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SUMMARY - 5/22

posted May 23, 2018, 8:33 AM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated May 23, 2018, 11:51 PM ]

Good morning, ladies -  It’s that time of year when (a) school is nearing the end of term and there are tests and concerts and other year-end activities, (b) sickness and surgeries happen, and (c) vacations start to get underway, so it was a very different sound for us last night with 12 of our lovely members unable to attend (we missed you so much!). When singing in an ensemble, it's sometimes very easy to rely on those around you but when someone is gone and you're used to that voice being there, it can make you stronger and more confident that - Hey, I've got this!  You all really did a good job of incorporating your best skills into the songs, so keep that up!  It takes diligence and relentless attention, but the rewards are awesome!  

We'll continue to work on SYNC and ACCURATE INTERVALS, but there are ways you can check this at home. Use the PanoTuner app on your smart phone or computer.  You just look at the note on the sheet music, and sing it while looking at the PanoTuner so if it's a D you're shooting for, look at the PanoTuner and it will show whether you're spot-on or slightly under/over pitch.  Doing this regularly will train you how to sing those intervals accurately every time.  You may recall that I told you about a singer who was on America's Got Talent a couple of years ago who lost her hearing but taught herself how to sing accurately again by just using the PanoTuner app.  It's a powerful tool that I highly highly recommend.  Just go to your Playstore (on smart phone) and download it (free) or go to this website and download it on your computer:  http://panoapps.net/ 

We sang through a lot of songs last night, and worked a bit more on a few of them to start bringing them back to performance readiness.  Thank you for your individual work in making sure you are singing the right notes!  New people/guests: It's very important that you learn them right or it's VERY hard to unlearn wrong notes, so you can send your recordings to your section leaders to have her lovingly evaluate them for accuracy.  Everyone should continue to do your self-evaluations on all of our repertoire to check your accuracy, and each week you'll hear those songs get better and better.  It's not instantaneous and it takes time/work but it's so awesome! When you are completely off the sheet music, you can refocus your attention on me (your director) so we can achieve total UNITY.  Anticipate ("own") the attacks and releases of every phrase and watch for my ictus (the downbeat where my hand indicates that sound starts).  All eyes on deck!  We'll continue to improve our awareness of total unity so that it becomes an automatic part of how we sing.  Keep working towards higher standards and we'll continue to improve throughout the year.

After we reviewed several songs, we went through The Parting Glass and figured out who is singing what part (Top, Middle, Bottom).  The resulting list is shown below, so please be sure you are singing the correct part (a few of you may have changed but this will provide a beautiful balance of parts so the lovely Celtic harmonies will come through.  This is a neat song that is very unique  and I'd love to use it occasionally at the end of an evening's rehearsal:

TOP =  JudyG, KathiM, Patrice, Bonnie, Cindy, JoAnn, Lynne, Elaine, Toni, Smitty, CatW
MIDDLE = Sara, Christsine, Sasanna, Marla, DianeC, Karlene, Janice, Leah, Marian, Linda, Denise, KarenW, Carilyn
BOTTOM = Norine, Hayley, Laurie, Sue, JudyD, KarenD, Eileen, Janet, DianeW, Jenn, Marilyn, CatN

We also made good progress on Consider Yourself.  I'm sure you'll have that memorized within the next couple of weeks; we've got some auditions coming up in June, so will be welcoming new members and this is the song we'll sing to them.  Let's make it special for everyone!

Some additional notes on the songs - you may be getting additional notes from the Section Leaders.
  • Star-Spangled Banner -  Breath plan is updated and posted in Current Music.  And it was sure exciting to hear that tag ring - we could hear the tenor note even tho only the leads, baris, and basses were singing!  Way to RING the chords!  Now take a look at where the melody is - it's in the lead, then the bass, then the tenor, then lead, then tenor, then lead....well, you get it.
  • Somebody to Love - It's imperative that we stay in key on the first page, check your intervals on piano or PanoTuner to see where you might be singing slightly under pitch.  Every singer affects all those around them, and your accuracy will affect others in a powerful way.
  • All the Way - Same thing on this song; first page is losing pitch, so check accuracy of intervals.  It's all in the preparatory breath!  But the song is really coming back together nicely!
  • Happy Together - Stretch every phrase ending to the fullest extent please.  Make this your new norm.
  • Peace on Earth - Check the last page for note accuracy; some errant notes are creeping into the sound.
  • Can't Buy Me Love - Lots of little traps in this song, so go back and record yourself and evaluate it (with love).  Some inaccuracies are affecting the unit so ...be sure it's not you.
  • Who's Sorry Now - Work on maintaining the skills we gained in preparing this song for contest, and keep adding more and more characterization.  Be daring, be bold, be fearless!  Be crazy!  "Go all the way to blithering!"
  • All the Things You Are - Such a lovely song, now be vulnerable and passionate and let the emotions come thru your voices.
  • Sweet Dreams - This is a fun favorite and the tempo must be maintained by every singer with lots of forward energy.  A simplified visual plan will be presented on June 5th.
  • And So it Goes - Oops, we didn't do this one last night.  We'll catch it next time.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'd love it if you would get started on learning the songs we'll be introducing in July.  Please don't wait until the last minute to try to "cram"; take the time to prepare yourself so you don't have to hold your sheet music when it's time to sing through them together.  That will allow you to sing with better skills, unity, accuracy, passion, energy, and meaning - yes, it's so much more than just notes and words!

Much love -  Kathy

Reminder:  Rehearsals start at 7:00, so please make every effort to be on the risers by that time.  Thank you..