Kathy's Korner‎ > ‎

SUMMARY - 9/11/18

posted Sep 12, 2018, 11:55 AM by Kathy Scheel
WOW - you guys were on fire last night - singing beautifully, with energy, passion, authenticity, unity, and all the things that make music so powerful!

We had a new guest last night:  Noel St. Claire (singing lead), as well as LeaAnn Bettis (tenor), and we officially welcomed a  Marilyn Ellis (bass) into the chorus.  (Note:  When we sing this in the future, be sure to sing the "doo-doos" very softly so Lynne Rice can speak to introduce the new member and tell everyone how happy we are to have her.)

I also had a brief chat with the chorus about what I call the "Rule of 3":  bad things seem to happen in groups of three!  As you all know, three very special and strong members have made the difficult decision to resign from OSC:  Marian Martin, Sue deBit, and Sasanna Botieff.  I know that it hurts to lose these wonderful women, and we'll miss them terribly for so many reasons, but I don't want you to feel discouraged or worried that this means negative things are happening in the chorus.  It's just natural attrition at work; each of these ladies left with very good feelings about OSC - life and time commitment became too big an issue for them.  Please continue to keep in contact with them (their addresses are in our Member Directory) so they will hopefully come back to sing with us again someday.

Cindy Meyers and Linda O'Donnell brought their beautiful quilt that they are donating for a big raffle, and they'll be selling raffle tickets for the next 2-1/2 months, with the drawing to be held at our December 4th show.   Tickets are $5 for 1 ticket; $10 for 3 tickets.  

We talked about next week's big SING A'CAPPELLA!   I haven't heard from many of you yet, so challenge yourself to be proactive in inviting ladies to come and sing.  Think of how much YOU love this chorus - the friendships - the music - the activities - the performances!  Now just SHARE that passion; think of it as giving a very special gift to those women.  They don't even know about us, or how much joy they will get from this experience yet!   We've had the goal of 50 singers for the last several years, but it doesn't just "happen" - it takes a concerted effort by each of you.  Grab a friend and take the flyers to various places that women gather; be friendly, bring pictures to share, bring business cards, get their names & emails and follow up with a personal note/invitation.  As I said last night, OSC is one of Salem's best-kept secrets!  We could have a chorus as large as we want if people KNEW about us!  YEAH!

The schedule for next week (9/18) is:
  • 5:30 - setup chairs, handouts, be ready to greet people
  • 6:00 - group voice lesson, open to members, too
  • 6:45 - voice placement, sections stand in corners to introduce new people, welcome them
  • 7:00 - chorus warmups, rhythmic and vocal
  • 7:30 - chorus perform
  • 7:40 -  guests learn Sweet Dreams

TAG:  Smile, darn ya, smile!  Two different octets got up and performed it (and Amy Amato reminded us to sing it again at the end of the rehearsal - awesome!).  You named the things we can learn from singing tags:  listening, tuning, vowels, diphthongs, balance, sync/unity, confidence, blend, performance skills.  We'll do a new tag each week, so be ready to sing!

You sang the Star-Spangled Banner, in honor of the 17th anniversary of 9/11.  It was sung beautifully!

Then we reviewed the songs that we'll be performing next week for our guests.  We won't have time to review them first, so be performance-ready, and I'll send you a riser-chart so you'll know where to go on the risers.  You did such a great job on these last night!
  • Sweet Dreams - study choreography
  • All the Things You Are - energized/emotional breaths, esp. on first page
  • Who's Sorry Now - study showmanship/choreography - watch for a riser chart in email so you
We also reviewed:
  • Fun in Just One Lifetime - worked on stretching every vowel, softening the consonants and putting them on the beginning of the next word.  I ask that you work with the phonetic pronunciation as directed in my email last week, as this will help you get a feel for this, creating a smoother phrase flow.  We also worked on target vowels and diphthongs.  Be sure to study the measures leading into the tag, as they always seem to "surprise" some singers.  As you're singing, try to always think a few measures ahead so you're mentally prepared and can sing with great confidence.  
  • Long Ago & Far Away - The duet work is really paying off on this as you gain a better understanding of how your part works with the others.  All those moving parts are so important so be very precise, while maintaining great finesse and musicality on this unique and beautiful arrangement.  
  • Sister Act -  We're singing this in the key of B (1/2 step up from the sheet music), and I'd like us to sing a beginning pitch for now, until we are more comfortable with the beginning.  So we'll sing an OO:  bass/bari on B, leads on D#, tenors on F#).  The "traps" to work on are at"
    • measures 21-22
    • the transition at measure 42 (cross out that reference to "Coronet Club" and cross out those measures that are layered below the part that we are singing), 
    • m43-44.  
    • When there is one part singing the melody, the accompanying AHs are not important so reduce your volume in those places (mark your music so you rehearse it that way), you are just singing "ah" 
  • After I'm Gone -  Thanks to Denise Taylor, you'll be getting clean sheet music on this song!  We did a lot of duets on this one, and most of you are making great progress in the notes & words.  
  • How is everyone doing on your self-evaluations?  Have you reached 100% accuracy yet?  It's time to send your recordings in to your section's reviewer(s) so they can give you helpful feedback (before bad habits are formed)

  • Put your knuckles in your cheeks, between the molars, with elbows up & pointing outwards, lifting the ribcage.  Now sing through a phrase and hear the open resonance. Don't worry about articulating words, just listen the pure vowel shapes, the lack of tension in the tongue/jaw, and the beautiful sound.  Now sing the same phrase without the knuckles.  Were you able to maintain that open, resonated sound?  Keep working at it, phrase by phrase, especially those held notes that may be higher in your range, where you might be adding tension.  This exercise is very helpful to tenors on tags that are a "post" (note held over several measures) so your voices will match.
  • Sing through a song and only focus on singing pure primary vowels (while adding energy and intention to turning diphthongs).  The more you do this, the more habitual it will become to automatically sing EVERY vowel with purpose and accuracy.  When everyone does this, the blend will be tremendously improved.
  • You are a wind instrument that must be held in proper alignment.  Posture is extremely important, and standing while singing is the best way to build stamina.  As you are singing in this tall, aligned position, think about keeping your sternum high, ribcage high & wide, and then simply resist collapse of the ribs.  This forces your tummy/diaphram to do the work by lifting gently upward so expel air from the lungs (like bellows).
  • Listen when you are singing.  By truly listening, your natural ability to sing in tune will be heightened, as well as singing in precise sync/unity with the other sings, and the blend of the ensemble will improve dramatically.  

The Judging Category Description Booklet (JCDB) contains the 'rules of the game'.  It is an excellent description of exactly what the judges (and therefore audiences) are looking for in a performance.  It explains their approach to each of the four judging categories:  Sound, Music, Expression, and Showmanship.  Attached at this bottom of this Kathy's Korner post is the JCDB.   I encourage you to read this valuable information and I'm planning to provide some more training on this at our 9/29 session, so if you have questions about the JCDB, bring them and I'll do my best to explain.

Kathy Scheel,
Sep 12, 2018, 11:55 AM