Kathy's Korner‎ > ‎

SUMMARY - 3/27/18 and other good stuff!

posted Mar 28, 2018, 2:00 PM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Mar 28, 2018, 2:01 PM ]
Another great rehearsal - thanks for everyone's energy and commitment!  We also welcomed guests:  Shelly Shores (lead), Anna Rogers (baritone), and first-timer Jennifer Steinmetz (bass).   We worked on some of the fine-tuning of the contest songs, as well as address some opportunities for more finesse and artistry.  Each of the section leaders will be sending you part-specific notes to study while you are rehearsing at home.

  • Tempo must be set and maintained throughout the song so practice lifting every single phrase, and then taking a very quick and energized breath.  We are losing tempo and it takes every singer's attention to this detail to make it unified and exciting.   
  • There are just a few places where we have dynamic contrast, so make the most of 'em!  Softs need to be much softer and more intense, while louds must be very spacious and tall or the vowels could become distorted and the sound is verging on yelling.  
  • Every held note/chord should be lifted (adding more air & space). 
  • Pay attention to diphthongs and turn them together.
  • Leads, work on bringing out the lower notes in your part.  Sing them stronger and more in your chest voice.
  • Basses, really drive that tempo and try beating us to the end!  You have a lot of pickup notes on this uptune, so we need lots of sound and presence in those places.  Also, listen to the other parts and really tune on the higher side, especially when there are octaves (like the tag with the tenors).  I hope you've schedule a sectional before contest weekend to really work on this as well as unity in all things, tempo, vowels, and faces.  Invite a lead in to sing with you so you can hear the tuning.  
  • Baritones, pay attention to those quick passing notes and make sure they are absolutely accurate.  You can do it!   Great that you worked with Elizabeth Keller recently; keep those lessons in mind.  And sing exactly with the leads - know your part so well that you're not "waiting & listening" - you want to OWN your part.
  • Tenors, good job Kathi & Sara last night; you'll have Judy & Patrice back next week.  And I've added Cindy and Sasanna as tenors on the tag to help bolster that melody from "I love the day that you went away....".  I hope you schedule a sectional before contest weekend to really solidify the sound since we've not had too many rehearsals when all four of you have been there, so unity is really important.  Sing the same vowels, the same vocal placement, have faces matching each other, the whole shebang!  Invite a lead (or bass) to come and sing with you so you can hear those octaves and thirds that happen throughout the song.  Go for it!
  • Choreography needs to be a part of every time you rehearse so it all becomes very automatic.  Even when we are working on SOUND issues, your FACE and BODY should be fully involved.  Wouldn't it be great to see EVERY FACE fully involved in telling the story?!  Have fun, be daring and brave, and you'll love the feeling!
  • On "you must pay" (the big one on the last page), cheat the loud on the "pay" chord by starting a bit softer and letting it grow in volume (add space and air).   Same with the tag - on the final word "how", start a bit softer and let it grow to full volume as you move slowly to the final OO at the cutoff.
  • Sing with your straw between the molars to keep the jaws from dropping and losing pitch.  We need to keep this song totally in tune in order for some of the lower passages to maintain their strength and balance.  
  • The first three lines have quick, excited breaths between each one, but be very careful to enter each one with finesse to avoid pouncing on the words.  If you speak the lines meaningfully, you'll get the idea.  Then just sing in that same fashion.
  • Much more dynamic contrast will add points to our Expression score!  You know where we are growing or softening a word or phrase; do MORE than you are currently doing.  Practice this every time so you're able to sing independently with very little direction from me.  That's SINGER-DRIVEN and that's when the real beauty of music happens!
  • "What did I long for" is more articulated but not choppy (no longer "whaddidi"), and there's a small growth/pause on "for" as if asking the question, then pausing for the answer (I never really knew)
  • "knew" - baritones higher on 2nd note of that swipe and a bit stronger presence
  • "Finding your love" is softer but more intense, well-supported, finish the VV sound of love.
  • "touching your hand" - need more lead (you are below the baritones)
  • "is love" - leads, you start out on the melody but when your note changes on the swipe, you need to back off in order to balance the chord so it sounds in tune
  • The transition to "someday" - everyone needs to sing that just a bit higher on that phrase.  And let it grow throughout the phrase - finesse it from the soft of the previous line ("your love") so it is a smooth and emotional moment.
  • Pure target vowels and diphthongs - good work, but even more, please.  Unity.
  • Emotional, energized breaths every time.
  • "Oh, you are..." - slight pause/lift on "oh" so it feels like there's a comma there.
  • "breathless hush of evening" is much softer for everyone except basses.  This is a low passage and we need to balance it properly in order to hear the lower  notes.
  • After second transition "what you are" - move the next line a bit faster, more excited (some-someday, SOME-day)
  • Quicker breaths between phrases on the last couple of pages - still some gaps in the sound.
  • On tag, baritones and leads need to back off on volume so basses can be heard on "the sun will truly shine", so be sensitive and use lots of finesse in not singing full volume until the final chord.  Leads don't have the melody but you outnumber the tenors, so be really aware of that when you are practicing.  
  • April 24th Pre-Contest Send-Off Show:
    • I've decided that All the Way is not likely to be ready for the show.  We've got several ladies who have not sung it, and only 3 actual rehearsals to pull it together.   We will still do these songs on the 4/24 send-off show.
    • Songs - we'll stay in the staging position throughout the first set.
      • Happy Together - w/choreography
      • And So it Goes - some tenors move in
      • Can't Buy Me Love  - w/choreography, I'll perform this with you
      • Somebody to Love - section-specific moves (have you created them?)
      • Sweet Dreams - new choreography, with glow sticks and lights out
        • (then quartets will perform)
          • Happy Hour
          • That's The Spirit
          • Up to Something (comedy quartet)
        • (then we'll line up and enter the risers in regular chorus position)
      • Who's Sorry Now
      • All the Things You Are
        • (then afterglow and tag singing right there at the Elks)
  • Thanks to Karlene Hancock for leading the choreography on Sweet Dreams.  Be sure to study the video that Darlene Manning sent so you can really have fun with it.  We'll use larger glow sticks so they'll be a bit more visible.
  • Thanks to Cat West for leading early choreography sessions each week on the contest songs.  And also for producing that great video on applying stage makeup!
  • Front Row  (Marla, Denise, Cat, Laurie, Elaine, Janet, Karlene, Smitty) - we'll have rehearsals each week from 6:00-6:30.  Do your best to make it to these important sessions where we'll work on unity of appearance, body angles, and such.

(counting our send-off show, but not counting your sectionals before then, and on that Friday)