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10/1 SUMMARY - 10/8 PLAN

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Christmas Chorus

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

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

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

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

Regular Repertoire

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

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

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

PLAN – 10/8/19

·       Christmas Chorus

o   Happy Holiday
o   BankAmericard
o   Mary, Did You Know

·       Sectionals

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

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

·       Regular Repertoire

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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