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MAY 28

posted May 29, 2019, 11:17 AM by Kathy Scheel
WOW - I couldn't sleep last night because the new song kept going through my head!  Thank you for the awesome work you did on this song this past week; it was leaps & bounds further along and that's very exciting to hear the progress!  With just 19 of us there (plus 2 guests), you made some great music!!  And 8 of you even volunteered to sing it for us in an octet - way to go!  We'll get another 8 of you up at the next rehearsal (in 2 weeks).

We had two first-time guests last night and both of them loved the chorus and are planning to return!
  • Marsha Eiding (bass) - Meetup -  Chorus Sister:  Laurie Burk
  • Sylvia Jones (lead) - friend of Lynne Rice - Chorus Sister:  Lynne Rice
Judy Gobat led a fun rhythmic warmup - I love her choice of music each time!  If any of you would like to do these warmups sometime, let Judy know. It's always fun to see other people's styles of teaching, moving, playing.  We mainly are looking for something rhythmic that gets the bodies moving and blood flowing and builds stamina.  Fun!

VOCAL SKILL-BUILDING
  • Pre-yawn breath - Do it now (as you're reading this article) and feel how the roof of the mouth (soft palate) lifts up, the tongue lowers, the throat widens - all adding resonating space in your singing mechanism.  That's the resonance we're aiming for and it takes lots of practice so incorporate this into your personal rehearsal time on every song, every phrase.
  • Vowels - Doing the "wee-wee-wee" exercise, we can hear how very slight adjustments can be made to improve the UNIT sound, by listening carefully to the singers around us and always using the pre-yawn space.  We can only ring chords on vowels.  
MUSIC:
  • Fun in Just One Lifetime - By applying some of the above techniques to this song, we elevated it by at least a level.  It was the best we've ever done it.  The attention to vowels (and minimizing consonants) made the whole song sail along smoothly (no choppiness) and there was a wonderful unity of sound.  Way to go!  Now practice that at home so it stays with you (there are some kind of statistics that show a remarkable amount of skills are forgotten if not applied within the first 24 hours, and then exponentially more as the days pass).
  • Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - Ditto all the above!  And basses, thanks for keeping that wall of sound going by singing vowel-to-vowel instead of hitting those Bs so hard on the Bum, and singing/buzzing through the MMMs.
  • Change the World - As mentioned above, you're making great progress on this song and I fully expect everyone to be off the sheet by next week.  You each know the problem spots for your section and I'm sure you'll work that out.  By singing along with the learning track, you'll have it down pat soon.  One way to check yourself is to sing along with a metronome, and you'll feel those "jump" beats that are so fun in syncopated rhythms. 

Music Team Meeting Notes:  I met last night with Judy Gobat, Elaine Rosenberg, Eileen Kemp, Laurie Burk, and Karlene Hancock.  These ladies are your section leaders and they bring their talents and passion to each of their respective sections!  Here are the some of the highlights of our meeting:
  • Coaches:  I will be contacting Sandy Marron, Lea Beverley, Tori Postma, and Dede Nibler to set some dates for Oct, Jan, Feb, and March.  Once those dates are set, put them on your calendars and hold them "sacred".
  • Rehearsal Schedule:  I'll post the schedule on the chorus calendar for sectionals, but rehearsals will basically go back to 7:00-9:30 for most weeks.  I'll post the weekly rehearsal schedule on the Chorus Calendar so check there and mark your own personal calendars accordingly.  Here's a heads-up on the basic plan:
    • June 4:  No rehearsal, Installation & Awards Banquet - Hollywood style!  Guests are certainly welcome, but be sure to contact elaine.rosenberg@oregonspirit.org to order your meal ahead of time.  It's going to be a very fun evening
    • June 11:  7:00-9:30; RTE (see notes below in this Kathy's Korner)
    • June 18:  7:00-9:30; sectionals during rehearsal  (show meeting is at 5:30)
    • June 25:  7:00-9:00: sectionals for 2 hours 
    • July 2:  "Dark" (no rehearsal) since it's a holiday week
    • July 9:  6:00-7:00 leads and baritones have a one-hour sectional; I will visit each for 30 minutes; regular rehearsal 7:00-9:30
    • July 16:  6:00-7:00 basses and tenors have a one-hour sectional; I will visit each for 30 minutes; regular rehearsal 7:00-9:30
    • July 23:  "Dark" (no rehearsal) since we are expecting all members to attend the AIM weekend (get registered soon) 
    • July 30:  7:00-9:30
  • Quality Assurance programs:
    • Road to Excellence (RTE) is attached.  Print your own copy and put it with your OSC materials and read it frequently.  As you'll see, the self-evaluations are an ongoing part of the process (for all songs), to check your accuracy on notes, words, rhythms, breathing plan, etc.  You should each be doing this now on the new song.  Then on June 11th we'll do the RTE program (as described on the attached). 
    • Octet Coaching is offered but only 12 people have signed up for it (per my Doodle poll), so I'm going to cancel the June dates offered and will reduce the number of dates for July & August.  Watch for (and respond to) a new Doodle poll in the next week or so.
    • Private Vocal Instruction (PVI) are offered by me, and you can also sign up for a session at the upcoming Summer AIM (Adventures in Music) weekend.  
  • Christmas Chorus: People who want to perform on the December 7th show (Spirit of A'Cappella; Holiday Harmony) will be expected to audition on two songs.  Others who just want to sing around town for the holidays do not need to audition.  Diane Watson is training Jackie Kearns as our new Performance Coordinator so she'll be looking at dates for retirement homes, the rotunda, Oregon Garden, and will keep us all informed.
  • Music:
    • Change the World - Be off the sheet music by June 11; that's when we'll do RTE.  Self-evaluations should already be done.
    • Whether Good, Whether Bad - Start work on this now, then sectionals to work on unity will be June 25.
    • Mary, Mary - New Christmas song, learning tracks are loaded into the Music Library.  I will be getting the sheet music soon, but go ahead and listen to this fun song and start getting familiar with it.  We'll start working on it in August.
  • Contest 2020:  We will do the same two songs as we did this year (After I'm Gone, and I'll Be Seeing You).  The goal is to build on the skills we gained this season and continue to move these songs to a higher level.  (Hint:  I love the idea of getting the award for "Most Improved Chorus".)


AND...
  • Bring guests - YOU are the key to growing this chorus!  
  • Register for Adventures in Music (AIM)

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Kathy Scheel,
May 29, 2019, 11:17 AM
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