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SUMMARY - 6/12/19

posted Jun 12, 2019, 9:30 AM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Jun 12, 2019, 2:34 PM ]

We are sure glad the Elks has good air conditioning - it kept us comfy last night as 21 singers (and returning guest Marsha Eiding) worked on skill-building and checking accuracy on the new song.  We missed those of you who couldn't make it and hope to see you back next week - it's just not the same without you.  But I've gotta give a big shout-out to the leads who hung in there all evening: JoAnn Perry, Leah Law, and Kathy Smith (and Lynne Rice for part of the time).  You ladies rocked it - thank you!



  • Hayley Bault passed the Spirited Sister boa to Jennifer Steinmetz!  Sure love those ladies!
  • Denise Taylor announced that the CMT will be sending an email to all members with a brief survey and a call for a vote on a change of dues for Associate Membership.  Watch for that around the end of the month and please respond right away.
  • Register for SUMMER AIM!  Let's show the region that Oregon Spirit wants to learn and be a part of Region 12's educational program.  The planners want to know how many are attending each session.  Here's the easy link: 
    • https://www.sairegion12.org/dbpage.php?pg=view&dbase=events&id=84997
  • Karen Wildman announced that she will lead a meeting next week to discuss our show, A'Cappella Spirit: Holiday Harmony.  She invites everyone to attend, because everyone will have a job (takes a village!).  We have confirmed the following guest performers:
    • LoveNotes Quartet -  Look 'em up on youtube; can't wait to share them with the Salem communty!
    • Oregon SenateAires - I have proposed that we do an 8-part (men/women) song with them (Feliz Navidad) and will let you know when they confirm that part of the plan.
    • Almost Famous Quartet - Elizabeth Keller, Kim Chadwick, Donna Stewart, Katie Jacob
    • Willamette Girlchoir 
  • Some of you have not yet responded to the Doodle poll for small group/octet coaching.  I need to hear from ALL of you in order to finalize the schedule.  There are just 3 dates, so it truly just takes a moment.  Click on the link I sent you, fill in your name and the dates/times you can make it and, voila', you're done.  JoAnn Perry has offered her home for the July 15th sessions; still need a place (in Salem area) for July 24 and July 25.  If not, we'll do it at my house up here in Aurora.
  • If you have a potential guest, get her to come next week (June 18) because the rehearsal schedule for the next several weeks is very different than our norm.  See the "look-ahead" section below, and check the chorus calendar regularly to stay informed.
  • Since my expectation has always been that the chorus learn new songs in 3 weeks, I'd like to remind you of the best proven method of learning new material.  The secret is to LISTEN to the song several times, no singing, no humming, just listening.  Print out the document (attached below) "How to Learn a Song Quickly" and use this for 
    • Change the World
    • Whether Good, Whether Bad
    • And any other song that is presented - a couple of Christmas songs will be coming soon 


  • To remind your body where to "breathe to sing", take a big breath and gently hold for just a moment (no clenching or tension anywhere), then blow out while resisting collapse of the ribcage.  Feel the tummy slowly lift in/up to push the air out of the lungs, and strive to replicate that motion every time you breathe to sing.
  • Pretend you are going to yawn, feeling the widening of the throat, the lifting of the soft palate, the slight flaring of the nose - all that added space for resonating your sound.  Strive to maintain that space through an entire phrase of a song.  Repeat this several times and it will become more habitual so your body automatically takes this "pre-yawn" type of breath.  This is a method that Sandy Marron teaches, so let's show her we've been working on it (I'm trying to find a date for her to come and work with us again).
  • Breathe as if you are going to sing the note an octave higher than written.  This gives you an additional "lift" to the voice and lightens up any heaviness.
  • Do the Stemple exercises (as demonstrated by the LoveNotes quartet at Harmony College), trying for: 
    • Total freedom from tension anywhere - face, shoulders, arms, etc.
      • The softer the better.
      • Do each exercise 2x each, 2x daily
      • Good for the first warmup of the day and cool-down at the end of rehearsing
    • Sing EEEE (on an F note) as long and soft as possible - goal is 45 seconds - repeat 2X
      • Try MEEE to get the sound forward in the face and get air moving
    • Sing OHH from lowest to highest note as softly as possible - repeat 2X
    • Sing OHH from highest to lowest note as softly as possible - repeat 2X


  • AFTER I'M GONE -  Worked on the intro to establish energy, while maintaining smooth delivery, and more dynamic contrast.  Practice singing it on a LOO-LOO to get the feeling of connecting the words, and minimize/soften all hard consonants (T, D, C, B, etc.).  
  • SING & CELEBRATE - Everyone needs to go back and look at the sheet music and check accuracy; I'm hearing several wrong notes from each section.  This is the song we sing when welcoming new members into the chorus, so let's make sure it's of the highest quality to show our respect for them (and the music).
  • STAR-SPANGLED BANNER - The melody moves around from part to part on this arrangement, so take a look at it and you can see where you do (or do not) have the melody, and be aware of maintaining the proper chord balance so the melody is always predominant.  
  • I'LL BE SEEING YOU - Worked on making each held note come alive with some added energy/lift, propelling us into the next word/phrase.  Every breath should have a feeling of emotion and eagerness to tell the story.  And every face should be fully involved with a lovely, happy expression - take a look in the mirror and practice singing this with lots more facial expressions, changing (or refreshing) the expression on every phrase.
  • CHANGE THE WORLD - Most of the singers/sections are doing a great job on this song and after sectionals, we went through the song a few times together, then did the RTE (Road to Excellence).  I'll be hearing from the section leaders on progress and for those who either missed last night, or had accuracy problems, here's the next step:
    • Send a recording of you singing with your "part missing" track to your section's reviewer.
    • Sing in person for your section leader at a time of your mutual agreement.
    • Everyone is expected to be 100% accurate on this song by the end of the month.



Look closely at this closely - it's a little different each week.

  • June 18 
    • 5:30 - Show Meeting
    • 6:45 - Get ready for chorus - meet guests, do voice-placement!  Bring your guests tonight so I can meet them before leaving for vacation for a couple of weeks.  
    • Presentation by Linda O'Donnell on FUNdraising projects and the potential to make BIG BUCKS if we all participate!
  • June 25 
    • 6:30-8:30 - Everyone in sectionals for 2 hours.  Section leaders need all of you there in order to work on unity, problem spots, vowel matching, reminders about breathing space/vocal placement, etc.  You will also have time to do all the duet combinations, and maybe even some octet fun.
  • July 2 
    • Dark - no rehearsal since it's a holiday week.
  • July 9
    • 6:30-9:00
    • Leads and Baritones only (Basses and Tenors can stay home if you'd like)
    • I will work with leads for an hour; baritones for an hour; then duet for 30 minutes.
  • July 16 
    • 6:30-9:00
    • Basses and Tenors only (Leads and Baritones can stay home if you'd like)
    • I will work with basses for an hour; tenors for an hour; then duet for 30 minutes
  • July 20-21 (Sat-Sun)
    • Summer AIM 
    • Don't delay - register today!
    • Learn the song and set the example
  • July 23
    • No rehearsal, assuming all members will attend AIM.
  • July 30
    • 7:00 - 9:30 - Back to regular rehearsals; guests encouraged to come!
    • All new music learned so we can polish 
    • Start on music for the Dec 7 show (more info in a few weeks but here's the list of songs if you want to get started early:
      • Christmas songs (guests must audition with 2 songs to perform with us - more info later)
        • Happy Holiday
        • Mary, Did You Know?
        • BankAmericard
        • Winter Wonderland
        • Mary, Mary (new song - tracks are in the music library)
        • Scarlet Ribbons
      • Other songs (OSC only)
        • Let Freedom Ring
        • Change the World
        • Sister Act
        • and maybe Whether Good, Whether Bad



Kathy Scheel,
Jun 12, 2019, 9:30 AM