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posted Sep 5, 2018, 9:25 AM by Kathy Scheel

GREAT REHEARSAL, LADIES!   It was wonderful to see Sara & Amy Amato back on the risers with us after their August vacation, and we welcomed a new guest (Tera) who loved her experience and is coming back!  We also had returning guests Jenn Steinmetz, Marilyn Ellis, and LeaAnn Bettis, and Scott Chatten (SenateAires men's chorus) just enjoyed watching our rehearsal.   

Warmups were focused on VOWELS and DIPHTHONGS.  When you are practicing at home, be sure to sing those target vowels so every singer in the chorus will match (no voices sticking out). You are a wind instrument and it takes lots of control to keep your vocal "kite" riding smoothly in the air, and doing the Stemple exercises daily will build control over the muscles of your vocal tract.  Also, a great way to reduce tension in the jaw/tongue and provide the most resonant sound that we all strive for is to put your knuckles in your cheeks.  Record yourself and hear the difference!

We reviewed some songs that we'll be performing for our guests on 9/18, but they need some individual attention to bring them up to a higher performance level:
  • Sweet Dreams - practiced the choreography plan - see:  https://youtu.be/VcbQi9bRyuo
  • All the Things You Are -  took out the breath between 1st and 2nd phrase of intro, worked on more emotional/energized breaths to keep the intro in tune (not flatting) and to add more drama to the entire song more, paid attention to lyrical message and target vowels.
  • Who's Sorry Now - ran through with choreography, but it needs individual attention when you practice it at home this week, perform in front of a mirror while singing, and add 10% more of everything (energy, tempo, resonant breaths, vowels). Study this video to refresh your memory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvBmEK089ao&feature=youtu.be
We also reviewed some of our newer songs and are continuing to make progress on them.  I think that most of you are at or near 100% accuracy on them, so we're mainly working on UNITY.  As always, I encourage you to schedule some off-site sessions with others so you can address some of the trouble spots and really solidify the unit sound (vowels, instant tuning, breathing together, etc.).  Take it upon yourself to set those up; they can be 3-4 singers or the whole section, or members of each section, or duets, or any combination.  It's a great way to work on your music and help the chorus improve, but it's always a FUN time to spend with your singing sisters!   

Self-evaluations are part of OSC's Quality Control program, and since I know that you all want to sing your very best, I trust that every member is participating fully.  Turn your recordings in to your section leaders for review (section leaders send yours to me). 

  • After I'm Gone - We made good progress on this!  Remember that the learning tracks are updated so download the latest recordings from the Music Library and sing with each of the other parts as well as your own.  There are a lot of quick, moving parts in this song so work on being very accurate and true to the notes.
  • Forgotten Dreams/Long Ago & Far Away - This is coming along nicely and most of you know the notes; we'll continue to work on unity and flow.
  • Fun in Just One Lifetime - This will be such fun to sing; it sounds like you are all at 100% on this!
  • Sister Act - Keep working on this so we can get it performance-ready. 
  • The Parting Glass - I wanted to go through this so we don't lose it completely, but we were missing 10 people last night and apparently they were all the ones who sing the middle part - ha!  So please take a look at this lovely song and we'll go through it next month.
LOOK-AHEAD (and other miscellaneous stuff)

September Setup Crew:  Thanks to Sara Amata, Amy Amato, and Janet Owen for volunteering to be the setup crew for September.  Let Elaine Rosenberg know if you can help in future months.  

September 18 - Sing A'cappella!  This is an important open house/guest night, and we need EVERY MEMBER to invite people to sing with OSC.  Take the flyer out to various places where women gather (health clubs, hair salons, nail salons, weight-loss centers, etc.) and take someone with you (partner up) and share the news about getting a free voice lesson, learning a song, meeting awesome women, and singing in the annual Christmas Chorus.  Share your love of singing and friendships and education and fun.  OSC is Salem's best-kept secret - and we need to change that!   It's just two weeks away, so your personal marketing is what's needed to make this guest night a big success!  Watch this video for some motivation:  https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.aldridgezucker/videos/10155940687584926

September 29 Plan:  Since Mo Field is not able to come to Salem after all, we are taking advantage of the fact that so many of you are available!  So here's the plan for that day:
  • Morning - Costume Team (and all seamstresses) organize the tunic-cutting work party at the Elks.  Cindy Meyers will let all of you know when to be there, what to bring (pins and scissors, for sure), and how it will work.
  • 1:00 -  Tunic-cutting work party for everyone.  Each member will be instructed and guided by our many talented seamstresses on how to cut your own tunic, as well as get ideas on how to embellish it to make it unique and beautiful.
  • 2:00 - Barbershop craft class.  What does it mean to sing at a B+ level?  
  • 3:00 - Christmas music review.  Print your own sheet music from our Music Library:
    • Happy Holiday
    • Go, Tell it on the Mountain
    • Peace on Earth
    • BankAmericard
    • Winter Wonderland
    • Jingle Bell Rock
    • Mary, Did You Know
    • O, Holy Night
    • Joy to the World
  • 5:00 - Pizza together, anyone?

October 2 - Christmas Chorus kickoff:  We will be kicking off our annual Christmas Chorus on October 2nd, and the weekly schedule will be to work on holiday music for 90 minutes and regular songs for 90 minutes.  We hope to have another large turnout, so if you have friends who want to sing in the Christmas Chorus, invite them to our September 18th open house so they also get a free voice lesson.  Maybe this is the year they'll decide to STAY after the holidays.  Here's the weekly schedule for Oct-Dec:
  • 6:30-8:00 - Christmas music 
  • 8:00-8:15 - Transition time (for those who wish to leave; please help us stay on schedule)
  • 8:15-9:30 -  Regular repertoire