Lori Bammesberger

Dear Intermediate Singers,

Thank you for a wonderful rehearsal this week, singers.  I am proud of your hard work and concentration in learning several songs in 3-part harmony.  This is an advanced skill and will require each of you to push yourself to the next level of musicianship.  I believe you are ready for the challenge!

Many of you missed the assignment below to write in the solfege for the notes in the first verse of Away from the Roll of the Sea.  I have provided you with a chart which you may use to check your work and be sure you are accurate.  I expect every singer to have this written into their music next week.

Please be sure to read the blog carefully each week.  The purpose of the blog is to teach you how to practice.  This is a skill that does not come naturally to most people.  The “assignments” I give you for practicing each week will make you a better musician and performing artist.  Please take advantage of this tool I am providing for you.

Below you will find:

  • Mindful Moment/Yoga Flow
  • Warm ups
  • Instructions for practicing each song, with rehearsal tracks and/or professional recordings of songs
  • Musicianship homework assignments
  • Trivia Question – just for fun!

Happy practicing!



Trivia Question: What do the following sailing terns mean? (Hint: we talked about these briefly in rehearsal a few weeks ago.  If you don’t remember them, write them above the words in your music for Away From the Roll of the Sea)

  • Stern lines
  • Cuddy
  • Spar
  • Alee

Mindful Moment/Yoga Flow

This is now a part of Intermediate’s curriculum and we want you to practice during the week, just like you practice your music.  Once you are familiar with it, the following breathing exercise and yoga flow should only take 5-10 minutes.  Practice at the beginning of each music practice session.  Remember your ABC’s – Alignment, Breath, Concentration.


Stack your body into good alignment.  Remain in this position as you practice the breathing exercise below.

  • Feet – five points of connection to the earth under you.  1-outer heel, 2-inner heel, 3-mound under little toe, 4-mound under big toe, 5-big toe.  Press down into the five points; feet should be parallel.
  • Knees – pointing forward, stacked directly over feet; keep tiny little microbend in knees
  • Hips – stacked directly over knees
  • Pelvis – tuck forward and back until you find neutral position
  • Ribs – imagine lifting them
  • Sternum – in front of shoulders
  • Shoulders – back and down
  • Arms – release down to sides
  • Shoulder blades – imagine them hugging the spine, or putting shoulder blades into pockets
  • Chin – slightly tucked in/back


Put “tiger hands” on your belly.  Imagine you are a pillar or column.  Close your eyes.  Focus only on your breath coming in and out.  Feel your belly expand as you inhale, then exhale strongly.  Imagine with every breath you take, your whole body is filled with bright, warm light.  Keep your body still while you take several deep breaths and exhale.  

Release your hands by your sides.  Gently move your fingers, then your toes, then your head side to side.  Open your eyes.

Yoga Flow

  • Bring hands together in front, fingertips touching.  As you inhale, raise arms up over head and slightly arch back.  As you exhale, slowly bend forward from the hips (not the waist) until your torso is hanging down.  Gently shake your head “yes” three times, then “no” three times.
  • Inhale and go into Monkey position (hands on knees, back straight and flat like a table).  Exhale while holding Monkey.
  • Inhale and go into Chair position (bend knees, raise arms upwards, parallel and straight by your ears).  Exhale while holding Chair.
  • Inhale and rise up on your toes while holding Chair (Awkward Chair).  Exhale while balancing in that position.
  • Inhale and come back to standing.
  • Repeat once or twice

Warm Ups

Each practice session, take a few minutes to vocalise before you sing.  The purpose of these exercises is not merely to warm the voice up, although that is important, but they also develop habits and muscle memory for good vocal technique.  Regular practice of them will make you a better, stronger singer.

  • Remember to imagine a softball in your mouth as you sing:

  • Move your body with big swoops of the arms and by bending the knees while you sing:

  • Remember not to wait at the top – take a quick breath and come right back down:


Menina Me Da Sua Mao

A folk song from Brazil, sung in Portuguese.  We will have music for you to put in your binders soon.  In the meantime, listen to this recording and get familiar with the melody.

Away From the Roll of the Sea

Here is a performance of the song by a youth choir in Austin, TX.

And here are the parts individually:

Soprano 1

Soprano 2


  • If you haven’t done this yet, I would like you to write in the solfege syllables above the notes in the first verse of the song in your music.  If you are able to figure out the solfege on your own, I challenge you to write it in your music first, then check your work by comparing it to the chart below.  However, some of you may not be ready to figure out the solfege in this key (G major) yet.  Please refer to the chart below and transfer the syllables into your music (using pencil only).  Solfege syllables have been written underneath the corresponding words.


Small craft in a harbour that’s still and serene
so-fa me so do re-so te do me so-la
Give no in-di- ca-tion what their ways have been
la so do-do te re do me so fa
They rock at their moorings all nestled in dreams
so-fa me so do re-so te do-me so la
A- way from the roll of the sea
la so me so fa re te do
  • Practice singing the melody on solfege syllables first, then on words.
  • When you are ready, see if you can write the solfege syllables in for the second verse and practice it the same way.
  • It may be helpful for you to have the entire scale of solfege syllables here:
    • Doh, ray, me, fah, soh, lah, te, doh – this is how we pronounce them
    • Do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do – this is how we spell them

Come and Sing

  • We will sing three part harmony on this song, Soprano, Soprano 2 and Alto.  Go through the music and put a star or an X out to the left of your voice part’s staff on every score, or system of staves, on every page.
  • Listen to this recording of Cantabile singing Come and Sing while following along in your music.  Notice the singers’ tall vowels, crisp consonants and beautiful tone.  We want to emulate these things as we sing.
  • Soprano 1 – your voice track has both the high Soprano 1 part and the low Soprano 1 part at the end.  Intermediate Soprano 1s will ONLY SING THE LOW Soprano 1 part.  Do not practice the high part.
  • Soprano 2 and Alto, use the NEW REHEARSAL TRACKS below to practice your own individual part.  I have adjusted the ending to be what Intermediate will sing in your voice parts.

Soprano 1

Soprano 2



Banjo Pickin’ Girl

  • Using the following rehearsal tracks, focus on the second half of the song first (page 9-end).  Then go back to the beginning and memorize.



  • Use this recording to practice the song with all the parts together.

Musicianship Assignments

Intermediate A

  • If you just started Book 2 this semester: pgs. 13-16 (or 11-15 if your book came late)
  • If you were half-way through Book 2 at the beginning of this semester: pgs. 27-28

Intermediate B

Book 3, pages 29-30


You received a worksheet from Jazmine in class last week.  It is due next week and is attached to the email notifying you that the blog is posted for your convenience.

Voice Part Assignments


Soprano – Aarohi, Addie, Aidan, Amiya, Anika, Anthony,Chloe, Claire, Daniel, Elli, Irene, Kaitlyn, Kasmira, Montana, Nika, Pascal, Raghav, Rhea, Sara W., Sarah R., Kitty, Sophie, Sunayna

Alto – Asha, Ashwin, Ava, Elisabeth, Millie, Emily, Gabriel, Jacob, Julian, Kahaan, Kayla, Kiara, May, Maya, Naveli, Ruth, Sarah C., Stefan, Vivana


Soprano 1 – Aarohi, Addie, Amiya, Anika, Anthony, Claire, Daniel, Elli, Irene, Kaitlyn, Montana, Pascal, Sara W., Sarah R., Sunayna

Soprano 2 – Aidan, Asha, Chloe, Millie, Kasmira, May, Maya, Nika, Raghav, Rhea, Kitty, Sophie, Vivana

Alto – Ashwin, Elisabeth, Emily, Gabriel, Jacob, Julian, Kahaan, Kayla, Kiara, Naveli, Ruth, Sarah C., Stefan


Trivia Answer:  

  • Stern lines – ropes thrown over the back of a boat, used to moor the boat to a dock
  • Cuddy – small room or compartment on a boat
  • Spar – stout pole made of wood or steel, found along a pier or dock
  • Alee – side of the boat that is sheltered from the wind


February 2, 2018

February 1, 2018/Rehearsal #5

Dear Intermediate Singers, Thank you for a wonderful rehearsal this week, singers.  I am proud of your hard work and concentration in learning several songs in 3-part harmony.  This is an advanced skill and will require each of you to push yourself to the next level of musicianship.  I believe you are ready for the challenge! Many of you missed […]
February 2, 2018

January 31, 2018/Rehearsal #5

Dear Ensemble, Sunday is the BIG DAY!  I am looking forward to spending the day with you, not only because you are going to be outstanding in the recording studio, but because you are wonderful people and I enjoy spending time with you!  Below is a reminder of how to practice Four Bridges today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday).  You are […]
January 27, 2018

January 22, 2018/Rehearsal #3

January 22, 2018 Dear Vocalise, ACTION ITEMS FOR JANUARY 29th REHEARSAL. (Full instructions for each piece are further down in the blog.)   Memorize Spring Waters and Light of a Clear Blue Morning Learn Bedu Pako, or review it if this is your second time performing it Practice We Rise Again: secure all notes and rhythms Review and memorize this […]
January 27, 2018

January 25, 2018/Rehearsal #4

Dear Intermediate Singers, Jazmine, Amanda and I appreciate your thoughtful, respectful discussion at the end of rehearsal last night as we reminded ourselves what Cantabile is.  As one singer pointed out to me after rehearsal, Cantabile is all about singing, since our name means “song-like” or simply “singing.”  And yes, this is primarily what we are about at Cantabile.  In […]
January 26, 2018

January 24, 2018/Rehearsal #4

Dear Ensemble, WOW, WOW, WOW!  I am so proud of you!  You gave an outstanding performance Sunday at the MLK celebration concert.  Here are some of the words audience members and other performers have shared with me:  moving, thought-provoking, thrilling, community-building, fantastic, let’s do it again!  You have taken an enormous step in the process of building Ensemble’s footprint and […]
January 21, 2018

January 15, 2018/Rehearsal #2

Dear Vocalise, Once again, my congratulations on your outstanding work last Monday at the recording session. Thank you! Now, onward to our next big event: featured performance at CASMEC (California State Music Educators Conference) in San Jose on Feb. 16th, 2018 Below is the repertoire for this important concert; pieces that are NEW to you are in bold. We will be working […]
January 20, 2018

January 18, 2018/Rehearsal #3

Dear Intermediate Singers, Thank you for a fun and productive rehearsal this week.  We were fortunate to have a visit from Cantabile’s Artistic Director, Elena Sharkova, in the middle of rehearsal and she gave us a formal introduction to the ground-breaking work she has been doing with Vocalise for years now in yoga and meditation.  Watch for a letter coming […]
January 19, 2018

January 17, 2018/Ensemble Rehearsal #3

Dear Ensemble, Thank you, thank you for your great work, not only at rehearsal on Wednesday, but also during your practice at home last week.  Your improvement between rehearsals was significant and allowed us to focus on polishing the music and developing our expression of the important message each song contains for our audience on Sunday.  You know, Dr. King […]