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SUMMARY - June 5, 2018

posted Jun 6, 2018, 10:40 AM by Kathy Scheel

BREATHE TO SING:  We worked on a few techniques to help strengthen your breath support and management skills:

  • A.   POSTURE
    • Put your arms up, extending them out to the sides, palms facing the floor.
    • Now turn your palms facing up and notice the expansion of your rib cage, making it high and wide.  Switch back and forth - palms up, palms down, a few times and notice your ribs.  Shoulders should be relaxed, with no tension at all.
    • Now bring your arms to your sides but keep the ribs in that same high/wide position. 
    • This is your instrument's posture for singing.  Every instrument has a specific way to be held for optimum quality, and the vocal instrument is your entire body.  So posture is the basis for making beautiful music.
  • B.   RIB CAGE
    • With your best posture, take a big breath and sigh it out, noticing how your ribs naturally collapse, your shoulders slump in a bit.  Be aware of what your body is doing.
    • Now take a big breath and sign it out, but RESIST COLLAPSE OF THE RIB CAGE.  
    • Notice how the tummy pulls in and up, bringing the diaphragm up against the lungs, pushing the air upwards through the vocal chords and out your mouth.
    • Now sing a few phrases of a song and simply think about resisting collapse of your rib cage.  It makes a huge difference in your breath support and management.
  • B.  3D BREATH
    • Width - With your best posture, take a breath and feel the air against your molar teeth.
    • Height - Take a breath and feel the air against the roof of your mouth.
    • Depth - Take a breath and feel the air against the back wall of your throat.
    • Do all three - and that's 3D breathing!
    • Now take a 3D breath and sing a few phrases.  What did you feel/hear/notice?
  • C.  LOWERED LARYNX  (pronounced lar-inx)
    • Place your hand gently on the front of your neck/throat area.  Swallow and feel the larynx bob up and down.
    • Take a 3D breathe and purposely lower your larynx (when you had the depth) and you'll feel the larynx move down slightly.
    • This is giving you more space in which to resonate.  
    • Now sing a few phrases with the 3D breath and focus on keeping the larynx lowered through the entire phrase.  How did that feel?  Did you notice more resonance in your sound.  Record yourself and check (we hear ourselves very differently from the inside of our own heads).
  • D.  CORE
    • Bend your knees (keep your back straight) and bring your arms up as if holding a large barrel.
    • Feel your core muscles engage?  That's great!  
    • Now sing a few phrases and hear/feel the difference.  That's support!  
    • The trick is to maintain that feeling of core singing when you stand up.  It takes practice but it's going to make a significant difference in the strength of your sound.

WE ARE UNITED -   This is our theme this year, so please learn this tag so we can sing it at each rehearsal.  It's attached to this post. 

We worked on the following songs:

  • Star-Spangled Banner:  Smooth, effortless, tension-free singing.  A few note issues fixed.
  • Somebody to Love:  Relax a bit, have fun, but resist the temptation to be raucous, listen to the other parts and maintain unity within your section (sync issues are creeping into each section), move your bodies!
  • All the Way - Work with your PanoTuner app to check those intervals on the first page and into the top of the 2nd page.  We are losing a whole step on that intro.  Leads, you have a lot of repeating notes so "spin" the sound to maintain the integrity of the note.  Harmony parts, listen and tune to the Leads.  And, as always, express the emotional message of the song.
  • Sweet Dreams:  Karlene Hancock taught us the new & improved & simplified choreography for Sweet Dreams.  I uploaded the video to youtube and will send everyone the link in a separate email so you can study it and know it next week.  It's really simple so I'm sure you'll get it quickly:) 

BUDGET:  Elaine Rosenberg presented the proposed budget for the remainder of 2018.  We are trying something new this year, switching to managing our budget based on the calendar year instead of the fiscal year (May 1 thru April 30).  There were some very good questions asked and we will vote on the budget next week.  If you were unable to attend rehearsal last night (7 members) and are interested in seeing the budget, please contact Elaine and she'll send you a copy to review.

PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITY:  The Elks asked OSC to perform for their annual Flag Day ceremony next Thursday, June 14th.  A small group of you raised your hands, and some of you were not sure, so please get back to me immediately to let me know you can perform (or not).  If we have enough singers (and a fairly balanced group), we will sing just 2 songs (Star-Spangled Banner and Peace on Earth), so we only need a short amount of your time (meeting at 6:00, singing at 6:30, done by 6:45).  We want to keep the Elks happy with us!  Diane Watson is coordinating with the client; I am the one collecting names, so please contact me about singing.  ASAP.  Practice those 2 songs so you are note-perfect:) 


GUESTS We had 5 guests last night (Marilyn Ellis, Nattale Baxter, Jenn Steinmetz, LeaAnn Bettis, and Jenna Alcalde).  Be sure to reach out to them and let them know you enjoyed meeting them, answer questions about the chorus, and help them meet other ladies.  Your connections are what will bring them back!  We've got our GIRLS' NIGHT OUT coming up and would really like to get more ladies in here to sing with us and although we've had a lot of success with Meetup, the best and most meaningful way to get them here is to PERSONALLY INVITE THEM.  Call them.  Follow up with an email.  Tell them why you love singing in Oregon Spirit Chorus and what it has brought to your life.   At this point, I only have 3 people who have RSVP'd for our June 19th membership drive, so be sure to make those personal connections and bring more women into our fabulous group!  Please send me the names of your guests.  We'll start promptly at 6:00 so ask them to arrive a few minutes early to get signed-in.

Thanks for another great rehearsal!  I love seeing/hearing the improvements each week and so appreciate your dedication to the music and your chorus sisters.  Each time you rehearse, take the time to work on the basics (breath, posture, resonance), and then PERFORM at your very highest level.  Record yourself and you'll hear the difference - what a thrill for you and everyone around you!!!


Love - Kathy


Kathy Scheel,
Jun 6, 2018, 10:40 AM