Vocalise Rehearsal Blog

Dear Vocalise Singers,

Thank you, once again, for your diligent work! Refining and polishing repertoire takes so much focus and requires being very detail-oriented. It is really difficult, and you are doing an admirable job. Keep it up!

Announcements:

 

  • Elena assigned all singers to practice the sequence of
    “moment of stillness –alignment — breathing — movement — meditation”
    three times per week, 15 min or more each time.

This was reviewed carefully at the beginning of the rehearsal. Please, see the attached photo of the whiteboard for the flow reminder. There isn’t one “set way” of doing it but remember what you wish to achieve by the practice:

  • Light, energetic, flexible body — ready to live, connect, sing
    Calm, clear, open mind
    Curious, playful, welcoming spirit

 

  • Please, be reminded that Only Aria, Bravi, and VTG are participating in the Gala on Jan. 30th: All other singers will not be singing that night, but all parents are invited and encouraged to attend this festive and important event!

 

REMINDER: Please, review the handout you got in rehearsal on 1/11: it has precise plan for each rehearsal and the list of current repertoire. There is a lot of music in your folders — notice which ones are a repeat from December (for our February concert at ACDA and recording session on 2/1) and which are for the festival and the spring concerts. All music needs to stay fresh in your minds and voices.

18 January Rehearsal Review [Notes courtesy of Megan Tobias–thank you!]

Pavel Chesnokov, Praise the Lord the Highest

Ran through top to bottom, worked on each one of the three sections in detail

Main challenges to work on and to improve for the next rehearsal:

  1. Being passionately engaged with the piece from the first to the last note: vocally, emotionally, and mentally. Not waiting for the conductor or other singers to provide the

‘fire” — BE the fire, shine brightly, be intense in your musical engagement but relaxed in your body. You need to practice the way you will perform – -this should be your motto in any kind of routine practise.

  1. Keeping the tempo consistent: quarter=150 for sections A and A1, 120 for section B

Practice with you metronome each time.

  1. The oft-repeated word “Khvalite” (Praise) needs your attention: KhvAA — this syllable

needs a warmer and more spacious “A” vowel. Don’t make it a colorless Schwa!  

  1. Pay close attention to the dynamics – -they change fast and you must know the

dynamic plan very well on your own.

Sing with conviction and confidence

Connect phrases, as discussed “Hvalite” to “Hvalite,” Alliluia’s are connected as well.

  • Downbeats are strong and committed but the feel of each of them is UP, not down (contrary to the name itself) Remember of the circular “up” motion of our conducting gestures. Also, remember the boogie board metaphor we used.

Libertango

  • Here is a very good recording of the piece
  • Consider the style and character of Tango: Bold, intense, serious, daring–what makes it that way? [Remember the five elements of music: Rhythm, Melody, Harmony, Timbre and Dynamics]
  • Precise rhythm, exact tempo, instrumental style of articulation, intense minor harmonies, sharp chromaticism of melodies are all crucial parts of a tango
  • Be consistent with accents: they stay the same in the beginning. Go through the entire piece with your pencil and notice many articulation marks.
  • S1: we worked very hard on starting each new melody and motives with strong articulation.. Please, review and reinforce your ability to do so.
  • S1 and S2: change all “pa”s to “da” at the beginning of phrases
  • S1 and S2: review melodic lines in middle section for accuracy: we will have some “quality control” check of this spot next week.

I Wish You Christmas

  • We worked on singing this as precisely as possible for recording. Remember: with a recording, all of the sensory input comes from listening!
  • Eyes up for pickups–sing them precisely and together
  • Be aware of other vocal parts changing notes in cadences where your part is just sustaining the note: give time for that change to happen, listen attentively for such little “events”
  • End phrases gently, on fermatas, avoid blowing sound bubbles
  • Watch and sing sensitively, “Excited, but warmly”

photo (1)

January 20, 2016

January 18, 2016/Rehearsal #3

Dear Vocalise Singers, Thank you, once again, for your diligent work! Refining and polishing repertoire takes so much focus and requires being very detail-oriented. It is really difficult, and you are doing an admirable job. Keep it up! Announcements:   Elena assigned all singers to practice the sequence of “moment of stillness –alignment — breathing — movement — meditation” three […]
January 15, 2016

January 11, 2016/Rehearsal #2

Dear Vocalise Singers, Please be sure to read Elena’s wonderful email from Monday night — it is copied at the end of the notes. You are off to a great start this semester with many amazing things to come! Announcements:   You have been asked to practice the alignment — breathing — meditation sequence three times per week, 15 min […]
January 9, 2016

January 4, 2016/Rehearsal #1

  Dear Vocalise Singers, How exciting it is to begin a new semester. It is going to be a busy one! Please, plan well and stay healthy to enjoy all events and concerts! Here are some of the things we have to look forward to in the next several months:   January 30th: Aria and Bravi perform at Cantabile’s Gala […]
December 3, 2015

November 30, 2015/Rehearsal #13

Dear Vocalise Singers, Thank you for two nights in a row of very hard work! The concert is finally upon us. This week’s blog contains notes and reminders for Sunday, so it is in a slightly different format. Read on to prepare! News and Reminders (many this week–please read them all!!) Holiday Concert — spread the news! Invite your friends, […]
November 24, 2015

November 23rd, 2015/Rehearsal #12

Dear Vocalise Singers, It was a joy to work with you this week while sending Elena healing vibes. Thank you for your focused, dedicated work. You are sounding great. News and Reminders (many this week–please read them all!!) Holiday Concert — spread the news! Invite your friends, teachers, family! California Theatre has 1200 great seats — let’s fill them with […]
November 22, 2015

November 16, 2015/Rehearsal #11

  Dear Vocalise Singers, Elena had a wonderful note for all of you on Tuesday. Please check your email to read it. As a personal note from Laney, I was moved to have even a tiny part in the beautiful message you taped for our friends in Paris. My heart had been heavy all weekend with the events there and […]
November 14, 2015

November 9, 2015/Rehearsal #10

Dear Vocalise Singers, There are only THREE more Vocalise rehearsals left (plus a dress rehearsal) until the concert! Your continued dedication and hardwork are paramount to creating a beautiful finished product. Thank you for all you have done so far, and for all you will do in the next few weeks. News and Reminders (many this week–please read them all!!) […]
November 6, 2015

November 2, 2015/Rehearsal #9

Dear Vocalise Singers, We are inching closer and closer to the concert, and your singing continues to be inspiring, artistic, and uplifting. Thank you for all of the hard work you are putting in at home to make rehearsal such a rewarding experience. News and Reminders (many this week–please read them all!!) Workshop, Concert, and Family Potluck is on Saturday, […]