Hi, VTG and Bravi:
This week, for the last time this semester, the blog will address Bravi and VTG singers separately, since we’re working on different goals until next week’s gala. Most of the blog is devoted to Bravi since VTG spent most of last Monday with Elena and Vocalise. We’ll be back on the same page soon enough, but in the meanwhile please stay focused and flexible… and on top of your individual practice!
This week, in addition to the notes below on “What I Have Done” (please see the Bravi blog, just below) VTG singers should refer to the Vocalise blog for notes from rehearsal with Elena and Justin, as well as any other necessary reminders and suggestions for practice.
Bravi, please be advised: your repertoire for the Gala should be completely learned and memorized this week. No exceptions. Last week’s rehearsal should have led us toward memory, but we had to re-learn a lot of pitches that we had covered the previous week. Please be sure this doesn’t happen again. Be diligent and demanding in your own practice, and assume that YOU will be the leader within your section. Who will do it, if not you?
What I Have Done
Practice with this recording. Please remember that we will take it slightly faster. Here are some specific notes–
Go to the Mardi Gras
Practice with a metronome set for 120 bpm — this piece has to absolutely burst with energy. Review your words, notes, and rhythms with these audio files.
Please be sure to rehearse with the rests between lines of text, as I’ve demonstrated in the audio recordings, to get the pacing of this 12-bar blues style.
Practice snapping on the off-beats while you sing. If you find yourself wanting to hoot and holler during the piano breaks, embrace it! Let it out!
If you aren’t familiar with Mardi Gras history and traditions, read about here: http://www.neworleansonline.com/neworleans/mardigras/mardigrashistory/
Do You Know What it Means (To Miss New Orleans)
Practice with this recording, with an ear toward how your harmonies with with the soprano and alto lines. Aria will be with us on Monday, and the harmony in this arrangement is rather sophisticated.
Basin Street Blues
Practice with this recording, with careful attention to the balance — when singing “oo” under the soloist, please sing softly with good support and a warm, airy tone, as to accompany the soloist. Never rush, and always lean into chromatically altered notes. Blue notes (flat thirds and flat sevenths) are the most quintessential sounds in jazz, so always bring these out. They should be quite “blue”… settle into this sound and enjoy the heavy sonority.
Creole Love Call
Practice with this recording, and strive for the accuracy of the instruments you’re imitating. The more you commit, the funnier it will be!
When the Saints Go Marching In
Crucial that you review this, as we did not make it to this piece at all last week. Practice with a metronome set for 120 bpm. Please do not take the marked tempo of 138, which will sound frantic. More reminders from last week:
Additional reminders / announcements:
Always our best,
Jace, Justin, and Elena