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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:
    • 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
    • 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)!
    • 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)
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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. 
    • 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..."
    • 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.
    • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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

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

Ill Be Seeing You_Lead_Jan2019.MP3
Kathy Scheel,
Jan 30, 2019, 10:19 AM