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SUMMARY 10/16 - PLAN 10/23

posted Oct 17, 2018, 10:10 AM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Oct 19, 2018, 5:45 PM ]
We are so excited to have so many awesome guests each week!  This week, we had 20 ladies singing with us:
  1. Frances Beranbaum (tenor), Meetup
  2. Maddie Sims (tenor), Toni's granddaughter
  3. Paula Burgess (lead), former OSC member
  4. Tammy Flora (bass), Nextdoor
  5. Karen Rutledge (bass), Flyer and Facebook Woodburn Area Friendly Neighbors 
  6. Shelly Sims (lead), Toni's daughter
  7. Sharon Dodge (lead), former Christmas Chorus
  8. Kathi Schie (lead), former OSC member
  9. Kathy Sandstrom (lead), former Christmas Chorus
  10. Angela Beckner (baritone), friend of Denise Taylor
  11. Elaine Mishey (baritone), friend of Karen Wildman (Elaine passed her audition last week!!)
These new singers are coming from all different sources - Meetup, Nextdoor-Aurora, Facebook Neighborhood group, and even the flyer that was posted downtown.  Take a moment (right now) and post a note on one or all of these media.  it's easy and it's definitely working, so let's keep the momentum going to grow this chorus!

We also missed our members who couldn't be at rehearsal this week!  We hope to see you back next week cuz we are just not the same without you:   Bonnie Flatt, Christine Harder-Hall, Marla Moberg, JoAnn Perry, Cat West, Marilyn Ellis, Eileen Kemp, Janet Owen.  

This year's Christmas Chorus currently has a whopping 45 singers!!  Keep 'em coming!  We have just 6 rehearsals before our show on December 4th, so every rehearsal is very important for every singer to attend.  And what a glorious sound you make!  

  • Do some sirens with an exaggerated hoot-owl type of sound.  Do you feel your soft palate lift and your tongue lower?  This exercise will stretch the back wall of your throat, creating more resonating space.  That's what we always want!  That's what will create blended voices!  And if (when) everyone does it, it creates an expanded sound that Is awesome.  But it will take lots of practice and repetition - and trust.  Do this exercise every day - as many times as possible.  Record yourself and start building this new singing space into a habit.  
  • Doggy Tag - Such a fun and easy little ditty that the audiences will really enjoy doing with us.  Definitely a crowd-pleaser!  And go ahead and play with the visual plan - Bulldogs (basses), Chihuahuas (baritones), Terriers (tenors), and the cute little girls wanting the puppy in the window (leads)
  • Sing in front of the mirror and see if your face is showing that you really enjoy singing!  

  • Mary, Did You Know - It's coming along so nicely!  Just a little more homework and you'll have it.
  • Oh, Holy Night - Be sure to mark your music, highlighting the notes that OSC will be singing so it's easier to follow.  I will be directing this song when we sing it with the SenateAires on our show (Dec 4) and on their show (Dec 16). 
  • Joy to the World - Steve Morin will be directing this song on our respective shows.   The guys will come to our rehearsal on November 20th to go through both songs, so we need to really know our stuff by then.  
  • Peace on Earth - Many of you know this from last year, so it makes it so much easier for the newer people to learn it quickly.  Nice job!
  • BankAmericard - As you're working on the notes & words, add a lot of "attitude" to this song to make it visually fun for the audiences.  Facial expressions and body language will play a big part in their enjoyment.
  • Happy Holiday - The first chord is high for everyone, so breathe in that spacious "pre-yawn" space to make room for a relaxed tone.  As you sing the song, be very aware of who is singing the melody.  

  • Last week, I reviewed the elements of the four main areas of good singing, as described by the judges of our art form.  These are the standards we all strive for on every song, in every performance, and every contest.  
    • Sound - the blended sound that is well-balanced (Sandy Marron will be working on with us Nov 17-18)
    • Expression - the lyrical approach to the music, how it's expressed. 
    • Showmanship - bringing the lyrics to life with visual energy and storytelling
    • Music - the arrangement and how it's sung
  • This week, I listed the guidelines that our judges use when adjudicating a performance at contest.  These guidelines are attached at the bottom of this post.  When you look at the differences between a B level performance and a B+ level performance, it's pretty clear what is required:  consistency in every aspect!   It seems simple, right?  But it takes a lot of focused work, and everyone being "in the moment" at each rehearsal.  it also takes individual work at home to be sure you are singing the right notes & words (basics) and applying the proper vowels, turning the diphthongs, dynamic contrast, characterization, and everything else you saw on last week's flipchart (and the attachment to the Kathy's Korner post).  But, you know what?  I BELIEVE IN YOU!  

  • Fun In Just One Lifetime - Started with the tag and got it tuned nicely.  Then went back through the whole song and you did a great job when we split the chorus.  Everyone will need to know all of the song because you'll likely be in a different place when we perform it, so the people singing Part I or II will change each time.  Just need to see that tag coming before you get there - ha!
  • After I'm Gone - The phrase-by-phrase approach is definitely working!  We're getting tighter and tighter every week and that's exciting!   Your individual work is sure paying off!  Two changes in lyrics that you should mark on your own music:
    • Measure 34:  "bath" (remove the S)
    • Measure 65:  change "mold" back to "green" - it's easier to understand 
  • Blending your voice with the person next to you means LISTENING and truly "borrowing" a little bit of their sound and adding it to your own.  You each have a unique voice, and it takes big EARS to make that wonderful blend that makes the chords lock and ring!

  • Sang the round "Joy may we come, and joyful may we stay.  And joyful may we leave again at closing of the day."
  • I am offering free vocal coaching at my house (11684 Lark Court, Aurora) for anyone interested in working on the songs you choose.  It can be Christmas songs or regular repertoire, depending on who is there.  It can be all parts, or just a few.  We'll work on learning how to a matched, resonant sound and whatever else is needed for that particular group.  I will offer one-hour sessions of 1:00-2:00, 2:00-3:00, and 3:00-4:00 so send me a private email (Kathy.scheel@oregonspirit.org) to let me know what session(s) you'd like (you can do more than one!) on the following Monday afternoons:
    • October 29
    • November 5
    • November 12 -  also evening from 6:00-8:00
    • November 26
  • Several of us had fun socializing at Denny's for our Afterglow, a great way to wind down from the "buzz" we get from singing!  This week, we had Jenn Steinmetz, Linda O'Donnell, Diane Watson, Judy Dixon, Paula Burgess, Diane Calkins, Norine Ask, Toni Roush, Shelly Sims, and Maddie Sims.  FUN - come with us next week!


Christmas songs:
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Go, Tell it on the Mountain
  • Jingle Bell Rock
  • Review the songs we've done so far, especially Mary, Did You Know
Regular repertoire:
  • Who's Sorry Now - let's recapture the energy on this fun song!  With choreography and characterization (practice ahead of time)
  • The Parting Glass - a lovely Celtic feeling
  • Happy Birthday - my arrangement
  • All the Things You Are - some changes I'd like to try 

Kathy Scheel,
Oct 17, 2018, 10:45 AM