Hi, Bravi and VTG:
Nice job this past week. I get the sense that the music is finally coming alive, and we’re getting a sense of how to get out of scores and perform. Your progress is impressive, but it’s the time of year when we must press onward to finer details like phrasing, finesse, character, and presentation. And we still have more music to learn! More on that this week.
Here are some practice guidelines for this Monday:
Review your choreography with THIS VIDEO! Try to connect movements with words, so that we are able to easily re-arrange this piece as a processional for the California Theatre. Practice choreograph on both sides of center, as well. Remember that the “calling” motion on Allunde should always be led with your upstage hand and foot (the one that is farthest from the audience, depending on the direction you’re facing).
Most Wonderful Time
This should be 100% memorized at this point. Please review it for memory. Especially important is the back-and-forth pacing between T/B and S/A voices at m. 33 and again at m. 57. Make sure the pickup to m. 60 is short. As you practice memory, be sure you’re always communicating the fun, festive mood of this piece. Make sure you’re singing with a beautiful tone — while this is light-hearted music, you should still sing it with your best Cantabile sound.
This should be memorized as well. Please review the dynamic scheme as you memorize. Everything should stay relatively quiet until m. 37 when the basses drop down to the lower tessitura. Also remember that this is a playful folk tune that has to fully embrace the mood: snowy ground, walking outdoor and singing to yourself, quietly at first… and then building to irresistible excitement, bit by bit.
When memorizing, review your cues:
- Tenors enter after altos sing one iteration of “A-i-yaa.”
- Basses enter immediately after that, in octaves with the altos.
- Basses drop down to the low drone after their second iteration of “A-i-yaa.”
- Tenors skip up to the high B (the “sol”) for the first “A-i-yaa” after the bass drone.
Sing We Now of Christmas
This should be memorized now, including the last page. Remember to learn your NEW parts for the final page, not the original ones. Look at the dynamics. mm. 78-80 should decrescendo quickly to piano, then erupt to a full forte once more by 84. Please crescendo to a beautiful, strong fortissimo by the final measure. Strive for tall, beautiful vowels all the way through, especially on “sing we NOW” and “sing no-EL.” Keep vowels vertical and long–and diphthongs should be late and nicely finessed.
Please review the diction recordings once more. We need to complete the notes and words this week so we can work on finesse and shaping. As a reminder:
- P. 4: Jerry will sing the T1 line as a continuation of his solo
- Remaining tenors should be on the third line down, Baritones on the next line, and basses on the bottom line.
- Please over-mark all of your breaths so we are certain to incorporate them into your learning process.
Make sure you have ordered the necessary outfits for this fall. If you have questions about this, please direct them to me this coming week.
Be sure you’ve responded to emails about optional Sunday rehearsals. I will resend the survey just in case.
For future reference, you should all have Simon’s contact information. It will be sent on a separate email to insure his privacy.
Happy practicing! I look forward to seeing you all on Monday.