Thank you for the professionalism and the warm welcome to our guest from Colorado Springs, Lori Bammerburger at the last rehearsal. We all learned a great deal from her — vocal production, diction and interpretive insights. (Please note that the Kyrie was only for Lori’s work with you this past week: we might work on it in the future but at this time you don’t need to practice it, unless of course you want to!)
A note about today’s blog post – we’ll be adding the links to the practice files and Youtube clips over the weekend (technical glitch today!) Check back soon for updates!
Another learning moment for the singers and the teachers was dealing with a lower than expected preparedness of the music. Unfortunately, many of you did not have the pieces memorized this past week, and the rehearsal didn’t go as planned.
Let us learn from this: review and reconsider your home practice time and effort.
For each home practice, set a goal according to the action items below.
During practice, focus your attention on details, follow blog instructions for each song
There are only 6 full rehearsals left before concert — we can’t waste any
Action Items for Next Rehearsal, Oct 12th:
Old Fox Wassail
This was surprisingly weak in rehearsal on Wednesday. Please, make sure you can sing your part with 100% confidence and fully memorized by next rehearsal.
Rise Up Shepherd, and Follow
This is another piece that you’ll be performing with Intermediate for the Holidays with Cantabile concert.
This is the choreographed opener for our Holidays with Cantabile concert on Dec 4th.
Caverns In The Clouds
Thank you to those of you who hung in there for this final piece of rehearsal.
Stars Tonight, Judy Herrington (from last week)
As a reminder, this is a piece that we’ll be singing with Intermediate at the Holidays with Cantabile concert on Dec. 4th
Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (from last week)
You will be singing this with Vocalise, Bravi/VTG, and Intermediate at the Holidays with Cantabile Concert.
At this point, you should know your parts on the following songs.
Review: Breathing meditation, standing position and a Yoga flow
Continue practicing breathing as follows (5 min a day.) This technique will not only relax and center you but will also greatly improve your ability to sing long sustained phrases.
Mind and body are one continuum, reconnected through breath
Sitting on the floor cross legged, close your eyes and lengthen your spine: crown reaching up/tailbone reaching into the ground, sternum lifted, chest expanded.)
Notice your natural breath for several rounds, while relaxing your abdomen and facial muscles. Notice gentle expansion of the ribs and belly on the inhale.
Empty the lungs completely by pulling the navel close to the spine but keeping the chest up. Inhale slowly and mindfully, filling up with air from bottom to mid- to upper lungs. Exhale slowly pulling the navel in. This is the extended breath.
Continue with extended breath for a few more rounds. Feel your body expanding with shimmering luminous light and contracting into the belly. Notice your body relaxing and feeling lighter.
Is the most important pose to learn for anyone who wants to improve his/her singing, posture, health, wellbeing and creativity!
Here is your “template” practice daily and try to keep this posture intact while walking too!
Stand with FEET parallel, feeling “rooted” through the 5 points in connection in both feet
Inner heels, outer heels
Mounds underneath big toes and little toes
Activate the arches of feet, relax the KNEES with a microbend
Tap THIGHS to activate them but stay relaxed
Tuck and tip pelvis slightly to find the neutral position of the HIPS: in line with knees and heels
Lift STERNUM noticing the space between hips and RIB CAGE
Relax SHOULDERS down and back (shoulder blades tucking into imaginary pockets)
ARMS relaxed and long, by your side
Reach up through sides of the SKULL, CHIN tucked in, JAW relaxed, NECK elongated.
Gentle smile – – feeling calm, present, rooted to the groups and open to the limitless sky of possibilities.
Our first yoga flow…
Singers and musicians of any kind, athletes of all types, and creative people all over the world have long recognized the power, benefits and joy of yoga. Mindful, fluid movement through yogic poses — a flow — is one of the greatest ways to re-align your body with your mind, to feel calm, joyful and energetic. We will spend about 5 min at each rehearsal practicing different poses — monkeys, pigeons, roosters, green dragons, cats, cows, dogs and sphinxes!
Flow #1 (Forward bend/monkey/chair)
Begin in standing pose (as described above)
Hands together in front, slowly raising them to a forward salute (inhale)
Exhale — forward bend: round the back, release neck, head, arms; let gravity pull you down, stretching the hamstrings, lower back, calves.
PLace hands on lower back, bend knees, chin tucked: slowly unbend – vertebra by vertebra- to standing, neck and head come to place last — this takes INHALE and EXHALE
Slowly bring arms up as before, inhaling — forward salute and forward arch
Exhale- forward bend
INhale — monkey (legs straight but relaxed, spine straight and long,hands on knees, back and head make a “table”
Exhale — forward fold, bend knees
INhale — Chair (knees bent, feet flat on the floor, arms raised above head.
Exhale — standing
Exhale into standing.
Other announcements and reminders:
Tour to the Crescent City: Registration is now open on the member portion of the website. As a reminder, we need to register by November 1st.
Blog Posts: If you’d like your child to be receiving the notifications of blog posts directly, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know your child’s email address so we can add it to the mailing list.
Carpooling: Please use this spreadsheet to both request and offer carpooling to and/or from weekly rehearsals, events (eg. Potluck) and concerts. The more of our families that use this resource, the more useful it will be to our community. If you can offer a carpool – please add yourself to the list. Thank you!
As we mentioned above, there are only a handful of full rehearsals left in the semester, and there’s a lot more music and magic to make happen in those weeks. The only way we will get there is if every singer takes full responsibility for having every note, rest, articulation, dynamic, word, and nuance fully mastered. You wouldn’t be in Ensemble if you weren’t capable of this level of musicianship and responsibility! We have complete faith that you can do this! Now is the time to show us what truly amazing singers you each are.
We’re looking forward to seeing each of you shine at next week’s rehearsal!
Elena and Jazmine