Hello, everyone, and welcome back!

It was great to spend an entire rehearsal with you on our first week back. This will be the case most of the time for these next few weeks, as we go full-speed-ahead toward the Gala in early February. Lots of fun music to learn, but it will require a lot of focus and dedication on your part.  So to help focus, your energy, please make sure you are re-dedicating yourself to the practice of daily meditation and breathing exercises. It will make your practicing more efficient and help your keep your minds and bodies healthy this winter!  Reminders:

2nd Yoga flow and meditation is a part of your daily routine. No less than 10 min. per day, 10 rounds of the flow, with articulation and full connection to breath.

Action Items for this week:

  1. All: Learn notes/rhythms, and start on diction for “Chan Chan” (Style should be learned well and notes should be learned well, approaching mastery)
  2. All: Learn notes and diction for “Bésame Mucho”
  3. Bravi only: Lots of review of Convidando for Monday’s recording session (more notes below)


Chan Chan – Buena Vista Social Club

  • The style is the most important thing. Here is a video (sound only) of the original and here is a video of the choral arrangement we’re singing. Please listen to both. The choral arrangement will be more helpful in learning your lines, but it’s important to absorb the style from the previous, original recording.  Point of clarification: the choral arrangement recording is a half step higher than we’re singing the piece (they sing in C# minor, but will sing it in C minor, as written).
  • Notes are not challenging for the most part, but rhythms (especially bass line) are very tricky.  Please spend some very serious time drilling these.
  • As you practice, please observe all repeats.
  • As you practice the very syncopated rhythms, please make sure the “chill” is still there.  It should never sound rushed or pushed.
  • The diction recordings I promised will take a little more time to get to you, but for now please use the tracks I’m providing as an aid, knowing that things could shift slightly.
  • Work toward memory as quickly as possible.

Bésame mucho – arr. Kirby Shaw

  • Please use this reference recording.   It isn’t perfect and perhaps a bit fast, but they capture the singing style pretty well.  We will sing all the words in Spanish, obviously, unlike them. 🙂
  • Tenors: please sing lightly in the highest passages — if the notes are too high, please use falsetto or a lighter, head-y tone.
  • Observe all repeats, multiple endings, etc. for now.
  • Work VERY quickly toward memory on this.  It is quite repetitive, so take a different section each day and try to commit it to memory.

Convidando – Bravi only – for recording

  • We will need to do a little re-assigning of solos for the recording session.  Please read carefully:
    1. No changes in Verse 1
    2. No changes in Verse 2
    3. Verse 3 solos (“en la guaracha…”) should now be a duet between Jerry (on top) and Ninaad on the TENOR 2 LINE.
    4. Verse 4 solos (“toquen y baylen…”) should now be a trio sung by Jerry (on top), NINAAD ON Tenor 2, and NATHAN ON BARITONE/BASS 1.
  • These words will be familiar but the soloists have to learn new notes.  Thank you so much for your flexibility.


Reminders and announcements:

  1. Recording session on Monday 1/15 (Bravi only, no VTG) Call time is 11:45 am!
    1/15 Recording Session Information for Vocalise, Bravi and Aria

    Vocalise, Bravi and Aria will attend a recording session at  All Saints Episcopal Church (555 Waverly Street, Palo Alto): Check in and out will happen in the Parish Hall. Be sure to be well-fed and well-rested ahead of your arrival! Call times for each choir are below:
    Choir Call Time
    Bravi 11:45am – 1:15pm
  2. No VTG or Bravi rehearsal on Monday night (1/15).  Enjoy an evening of rest!
  3. A reminder to sign up for voice classes here. These are not required, but serve to increase the amount of one-on-one time you get, working toward your personal vocal goals. Hope to see a few of you in my class!

Happy practicing!





January 13, 2018

Bravi / VTG Rehearsal #14 – January 8, 2018

Hello, everyone, and welcome back! It was great to spend an entire rehearsal with you on our first week back. This will be the case most of the time for these next few weeks, as we go full-speed-ahead toward the Gala in early February. Lots of fun music to learn, but it will require a lot of focus and dedication […]
December 21, 2017

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November 18, 2017

Vocalise Blog Nov. 17

NOTE:  all the details for the Holidays with Cantabile dress rehearsal and concert can be found below in the Announcements.  Additionally, there is a reminder about Cantabile’s schedule for the week of Thanksgiving.  Be sure to read these carefully this week!   November 17, 2017 Dear Vocalise,   ACTION ITEMS FOR NOV 20th REHEARSAL. (Full instructions for each piece are […]
October 26, 2017

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October 7, 2017

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August 25, 2017

Intermediate Chorus Blog # 1 Thursday August 24th

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April 27, 2017

April 24 – Bravi / VTG Rehearsal #14

Hi, Bravi and VTG: You have made beautiful progress this year.  During this past week’s rehearsal, I was exceedingly proud of your preparedness, your flexibility, and your beautiful singing.  And what an experience and incredible opportunity we have to make music with Laura Inserra!  This will be a concert to remember, for sure. BUT!  (Isn’t there always one of these?) […]