Kathy's Korner‎ > ‎


posted Mar 20, 2019, 10:13 AM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Mar 20, 2019, 4:05 PM ]
I love the progress you're making on the music!!  It just gets better & better each week - and that's certainly the most rewarding part in the journey towards contest:  the realization that your personal work is making the whole ensemble better in the creation of beautiful music.  The artistry is starting to emerge and become more and more consistent, as you become more comfortable with the ebb and flow of the lyrical line and deliver it with authenticity, personal involvement, and passion.  Your work is paying off in lots of wonderful goose bumps!


  • We welcomed a new guest last night - Jackie Kearns (baritone).  She loved the evening and is planning to return!  YAY!
  • Karlene Hancock led the choreography review session and I am so impressed with how many of you are improving each week.  The more you rehearse it at home, the more ingrained it will be in your body, building that "muscle memory" so you can do the moves and facial expressions automatically, allowing yourselves to focus on your singing skills.
  • Eileen Kemp is once again organizing our annual girls' weekend at the beach, so respond to her email to let her know which weekend in August you can join us for all or part of that special (and hilarious) time together.
  • Elaine Rosenberg announced that the Elks would like our assistance in decorating the lodge in the afternoon of Sunday, May 31.  Watch and respond to her email seeking 5-6 people to assist.
  • Janice LaCombe reminded us about the annual flower sales fundraiser.  Orders can be made easily online (see her email from last week).
  • Musical events coming up - let me know if you'd like to go so we can carpool together.
    • Saturday, March 23 - All-Northwest Barbershop Quartet Contest.  Evening show is at 7:00pm at the Forest Grove High School (Forest Grove, OR)
    • Sunday, March 24 - Columbia River and Northwest Harmony Send-Off Show.   The show starts at 3:00 in Vancouver, WA and Eileen Kemp is the chair.  Let's go and show our support for our OSC sister!  We can carpool up from my house.  
    • Tuesday, April 23 - OSC Send-off Show.  We'll perform some songs for our families and friends and more information will be coming out on that very soon.  I don't know who is chairing this event for us, but there will be just a little help needed from some of you (setting up the Elks with chairs, light decorations, maybe a simple fundraiser, sound system, light snacks, etc.).  We'll rehearse early from 6:00-7:00, then have our friends and families come at 7:30 to perform. Here are the songs we'll perform (so work on them at home):
      • Happy Together
      • Sister Act
      • And So it Goes
      • All the Things You Are
      • Fun in Just One Lifetime
      • Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
      • Sweet Dreams 
      • I'll Be Seeing You
      • After I'm Gone
    • Saturday, May 18 - Willamette GirlChoir Pops Concert.  This will be at the Parrish Middle School on Capitol Street in downtown Salem (just a few blocks north of the capitol), at 3:00pm.  We will be singing the following songs:
      • Happy Together 
      • Girls Just Wanna Have Fun 
      • Sweet Dreams
      • And So it Goes
      • After I'm Gone
      • Plus a song with the girls:  Harmonize the World
        • I would like a small group of us (need all 4 parts) to go to their rehearsal for about 15 minutes on Monday, May 13th, to rehearse the song with them.  We will sing the 4-part song while the girls sing a song on top of ours (sorta like Fun in One Lifetime - 2 songs at once).
        • We will still have our own regular rehearsal on Tuesday, May 14th, from 6:30-9:00 at the Elks.
  • Educational event coming up
    • June 14-16 - Harmony College Northwest, Tacoma, WA.  A weekend full of amazing classes by high-level educators in both the men's and women's barbershop organizations.  Registration will start soon and I'll be sending out more information (since I'm the Marketing Coordinator for HCNW).  Go to the website for lots more information on classes, faculty, schedule, fees, and the amazing Saturday Night Show featuring three international caliber quartets:  Frenzy (Sweet Adelines 1st Place International Champions), Signature (Barbershop Harmony Society 2nd Place Medalists), and Renegade (Sweet Adelines 7th Place International Medalists).
    • July 20-21 - Adventures in Music (AIM), Cottage Grove, OR.  This weekend is presented by our own Region 12 and in addition to the high level Regional Faculty, we will be honored to have Paula Davis as the guest International Faculty.  Paula is the Immediate Past President of Sweet Adelines International and you will absolutely love her!  I've attended many of her classes over the years and have always walked away with many useful tools and ideas!  
    • I would love for OSC members to participate in both of these educational workshops, but if you cannot do that, and are wondering how to make the decision, I would encourage you to go to AIM because (a) it supports our own region (b) will not be as expensive becuase you'll have roommates to share the cost of lodging, (c) it's a great opportunity to bond with other chorus members from all over Oregon.  The general plan is for classes all day Saturday, 6/20 on topics including:  gaining & retaining members, performance packaging, musicality & artistry, roadmap to successful sectionals, leadership skills.  Then Sunday (6/21) there is LAW School (Learn Arm Waving) when you can either attend leveled classes (freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors) to work on skills to start/stop choruses, or you can be a part of the demo chorus to all the directors can practice their skills.  Many of you have attended LAW School in the past and can attest to how much you learn through your participation in that chorus!  
  • Reminder:  Do not wear perfumed products to chorus.  Many people have allergic reactions to them, and in the close proximity of standing on the risers, it makes it very difficult to breathe.  That's sorta important in singing … and life....so be good to your singing sisters and check your clothing for perfumes (hairspray, deodorants, lotions, etc.).
  • Octet Coaching:  I'm really looking forward to working with all of you in smaller groups at my home.  We had the first group on Monday and it was very productive, so this work will really pay off in higher scores at contest.  That's what everyone wants!

  • Direct yourself in singing the intro to create a smooth and natural delivery of "everything I do reminds me of you".   This style of delivery is an important factor in telling the story to the audience, drawing them into the emotions, painting a picture for them with music.  Watch me carefully for all the nuances of every phrase.  There are actually only a few phrases in the entire song that are somewhat slow - the other phrases move along in a natural, authentic way.  Keep working on that at home and you'll experience a new type of freedom in singing!
  • The OO sound needs to be more open and forward (not swallowed) especially from the basses.
  • I'll must be pronounced with a taller, more vertical AHH sound; check your recording to see if you can improve that target vowel.
  • Every time a note is held for any length of time, your voice must get louder (crescendo).  I will start making the crescendo sign (<) to remind your for awhile, but you will grow as musicians if you take personal ownership of this skill. If there is no breath following a held note, you "grow" into the next note, rather than just waiting until it's time to sing it.  For instance, grow on the words that are capitalized in these two passages:
    • I'll be seeing YOU in all the old familiar places.
    • that this heart of mine embraCES all day THROUGH.
    • IN that small cafe, the PARK across the wEH-ee.
    • The children's carouSEL, the chestnut tree.
    • The wishing well.
  • Some phrases need to move along more quickly and naturally, with less emphases on individuals notes & words, and more emphasis on emotions.  Sing from your heart - every time!
  • Tuning issues addressed:
    • Basses - sing higher on every B-flat in the song (we are actually singing this in the key of B but mark all the B-flats) and check yourself on the PanoTuner.  This is especially evident in the following measures:  M5, M12, M23.  
    • Leads - check your accuracy in the following measures and work on being instantly tuned:  M1-2, M19, M21, M38-39, M42, M44
    • Baritones - M1, M31-32, M44
    • Tenors:  M24-25, M38-29, M44
  • TAG:  I took out one chord in M48 so here are the notes (on the sheet music) that you'll be singing:
    • TENORS:  No change
    • LEADS:  B-flat, F, E-flat  (took out the E-natural)
    • BARITONES:  no change
    • BASSES:  B-flat, A-flat, G-flat (took out the G-natural)
    • ALL:  M40 is "It's ALWAYS you"

  • Your work on the choreography is starting to show great results in better singing!   The more you rehearse the visual plan at home (in front of a mirror to see your face and body language), the more you are able to maintain good, strong singing!  Good for you!!   There were a couple of improvements made and Karlene will be updating the choreo sheets soon, and we'll make a video next week, too.  We need ALL OF THE PROPS at rehearsal eveyr week from now on - see my last week's Kathy's Korner for a list.
  • EVERY PHRASE needs to be extended (not cut off) - no more "white spots" at the ends of phrases!  Own this skills and I will be able to do less directing (reminding).  
  • M17-18 - both phrases are softer.
  • M23-24 - tenors, baritones, and basses - work on these measures so they're right every time (no more oops)
  • M26 - everyone sings "to you"
  • M30 - only tenors and basses sing "your kids"
  • M37 - sing the chord, don't cut it off
  • M47-50 - quieter but very intense
  • M57-62 - start soft and grow, and everyone work on that key change (tuning into the new key!) - matching vowels will help
  • M69 - baritones don't breathe in the middle of this
  • M71 - a bit softer and perhaps whiny
  • M76 - I'll should be pronounced AH-eel (quickly)
  • M81 - sing the chord on "stop" and don't cut it off so abruptly
  • M90 - bigger K sound on "sink"
  • M91-94 - start softer and grow, and much bigger K sound on "pinK"
  • M100 - quick slide up from on "they're dry"
  • M108-109 - practice this rhythm so when you go to "not" you'll stretch it slightly as that is where the "stomp beat" is set, use your body language to show the rhythm change (don't make me do it all:)
  • M114 - The vowel on "say" is SEHH
  • M115-123 (tag):  Everyone work on total accuracy on this tag, there are still wrong notes!  I'm depending on YOU to fix those before next week.  Do whatever it takes, okay?!

  • Review all the songs for the upcoming performances.
  • Bring props.
  • More detailed work on the contest songs.
  • Send me your sentences about the members (see email of last week).

APRIL 6-7:
  • Costume check - everyone done, bring tunics, wear leggings, shoes, hats, everything!
  • Membership Campaign brainstorming and buy-in
  • Reno travel coordination - carpooling to airport
  • Christmas Chorus brainstorming
  • Lots of detailed work on the contest songs
  • Work on songs for April 23 and May 18 performances
  • You be the judge
  • Judging Categories - overview and road to B+
  • Watch Eileen perform with Columbia River Chorus (webcast break)
  • Bring your own lunch
  • A new game :) 
  • Vote for management team, Spirit Award
  • and much more!  DON'T MISS IT!