Bravi and V.T.G. Rehearsal Blog

Dear VTG and Bravi,

Thank you for your time, energy, and beautiful voices at both Monday’s rehearsal and last night’s dress rehearsal. We know that the week before the final performance can be the most exhausting time of the season. Thank you for taking that in stride and devoting yourselves to some meaningful, emotionally energized performance.  You’ve come a long way this semester, and the concert should be a wonderful experience this Sunday.

Action Items for Sunday:

  1.     Review your movement at least once before the concert! Moving with confidence and conviction becomes a lot more natural when we solidify our knowledge and understanding of all of our movement.  THIS INCLUDES your standing position.  Envision it in your mind for EVERY piece.  Think about how you’ll get there, who is standing next to you, which row you’re on, and how you’ll leave when the set is over.
  2.     If you had some slip-ups during rehearsal, take a moment to review those spots. There’s no such thing as being too prepared.
  3.     Take care of yourself. Make sure to stay hydrated, rested, and healthy. The hardest part of the performance process requires the most attention to your well-being. Take a moment to pause in the midst of a time that is made intense by exams, projects, and concerts!

Suo Gan:

  • Tenors, please watch your intonation on the third and fifth scale degrees (printed C# and high E-natural).  These pitches needed to be well supported by your breath and need to tune well with the esnemble.  Listen to Jerry’s opening intonation as an example.
  • Please review the words.  They’re almost there but they can always be exact.   Remember that these are words with meanings…not just sounds.  Spend at least 5 minutes today and tomorrow with the translation and think about how you want to reflect the grace and warmth of this piece with your faces.
  • Enjoy it.  You all sound fabulous.

Sing We Now of Christmas:

  • Sing we NAAAAAHW.  The first vowel in this diphthong should rhyme with “faaaather,” not with “cat.”  Please make sure you think of this every time you sing the phrase.
  • This song is a celebration, not a dirge.  Your face should reflect joy, anticipation, and positivity.
  • Drive the very final phrase to the end with a crescendo.

Winter Wonderland: 

  • Diction, diction, diction.
  • Smile and think suave, debonair thoughts.
  • Use your faces and your physical presence to let the audience know it’s okay to laugh!

Grace:

  •      As we discussed in rehearsal, this piece can appear quite generic when the bare minimum is done. The smaller details will elevate this piece to something transcendent!
  •      Express passion through consonants – diction must be clear
  •      “Amazing Grace” – any line like this should be molto legato. Don’t chew on your words – give each syllable as much vowel as possible
  •      Bigger crescendo mm. 12-13 – it will make the decrescendo on the following measures much more effective
  • Tenors should bring out their echo of “surely grace” immediately before the E-flat major section.
  •      More bass at m. 42 – bring out that part
  •      When you have moving parts within a static texture, please bring them out. For example, basses and altos at m. 47, altos at m. 49, tenors at m. 51 and m. 53
  •      When you have the word “home” like at m. 55, start aspirating the H before the downbeat
  •      M. 56 – start mezzo piano so that crescendo can have somewhere to go
  •      Through the final climactic pages of the song, don’t sing heavily as you sing louder

Vindo:

  •       When you begin singing your words, keep the energy and intensity way up. You should be singing even more intensely when you’re singing softly
  •       Diction, diction, diction.
  •       Really accent the first note in m. 60. Big crescendo on that “shh!” so that forte at m. 61 is absolutely exciting
  • Remember the stomp immediately before m. 60
  •       Don’t forget that break right before the final “aiyaa!”
  • Glottal attacks on every single “aiyaa.”

Allunde Alluya:

  •      Everyone should be committed to the movements. We’re getting a lot of disengaged and dead faces from most of Bravi/VTG (except for Isaac – keep it up!).

Other announcements and reminders:

  • CALL TIMES FOR SUNDAY’S REHEARSALS AND CONCERT:
    • Dress Rehearsal Sunday, December 4th:
      • Aria: Call – 9:00am; Release – 11:15am
      • Ensemble: Call – 9:20am; Release – 10:45am
      • Vocalise SSA: Call – 9:20am; Release – 11:15am
      • Bravi/VTG: Call – 9:20 am; Release – 11:30am
    • Concert Sunday, December 4th:
      • ALL SINGERS CALLED: 5:30pm (Estimated concert length: 2hr, 15min)
  •      Tour to the Crescent City: You still have until December 1st to register for tour. Let us know if you have any questions. We hope you come with us!
  • Dec. 8 Bravi Performance at Parc Regent with Aria (no VTG): Keep an eye out this evening for logistical information in your email.
  • Dec. 16 / 18 PACO (Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra) Gig with Aria (no VTG): Keep your eyes peeled for more scheduling information on this event via email this evening.

This is the final stretch! In these last few days, do take care of yourself and review any tricky spots. You’re capable of so much when you’re engaged, energized, and focused! We’re confident that you’ll bring all of your energy and then some come concert time. If you need anything at all, please let us know!

Always our best,

Jace, Elena, Jazmine, and Justin

December 1, 2016

November 30 – Bravi/VTG Rehearsal #12

Dear VTG and Bravi, Thank you for your time, energy, and beautiful voices at both Monday’s rehearsal and last night’s dress rehearsal. We know that the week before the final performance can be the most exhausting time of the season. Thank you for taking that in stride and devoting yourselves to some meaningful, emotionally energized performance.  You’ve come a long […]
November 17, 2016

November 14 – Bravi/VTG Rehearsal #11

Hi, VTG and Bravi: Thanks for a productive rehearsal this past Monday.  For those of you (Bravi only) who showed up at the Sunday rehearsal, we thank you for your dedication and the extra time.  Let’s strive to see even more participation this Sunday!  Here are a few things to think about before next Monday… and remember, we DO have […]
November 11, 2016

November 7 – Bravi/VTG Rehearsal #10

Hi, VTG and Bravi: Thanks for a productive rehearsal this past Monday and congratulations on a very good performance at last Saturday’s rehearsal workshop.  I was so pleased with how “Sing We Now of Christmas” came together–you really embodied a professional spirit and you sang very well. Action Items for Monday: Keep practicing EVERYTHING and working toward complete memorization for […]
November 3, 2016

Bravi/VTG Rehearsal #9 10/31/2016

Dear Bravi and VTG, Thank you for your time and focus during our Halloween rehearsal.  I hope you enjoyed my carefully considered costume.  No one guessed I was dressed as a choir director!  🙁 Action Items for Monday: Keep practicing EVERYTHING with a metronome. Every singer should be internalizing and memorizing the key tempi for each piece. Keep practicing the […]
October 27, 2016

October 24 – Bravi/VTG Rehearsal #8

Hi, Bravi and VTG: As we said on the Vocalise blog (which you should all read!)… Thank you for your focus, energy, and commitment while Elena was away.  We’re nearing the home stretch — the concert is just over a month away.  You’ve done a lot of good work, so keep it up! Just a reminder, we WILL be having […]
October 21, 2016

October 17 – Bravi/VTG Rehearsal #7

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 […]
October 13, 2016

October 10 – Bravi/VTG Rehearsal #6

Hi, Bravi and VTG: Thank you for your work last week — it was our longest, most intense rehearsal yet.  Longer rehearsals require a lot of focus, and will be increasingly common, so please prepare yourselves for them by being well-rested and practicing everything below!  The more we can get done in a focused rehearsal, the more you will enjoy […]
October 7, 2016

October 3 – Bravi/VTG Rehearsal #5

Dear Bravi and VTG: Thank you for your hard work in my absence last week.  As I said before, I do not take lightly the decision to miss rehearsal.  Only in a case of serious illness would I stay home.  Thank you for understanding Simon deserves your respect and gratitude for working to lead you through a lengthy rehearsal — Bravo, […]