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SUMMARY 11/13 -- PLAN 11/20

posted Nov 14, 2018, 8:52 AM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Nov 14, 2018, 9:09 AM ]
Another fun night - I love being so "in the moment" with the music that time just zips by!  We had lots of guests and we made it through almost all of the songs; nearly everyone is off the music - NICE GOING, LADIES!  

We have two rehearsals (Nov 20 and 27) before our first performance, the Holiday Harmony Show (12/4), and everything is coming together very nicely!  We will spend the next two weeks working on the showmanship side of things - staging, riser placement, on/off risers, so every body is needed at these final two rehearsals in order to work things out, and for you to continue to gain confidence in your own personal presentation.  One of the things that will make a big difference is the work you do away from rehearsals, so try this:  Sing the songs in front of a mirror and see if you are actually changing your facial expressions, moving with the rhythm of the song, really telling the story of the lyrics.  It's very possible that you feel like you are doing a lot, but when you actually look in the mirror, you'll realize that your face needs much more animation, and your eyes should twinkle and shine.  What's really wonderful is that when you free up the body and face like this, the VOICE is also affected in a very positive way.  Try it and you'll see what I mean!

Here is the show lineup (see more details in Performance Central) as well as a few notes about each of them so you'll know what to work on, along with the staging plan.    
  • Staging:  Sections in rows (leads on top, basses in front)
  • HAPPY HOLIDAY(with Kathy Sandstrom's finger bells)
    • Pitch:  E-flat
    • Basses - it's a high E-flat 
    • Everyone - try not to hit the B so hard on "bells" 
    • Every time we sing ding or dong, go right to the NG 
    • Tempo should be lively as we invite the audience into our performance and send the message of happiness (does your face show you're happy?)
  • Staging:  Leads split, go around the sides to the front 
    • Pitch:  B-flat
    • Everyone starts on the same note; work on singing it softly but with the same amount of energy you use on the louder passages (keep your softs supported and solid)
    • On "sisters" and "sister" look briefly and meaningfully to the person next to you
    • On the tag, need lots more baritone
    • When everyone sings "me", think of the back wall of your throat being dome-shaped so the soft palate is raised and the EE vowel is tall (rather than thin/wide).
  • Staging:  Stay in same position, but people in front (leads/basses) can move slightly forward/downstage so you are nearer the audience and really telling the story
    • Pitch:  E-flat
    • Have fun with this and get physically involved so the audience is drawn into the silliness
    • Have a credit card hidden in your clothing so you can pull it out on the last word of the 1st verse (Mastercard).
    • Go ahead and gesture throughout, play with your neighbor, play with the audience.
  • Staging:  Move into sections (basses on your left, then baris, then leads, then tenors on the right)
    • Pitch:  E  (written in E-flat)
    • Build the chord one part at a time, start with lowest note in the chord, so it will be bass, lead (you're below the baritone), baritone (you're above the lead), and tenor
    • The song should have a romantic feel to it, and the intro and tag are especially wistful.
    • Work on the key changes so you stay in tune with the chorus.
    • Use lots of energy to keep in key so the basses are able to easily sing measures 31-32
    • Tag is really lovely - love the way you're softening it so it feels dreamy
  • Staging:  Sections move slightly away from each other so each section is separate, on my cue, the tenors-leads-baritones turn and face the basses as the pitch is blown.  I give a quick cue and count to 8 as the top 3 parts are snapping their fingers, basses are facing the audience
    • Pitch:  G  (basses' first note)
    • Remember where the "push" beats are (where you note is slightly before the beat)
    • Tenors, remember not to speed up when you come in, and sing within your unit sound (no soloists)
    • Everyone work on your pure OH vowel, so every time you sing GO, it will ring.  Also the last word of the song is "born" but you should hold open that BOH vowel until you put the brief "rn" on it, then we'll hold that last NN for a moment.
  • Exit stage left (your left as you stand on the stage)
  • Guest performers
    • Local Boyz Quartet performs
    • Serenade/Willamette GirlChoir
    • Eileen Kemp, December 24
    • Valley Girls quartet
  • INTERMISSION (20 minutes, but you'll only have 10 minutes so you're ready backstage for 2nd half)
  • Staging:  In sections
    • Pitch:  D  (basses' note)
    • The pitch is built from the bottom to the top (bass-bari-lead-tenor), then changes to the chord
    • Leads, keep that beautiful softness in your voice, and always breathe together so you start & end each phrase as a unit
    • Harmony parts, stretch those chords out when the leads are doing the pickups (Mary, did you) then take a catch breath to sing "know" 
    • Leads - Be aware of where the tenors or basses take over the melody
    • M56-57 has a slightly different breath plan.  Don't breathe between "boy was", then breath after "heaven's".
    • Everyone - Continue your great work on those last 3 notes so those chords really ring!  
    • Pitch:  G
    • The tempo is very lively so work on your choreography which will help keep the tempo steady.  Get the audience's toes tapping!
    • Baritones - check your interval accuracy on the last two lines of the song.
  • Kathy and OSC teach audience the Doggy Tag 
  • Elaine Rosenberg announce winners (per fundraisers)
  • Exit stage left
  • Snow Bells Octet
  • Gary Raze, The Night Before Christmas
  • Oregon SenateAires (5 songs)
  • OSC backstage on their 5th song.
  • Staging:  Both choruses (women and men) will be on the risers (or possibly some on the floor at the sides).  The SenateAires will be at the 11/20 rehearsal and we'll work out the logistics so you'll know where you'll stand.
    • Pitch:  B-flat
    • The men start the song, then just our leads/tenors sing M5-8, then basses/baris come in.
    • Bring your own recording device/smart phone to the risers so you can get a really good recording of this and can work on it at home for the next couple of weeks.
    • Pitch:G
    • The men start the song and we come in M3
  • Curtain Call - all performers on stage, singing with audience "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"
  • Go to the lobby to thank people for coming to our show.  

    • Pitch:  F
    • Elaine Rosenberg and Karlene Hancock presented the fun visual plan for After I'm Gone.  Elaine sent the choreo sheets to you via email so make a copy and study it so it's familiar.  It's going to be a lot of fun, and it's really easy and natural stuff.   We may go through some of it this coming weekend, so Sandy can see if there are any spots where there may be problems that affect the sound.  
    • Note:  Sandy Marron is the Sound Judge at the next Region 12 Competition in May.
    • Breaths should be energized and quick so you maintain tempo and tonal center.
    • Great job on this one, ladies!
    • Pitch:  F
    • Lovely work on the intro.
    • The main challenge on this song is to keep it in key, especially on the first page.  Practice singing it while you plunk an F (the key) repeatedly.    Highlight your sheet music every time you sing an F (baritones and basses, you've got a ton of 'em), so it's critical that you maintain your tonal center; otherwise, it will be really hard to sing the lower passages on page 2.
    • Work on taking energized breaths that are packed with emotion and passion!  It's so much more than just notes and words!  Dive headfirst into the lyrical poetry!
    • Pitch: B
    • The main challenge on this is remembering the lyrics, and the places where it's slightly different than expected.  Sing with the Speed of Sound recording (over & over & over) so it begins to make more sense, and you will sing with more anticipation.  You'll also hear their breathing plan,which is what I'd like OSC to do.  As you listen to them, mark your music in whatever way will help you remember how the song progresses.  
    • Highlight your part, mark where you have the key note.  Remember that we're actually singing this 1/2 step up from where it's written, but here's what you should mark:
      • M1-21:  mark every B-flat
      • M22-43:  mark every B
      • M44-57:  mark every C
    • First measure - be ready.  That's all.  
    • Check for clean/accurate intervals.  Sing the first page and then check yourself at the bottom of the page.  If you end up slightly under pitch, it will affect the rest of the song (and several people around you), so each singer's attention to this is important.  It just takes a bit of self-training and you'll get it (and the basses will thank you on the bottom of page 3).
    • Harmony parts - good job on holding those chords while leads do their pickups.
    • M23-25 -  Leads, your part is very high and you're burying the Tenors, who are singing the melody below you.  Some of you switched to tenor for these measures, so sing those low notes strongly.
    • M40 - Baritones be ready for your melody moment; everyone else be ready, too.  This measures always sounds like it's a surprise - heh.

5:00    Show Meeting
6:25    On the risers!
6:30    Rehearsal starts
7:00    Oregon SenateAires arrive
8:00    Guys leave; we continue rehearsal, staging, etc.
8:30    Christmas Chorus leaves; OSC refreshes coaching highlights
9:30    Afterglow - unwind at Denny's

  • Leah Law presented the Spirited Sister boa to Toni Roush, who always has a smile on her face and is a total delight to be with!
  • Everyone is on the marketing team (members and guests alike), so help with advertising our show, sell tickets!
  • If you can sell a few ads for the program it will offset costs of printing, so if you can contact one of your local businesses, or your hair or nail salon, or real estate broker, ask them to buy a space in our program where over 300 people will see it, and they'll be helping a non-profit group (OSC).  Please be sure to send a note to Carilyn Ellis (cellisalaska@yahoo.com) to let her know what size of ad you have (business card, half page, full page).  
    • Deadline is Monday, 11/19. 
  • Amy Amato was presented with a 3rd Place Division AA Medal.  She worked hard to be ready and was just so sick she was unable to be on stage with us, so she earned that medal.
  • Please help us all stay on schedule.  Arrive early - vocally and mentally ready - and stay through the entire rehearsal.  as it makes it difficult to work on various aspects of the music when voices/bodies are missing.  We need you:) 
  • We welcomed in our newest member, Elaine Mishey!  Elaine travels from the coast each week to sing with OSC, so give her a big hug when you see her Saturday!