sing both songs (back-to-back).  Do the set each day (or at least 3 times/week) for a few weeks, then do the set 2 times in a row for a couple of weeks, then do the set 3 times in a row.  
    • Walk while counting to 100, then 200, then 300, and so on.  
    • Dance!  Put on some music and just dance like you did in high school (or like you do at regional afterglows)!
  • Snow Belles - This octet was formed to sing "Rise Up, Shepherd" for the show and they had a great rehearsal last night.  The singers are:  Tenors-Cindy Meyers & Paula Burgess;  Leads-JoAnn Perry & Diane Calkins;  Baritones-Linda O'Donnell & Carilyn Ellis; Basses-Laurie Burk & Janet Owen.  They will sing for the chorus in a couple of weeks.
  • Valley Girls - This quartet performed for us last night again, and it's so neat to have a full in-house quartet!  The singers are:  Judy Gobat, Cat West, Denise Taylor, and Diane Watson.
  • Vocal Coaching - Every Monday afternoon in November at my house.  I'm also looking at doing a Monday evening in late November in Salem, so I'll let you know when that's confirmed.  
ANNOUNCEMENTS
  • Fundraisers galore - We have lots of projects happening this season, so please do what you can to help us meet our financial goals.  Share the Facebook post, send the flyer via email to friends, etc.  All of the sales can be done directly through out website (look for the green Shop OSC button at the top of the home page).
    • Poinsettias -  A good way to sell lots of these beautiful flowers is to take copies of the form to businesses and see if they'd like to buy several for their employees or to decorate their offices.  Chaired by Janice LaCombeLaurie Burk.
    • Quilt Raffle - The beautiful raffle was made by Linda O'Donnell & Cindy Meyers and they distributed raffle tickets for you to sell.  We will do the drawing on December 18th at our annual chorus Christmas party, via "live" Facebook.  
    • Gift cards - Karen Wildman (show chair) will describe this fundraiser in her email to you soon.  The basic idea is to visit businesses and request gift card donations that will be put into an envelope in the lobby at our Dec 4 show and audience members will purchase them.  More info coming soon!
  • Performance Central - This is where you'll find information about each of our performances in December, what to wear, makeup, warmup time/place, etc.  Diane Watson will be updating it regularly so check back frequently to keep yourself informed.  We now have the following confirmed:
    • Dec 4 - Holiday Harmony (our show!).  
    • Dec 9 - Oregon Garden
    • Dec 11 - Capitol Rotunda and Dallas Retirement Center
    • Dec 16 - Oregon SenateAires show
    • Dec 18 - Veterans' Home, Lebanon
    • Dec 19 - Mission Mill
NEXT WEEK - 11/6
  • Christmas Chorus
    • Mary, Did You Know - off the music, work on artistry
    • Happy Holiday - with bells (by Kathy Sandstrom)
    • BankAmericard
    • Oh, Holy NIght - off the sheet music
    • Joy to the World - off the sheet music
  • Regular Repertoire
    • All the Things You Are
    • After I'm Gone
    • Who's Sorry Now
    • And So it Goes
    • Sweet Dreams



SUMMARY 10/23 - PLAN 10/30

posted Oct 24, 2018, 11:42 AM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Oct 24, 2018, 11:52 AM ]

We started the evening by welcoming our guests:  Paula Burgess, Frances Beranbaum, Shelly Sims, Sharon Dodge, Kathy Sandstrom, Kathi Schie, Angela Beckner, and Karen Rutledge!   They are doing such a great job in learning the Christmas songs, and we'll have all of November to polish them up to a beautiful shine.  I'd like to say thank you to Janet Owen for taking such good care of the guests, answering their questions, helping them set up their OSC accounts so they can get emails, learning tracks, and all the information available to them here on our website.  And also thanks to each of you Riser Buddies for maintaining contact with them and making them feel welcome.  We hope they will all consider joining OSC full-time in January!

After vocal warmups, including the doggy tag and the round, and always breathing/singing in the Hoot-Owl tunnel to add more resonance, we got to hear the Valley Girls Quartet, performing in public for the first time.  What fun it is to see this new group formed within the chorus:  Judy Gobat, Cat West, Denise Taylor, and Diane Watson.  Congratulations, ladies!   

The Spirited Sister boa was presented by Norine Ask to Karen Wildman for her wonderful leadership and organizational skills as Show Chair.  What a great asset she is to Oregon Spirit Chorus as she brings such energy and talent to our group!


SUMMARY - 10/23

Reviewed:
  • Mary, Did You Know - first chord is built by adding one part at a time (a bell chord) on OH (bass-baritone-lead-tenor) then going right into the chord swipe, basses sing more in your upper register/mixed voice (it will feel like a soprano), pay close attention to the rhythms on the learning tracks, harmony parts remember that when the leads have all those pick-ups ("Mary, did you") you will hold those chords strongly until the very last moment before you join them on "know".  Try to be off the sheet music on this one by next week so we can work on unity, dynamics, interpretation.  You're all very close, and I'm looking forward to hearing you sing this lovely song again.
  • Happy Holiday - nice job on this, and remember to listen for who has the melody and be sensitive.  For instance, if the tenors have the melody and there are only 2-3 tenors present, and your section has 12 singers, sing softer so the melody can be always be heard.  Or when the basses have the melody, make sure your part (baris and leads) is not overpowering them.  It's all about balancing the chords for the best sound.
Learned:
  • Winter Wonderland - We will build the chord on an OHH, starting with Bass, then Lead, then Baritone, then Tenor.  We worked on the tag to be sure everyone really hears how those jazzy chords should be tuned, and they will be sung with a very mellow, soft approach instead of the more assertive "barbershop" sound.  Work on making that transition as we enter the tag of the song.  Also work on making those key changes tune a bit higher - moving into an entirely new key.
  • Go, Tell it on the Mountain -  Sorry about putting you in the wrong order on the risers and making you snap your fingers with your left hand - HA!  Next week, I'll get it correct for sure!  You're almost off the sheet music on this one, so I'm eager to work on unity and dynamics.  Each section is having sectionals (yay) so be sure to work on really tight unit sound - all singers with the same vowel, breathing in the same space, breathing with the same energy.  (This applies to everything we do as singers.)
  • Jingle Bell Rock - This old standby is always great, and definitely a toe-tapper for the audience.  When you rehearse it, let your bodies move back and forth (like demonstrated by Elaine Rosenberg last night) - yeah!
ANNOUNCEMENTS

A few announcements were made - and they will also be shared via email because so many of our members were absent last night (and we sure missed 'em).  
  • Eileen Kemp and JoAnn Perry shared their most favorite moments from attending last week's International Competition in St. Louis.  They both spoke of the amazing level of energy and talent and creativity and unity in each group.  I hope everyone will watch some of the amazing performances via the Sweet Adelines Youtube channel.  Here's the link so you can go there easily (add this to your "Favorites" bar):  
    • https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sweet+adelines+international+2018
  • Karen Wildman - show update, tickets, fundraiser idea that will require a bit more time/energy from each singer (members AND guests)
  • Janice LaCombe - poinsettia sales starting now (big fundraiser for the chorus - not just for friends, but also for businesses that like to buy LOTS of them for their offices)
  • Elaine Rosenberg - Elks has requested our help for a Saturday night dinner.  Need 3 people; let Elaine know (asap) if you can do it.
  • Judy Gobat - Dress up for Halloween next week
  • Leah Law - Updating photos for the Member Directory
  • Me - meeting with Diane Watson and the directors of Willamette GirlChoir (WGC) with exciting plans for a future of activities together/partnering.
REGULAR REPERTOIRE
  • Firstly - It's HUG YOUR BARITONE WEEKALL THE BARITONES WERE PRESENT!  What a wonderful difference it makes in the sound to have all of you there - wow!  Thanks, ladies!
  • Secondly (and not so positively) - Some people are choosing to leave at the 8:00 break, and we miss their voices; it's truly not the same with gaps on the risers.  We had just 21 singers for the second half of last night's rehearsal (out of 32 members).  If you are singing in the regular chorus, we truly need you to stay for the entire rehearsal (or let me know if there is a good reason that you must leave early).  You miss so much, which means a lot of repetition the following week, and that's frustrating for the other singers (and me).  Everyone's commitment to OSC's musical progress will sure be appreciated.  If you must miss a rehearsal, please let me know ahead of time (I usually leave home at about 5:30).  See the GPS that you created together a few weeks ago at the bottom of this post.
  • All the Things You Are - I tried some interpretive changes, as well as some chord changes but I will wait to make a decision on these these edits until I can hear the full chorus (only 4 leads and 2 tenors for the last half of rehearsal).  So let's try it again next week when everyone is there.  This is so important as we only have 3 rehearsals (with just 80 minutes each) before our weekend sessions with Sandy Marron where we will be working extensively on this song (and the uptune).  Here are some of the things we tried, so go ahead and use a colored pencil to mark your sheet music so you can rehearse them a few times before next Tuesday:
    • M1-2: sung in unison, by the whole chorus, or perhaps just one half of the chorus (will try again next week)
    • M3-4:  sung as a duet, or perhaps in unison by the other half of the chorus (will try again next week)
    • M7:  basses add a D-flat on the 3rd note of your swipe
    • M9:  sing it very softly with passion, "your" has an OO vowel, then a breath after "love", basses tune "yoor" a bit higher
    • M9.5-11:  sing it a bitter quicker, with a quick/excited breath after "hand"
    • M12:  delete the word/chord on "the" so it's sung "my HEART beats faster
    • M15:  changed chords (and this may change again when Sandy Marron is here) but try this for now
      • Lyrics:  Is you  (just you)
      • Tenors - "just you", no change in notes (A - Aflat)
      • Leads - "is you" stay on the F on "you"
      • Baritones - "just you", C - D
      • Basses - "just you", F - Bflat
    • M23: Dynamic contrast on "Oh"
    • MM26-27:  Move the breath, so the phrase is "Oh, you are the breathless hush of evening that trembles" (BREATH)  on the brink of a lovely song.
    • M30:  Hold that first unison note for a moment longer
    • M44:  Hold that chord longer and very strongly -  then wait a moment before moving to the next phrase, very softly, intimately
    • M49-54:  Start softer and let the phrase grow gradually.  This will take some practice at home for each of you so you'll know how your voice works as you sing it with this different approach.  Again, it may change again when Sandy Marron works with us, but let's give it a try again net week when we've got all voices there to support each other.
  • The Parting Glass - It was so nice to hear this lovely Celtic song again.  It's going to be nice to have this one back in our performing repertoire.
  • Happy Birthday - Thanks for learning this fun one.  Nice job!  Work on keeping the tempo steady and energized, and allow for the melody to be heard by the leads.

Joyful may we come, and joyful may we stay, and joyful may we leave again at closing of the day.


AFTERGLOW
Everyone is always invited to come to Denny's to unwind after chorus rehearsal.  It's always fun and noisy and we just enjoy each other's company and get better acquainted.  

NEXT WEEK - 10/30

  • 6;00 - Halloween dress-up night!  Come early for snacks and socializing! But please monitor the time so you're all on the risers by 6:30.
  • 6:30 - Christmas music - try to be off the sheet music so we can polish these songs.  When you're holding music, it's tough to watch the director and unity is a big part of making the chords ring.
    • Mary, Did You Know 
    • Joy to the World
    • Oh, Holy Night
  • 8:00 - Regular repertoire
    • All the Things You Are - try the new changes noted above with all voices there
    • After I'm Gone - overview of the fun visual plan
    • The Parting Glass - review and solidify 
    • Happy Birthday - review and solidify

NOVEMBER 17-18:  

Sandy Marron, Sound Judge (who will also be one of judging us in Sound at Regional Competition next May) will work with us both days, and I'm so pleased that we'll have 31 people that day (+ possibly 3 guests).   I waited until I had heard from everyone before I confirmed the date with Sandy because she is expensive and I wanted to be sure it was cost-effective, so it's really important that we have all of you there Saturday (9:00-4:00) and Sunday (9:00-1:00).  You will get great education on vocal skills and blending the chorus for the best possible sound, we'll be making some more improvements on both songs, including some chord edits, interpretive changes, and more!  But she needs all voices there in order to make decisions (with me) on riser placement (you know how you sing slightly different based on whose voices are around you, right?).  

You need to know the two songs we'll work on:  After I'm Gone, All the Things You Are, so she can work her magic on them.  There is a lot of stop & go at coaching sessions, working a few phrases at a time, so by the end of the day you will totally know these two songs, and we'll bring them up a level - so exciting!

It's helpful for coaches to know names and parts, so remember to wear your name badge, and wear your section's colored shirt.  Here are the colors on my riser chart - let's go with these:
  • Tenors: blue
  • Leads:  red
  • Baritones:  green
  • Basses:  yellow

GPS - Guiding Purpose Slogan:  A concise, meaningful mantra to help us gain/maintain the enthusiasm and passion for our chorus, our sisters in song, our music, and our commitment to each other.  

SISTERS SINGING, CHORDS RINGING, FEEDS MY SOUL



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