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SUMMARY 10/23 - PLAN 10/30

posted Oct 24, 2018, 11:42 AM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Oct 24, 2018, 11:52 AM ]
We started the evening by welcoming our guests:  Paula Burgess, Frances Beranbaum, Shelly Sims, Sharon Dodge, Kathy Sandstrom, Kathi Schie, Angela Beckner, and Karen Rutledge!   They are doing such a great job in learning the Christmas songs, and we'll have all of November to polish them up to a beautiful shine.  I'd like to say thank you to Janet Owen for taking such good care of the guests, answering their questions, helping them set up their OSC accounts so they can get emails, learning tracks, and all the information available to them here on our website.  And also thanks to each of you Riser Buddies for maintaining contact with them and making them feel welcome.  We hope they will all consider joining OSC full-time in January!

After vocal warmups, including the doggy tag and the round, and always breathing/singing in the Hoot-Owl tunnel to add more resonance, we got to hear the Valley Girls Quartet, performing in public for the first time.  What fun it is to see this new group formed within the chorus:  Judy Gobat, Cat West, Denise Taylor, and Diane Watson.  Congratulations, ladies!   

The Spirited Sister boa was presented by Norine Ask to Karen Wildman for her wonderful leadership and organizational skills as Show Chair.  What a great asset she is to Oregon Spirit Chorus as she brings such energy and talent to our group!

SUMMARY - 10/23

  • Mary, Did You Know - first chord is built by adding one part at a time (a bell chord) on OH (bass-baritone-lead-tenor) then going right into the chord swipe, basses sing more in your upper register/mixed voice (it will feel like a soprano), pay close attention to the rhythms on the learning tracks, harmony parts remember that when the leads have all those pick-ups ("Mary, did you") you will hold those chords strongly until the very last moment before you join them on "know".  Try to be off the sheet music on this one by next week so we can work on unity, dynamics, interpretation.  You're all very close, and I'm looking forward to hearing you sing this lovely song again.
  • Happy Holiday - nice job on this, and remember to listen for who has the melody and be sensitive.  For instance, if the tenors have the melody and there are only 2-3 tenors present, and your section has 12 singers, sing softer so the melody can be always be heard.  Or when the basses have the melody, make sure your part (baris and leads) is not overpowering them.  It's all about balancing the chords for the best sound.
  • Winter Wonderland - We will build the chord on an OHH, starting with Bass, then Lead, then Baritone, then Tenor.  We worked on the tag to be sure everyone really hears how those jazzy chords should be tuned, and they will be sung with a very mellow, soft approach instead of the more assertive "barbershop" sound.  Work on making that transition as we enter the tag of the song.  Also work on making those key changes tune a bit higher - moving into an entirely new key.
  • Go, Tell it on the Mountain -  Sorry about putting you in the wrong order on the risers and making you snap your fingers with your left hand - HA!  Next week, I'll get it correct for sure!  You're almost off the sheet music on this one, so I'm eager to work on unity and dynamics.  Each section is having sectionals (yay) so be sure to work on really tight unit sound - all singers with the same vowel, breathing in the same space, breathing with the same energy.  (This applies to everything we do as singers.)
  • Jingle Bell Rock - This old standby is always great, and definitely a toe-tapper for the audience.  When you rehearse it, let your bodies move back and forth (like demonstrated by Elaine Rosenberg last night) - yeah!

A few announcements were made - and they will also be shared via email because so many of our members were absent last night (and we sure missed 'em).  
  • Eileen Kemp and JoAnn Perry shared their most favorite moments from attending last week's International Competition in St. Louis.  They both spoke of the amazing level of energy and talent and creativity and unity in each group.  I hope everyone will watch some of the amazing performances via the Sweet Adelines Youtube channel.  Here's the link so you can go there easily (add this to your "Favorites" bar):  
    • https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=sweet+adelines+international+2018
  • Karen Wildman - show update, tickets, fundraiser idea that will require a bit more time/energy from each singer (members AND guests)
  • Janice LaCombe - poinsettia sales starting now (big fundraiser for the chorus - not just for friends, but also for businesses that like to buy LOTS of them for their offices)
  • Elaine Rosenberg - Elks has requested our help for a Saturday night dinner.  Need 3 people; let Elaine know (asap) if you can do it.
  • Judy Gobat - Dress up for Halloween next week
  • Leah Law - Updating photos for the Member Directory
  • Me - meeting with Diane Watson and the directors of Willamette GirlChoir (WGC) with exciting plans for a future of activities together/partnering.
  • Firstly - It's HUG YOUR BARITONE WEEKALL THE BARITONES WERE PRESENT!  What a wonderful difference it makes in the sound to have all of you there - wow!  Thanks, ladies!
  • Secondly (and not so positively) - Some people are choosing to leave at the 8:00 break, and we miss their voices; it's truly not the same with gaps on the risers.  We had just 21 singers for the second half of last night's rehearsal (out of 32 members).  If you are singing in the regular chorus, we truly need you to stay for the entire rehearsal (or let me know if there is a good reason that you must leave early).  You miss so much, which means a lot of repetition the following week, and that's frustrating for the other singers (and me).  Everyone's commitment to OSC's musical progress will sure be appreciated.  If you must miss a rehearsal, please let me know ahead of time (I usually leave home at about 5:30).  See the GPS that you created together a few weeks ago at the bottom of this post.
  • All the Things You Are - I tried some interpretive changes, as well as some chord changes but I will wait to make a decision on these these edits until I can hear the full chorus (only 4 leads and 2 tenors for the last half of rehearsal).  So let's try it again next week when everyone is there.  This is so important as we only have 3 rehearsals (with just 80 minutes each) before our weekend sessions with Sandy Marron where we will be working extensively on this song (and the uptune).  Here are some of the things we tried, so go ahead and use a colored pencil to mark your sheet music so you can rehearse them a few times before next Tuesday:
    • M1-2: sung in unison, by the whole chorus, or perhaps just one half of the chorus (will try again next week)
    • M3-4:  sung as a duet, or perhaps in unison by the other half of the chorus (will try again next week)
    • M7:  basses add a D-flat on the 3rd note of your swipe
    • M9:  sing it very softly with passion, "your" has an OO vowel, then a breath after "love", basses tune "yoor" a bit higher
    • M9.5-11:  sing it a bitter quicker, with a quick/excited breath after "hand"
    • M12:  delete the word/chord on "the" so it's sung "my HEART beats faster
    • M15:  changed chords (and this may change again when Sandy Marron is here) but try this for now
      • Lyrics:  Is you  (just you)
      • Tenors - "just you", no change in notes (A - Aflat)
      • Leads - "is you" stay on the F on "you"
      • Baritones - "just you", C - D
      • Basses - "just you", F - Bflat
    • M23: Dynamic contrast on "Oh"
    • MM26-27:  Move the breath, so the phrase is "Oh, you are the breathless hush of evening that trembles" (BREATH)  on the brink of a lovely song.
    • M30:  Hold that first unison note for a moment longer
    • M44:  Hold that chord longer and very strongly -  then wait a moment before moving to the next phrase, very softly, intimately
    • M49-54:  Start softer and let the phrase grow gradually.  This will take some practice at home for each of you so you'll know how your voice works as you sing it with this different approach.  Again, it may change again when Sandy Marron works with us, but let's give it a try again net week when we've got all voices there to support each other.
  • The Parting Glass - It was so nice to hear this lovely Celtic song again.  It's going to be nice to have this one back in our performing repertoire.
  • Happy Birthday - Thanks for learning this fun one.  Nice job!  Work on keeping the tempo steady and energized, and allow for the melody to be heard by the leads.

Joyful may we come, and joyful may we stay, and joyful may we leave again at closing of the day.

Everyone is always invited to come to Denny's to unwind after chorus rehearsal.  It's always fun and noisy and we just enjoy each other's company and get better acquainted.  

NEXT WEEK - 10/30

  • 6;00 - Halloween dress-up night!  Come early for snacks and socializing! But please monitor the time so you're all on the risers by 6:30.
  • 6:30 - Christmas music - try to be off the sheet music so we can polish these songs.  When you're holding music, it's tough to watch the director and unity is a big part of making the chords ring.
    • Mary, Did You Know 
    • Joy to the World
    • Oh, Holy Night
  • 8:00 - Regular repertoire
    • All the Things You Are - try the new changes noted above with all voices there
    • After I'm Gone - overview of the fun visual plan
    • The Parting Glass - review and solidify 
    • Happy Birthday - review and solidify

NOVEMBER 17-18:  

Sandy Marron, Sound Judge (who will also be one of judging us in Sound at Regional Competition next May) will work with us both days, and I'm so pleased that we'll have 31 people that day (+ possibly 3 guests).   I waited until I had heard from everyone before I confirmed the date with Sandy because she is expensive and I wanted to be sure it was cost-effective, so it's really important that we have all of you there Saturday (9:00-4:00) and Sunday (9:00-1:00).  You will get great education on vocal skills and blending the chorus for the best possible sound, we'll be making some more improvements on both songs, including some chord edits, interpretive changes, and more!  But she needs all voices there in order to make decisions (with me) on riser placement (you know how you sing slightly different based on whose voices are around you, right?).  

You need to know the two songs we'll work on:  After I'm Gone, All the Things You Are, so she can work her magic on them.  There is a lot of stop & go at coaching sessions, working a few phrases at a time, so by the end of the day you will totally know these two songs, and we'll bring them up a level - so exciting!

It's helpful for coaches to know names and parts, so remember to wear your name badge, and wear your section's colored shirt.  Here are the colors on my riser chart - let's go with these:
  • Tenors: blue
  • Leads:  red
  • Baritones:  green
  • Basses:  yellow

GPS - Guiding Purpose Slogan:  A concise, meaningful mantra to help us gain/maintain the enthusiasm and passion for our chorus, our sisters in song, our music, and our commitment to each other.