Intermediate Rehearsal Blog # 10 Thursday October 27th

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Intermediate Rehearsal Blog # 10 Thursday October 27th

Greetings, Intermediate Singers!

Thank you so much for a focused and productive rehearsal on Thursday! Please keep up the great work and be sure to practice at home so you can come prepared each week.

New Practice Log: It is very important to practice at home, and to know how much you are doing each week. At Cantabile, we expect our Intermediate singers to practice at least 20 minutes per day. Please use this practice log every Thursday morning as a tool to record the approximate number of minutes you have practiced that week (for example, Week of 10/20: 106 min). This does not include musicianship homework. The singer who has logged the most number of minutes will receive a special prize on the last day of rehearsal!

Saturday November 5th: Fall Choir Rehearsal & Concert

Where: First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto

When: Saturday, November 5 (morning until approx. 2 PM)

Call time: Intermediate: 10 AM

Clothing: Red Cantabile polo shirt, smart blue jeans, sneakers

Concert for parents: 1-2 PM

Volunteers: We will need chaperones and setup/cleanup volunteers – sign up to volunteer here. There are only four spots available to get those coveted parent volunteer hours!


New Cantabile singers will need uniforms for our upcoming workshop on November 5th and our Winter Concert on December 4th– please order as soon as possible at Merry Mart Uniforms!

Save the Date: Thursday November 3rd Masterclass with Elena Sharkova

Parents are welcome to sit in on this special opportunity for the singers of Intermediate Chorus to perform and receive expert instruction from our world famous Artistic Director. The Masterclass portion of our rehearsal will take place from 6:00-7:00, during which time the singers will perform and work on 1-2 selections from their current repertoire. Please join us!

Action Items for this Week:

The Moon

  • Practice the phrasing and colors we incorporated this week – create phrases with your own motions for depicting the contrasting dynamics –  loud and soft, and crescendo/decrescendo.
  • Part 2, create delicate hills in the sections “Where will you go,” and “Over a cloud,” to keep your voices light and playful – this is like light laughter!
  • Focus on tall vowels and a beautiful “ooh.”
  • Have this performance ready for our Saturday workshop!

Stars Tonight – excellent progress this week!

  • Study your score this week and have as much of this memorized as possible for Elena’s visit.
  • Memorize not just the lyrics and pitches, but also the dynamic markings, tempo changes, and the sections where we added colors and painting to create phrases.
  • Be sure to count the measures and rests between sections, and watch for the pitch material for “cannot vex or tire” which is always a bit shaky!
  • Always think tall vowels and a relaxed jaw, particularly in the high sections (“White and topaz” and “Over my head”).

Rise Up Shepherd, and Follow – great work – keep it up!

  • Study your score this week and have as much of this memorized as possible for Elena’s visit – keep feeling the big 2, step and sway while you sing!
  • Part 1, be sure of your pitches in the opening section ( the response “rise up shepherd.”) Remember first you answer in unison, and the second time you respond in 2-part harmony. Know your line solid!
  • Watch for words lie “herd” and “word,” and other words with the R consonant. Keep the r light and focus more on the vowel being tall.
  • Watch this video of yourself – what do you think? I think you sound great in many places, but there are many places that need work as well. Keep striving for excellence:

Intermediate Rise Up Shepherd

  • Continue to listen to your part for review:

Shiru – good work, but more work is required!

  • This week you made a breakthrough with learning the tricky passages (measure 30-55) but continued study is needed this week for reinforcement. Study the challenging sections and sing them everyday!
  • Memorize not just the lyrics and pitches, but also the dynamic markings, tempo changes, and the sections where we added colors and painting to create phrases.
  • Speak through the text with light and rhythmic voices, keeping the 4 rhythm block as you go (except for the measure in 3!)
  • Continue to listen and sing as you follow in your score:
  • Watch and listen to yourselves rehearse – what do you think? It has so much potential!

Intermediate Shiru


  • Please completely memorize for our next rehearsal, including the dynamics and expressive elements of the song
  • Continue to study the text, and find all the diphthongs, and determine what vowel you will need to extend to create a beautiful sound (for instance “pine” should have a beautiful and tall “ah”).
  • Take special care to review to 2-part harmony section we worked so hard on, in mm. 37-44.
  • Please relax the face and jaw muscles as you sing in the higher sections of the song by gently placing your palms on your cheeks to produce tall vowel and a more vertical feel.
  • Feel a release and expansion in your ribcage between phrases!
  • Continue to Listen as you follow along in your score

Allunde Alluya

  • Please continue to listen and watch the video of Cantabile performing this in 2012, which also features beautiful movements which we will perform at the winter concert! This is a beautiful African Prayer Lullaby with Swahili text.

Musicianship A – start reviewing for your exam on November 17th!

Nice work sight-reading complex rhythms and playing them in canon. You also worked on interval recognition and reviewed some sight-singing excerpts.This week, singers working out of Book 1 should complete pages 37-40, and start to review these concepts:

Music Theory:

  • Identify 2nds, 3rds and octaves
  • Name all the notes of the keyboard
  • Name all the notes of the treble staff, with accidentals
  • Differentiate whole and half steps
  • Identify C and G major, both key signature and solfege
  • Identify simple meters (2/4, 3/4 and 4/4)
  • Write in counts for rhythms in those meters
  • Identify and explain basic vocabulary
    • Different note values
    • Dynamics

Aural Skills:

  • Sing a major diatonic scale on solfege syllables and with handsigns
  • Matching pitch accurately
  • Identify the difference between major and minor tonality
  • Sing major and minor triads

Singers working out of Book 2 should complete pages 19-20 and review these concepts:

Music Theory:

  • Write a major scale (C, G, and F major)
  • Write in counts for rhythms including 16th notes
  • Music vocabulary (tempos and articulation markings)

Aural Skills:

  • Sing a diatonic scale (C, G, and F major)
  • Sing a tonic triad (in solfege)
  • Identify whole and half steps

Musicianship B – start reviewing for your mini-test!

Nice work reading and playing complex rhythms with the rhythm cubes. We then reviewed intervals and sight-sang in D major. This week, singers working out of Book 3 should complete pages 19-20 and review the following concepts:

  • Identify major key signatures up to four sharps and four flats
  • Know the order of sharps and flats
  • Identify and write all diatonic intervals
  • Write in counts for rhythms with mixed sixteenth and eighth notes
  • Sight read in keys up to two sharps or flat
  • Do simple dictation in those keys
  • Identify intervals
  • Sing a tonic and dominant triads (on solfege)

Singers who have completed Book 3

  • Please catch up on all your Noteflight assignments, including the comments and suggestions I have made.
  • Be prepared to perform 2-3 sight-singing examples for your mid-year test on November 17th in small groups. You can prepare by singing the major scales up to 4 flats or sharps, including low sol, la and ti, and reviewing counting in 4/4 and 6/8 time. Also review all the sight-singing examples we have worked in this term.

Have a great weekend! See you Thursday!


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