Ensemble Rehearsal Blog

Dear Ensemble,

My sincere apologies for forgetting to email you last week to let you know that a blog had been posted!  Thank you to those of you who went searching the Member Only page of the website and discovered it there.  I am feeling better this week and am back in the groove for posting blogs by Friday each week.

Using the blog to guide your practice is doubly important in the next few weeks as we have two major events happening in the very near future, the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration concert on January 21 and the Four Bridges recording on February 4.

The songs for the January 21 Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration concert are listed below in order of priority for practicing.

  • Amani – don’t assume you know this just because we sang it on the December concert!  There were quite a few inaccurate notes last week, so review, review, review.
  • Come And Sing – again, double check for pitch and rhythmic accuracy, and memorize.
  • Shed a Little Light (In addition to using the vocal tracks below, watch and listen to this recording of James Taylor singing it.  Notice how the singers in the choir move their bodies while they sing and try to find that sense of rhythm in your own body as you practice.).
  • Peter, Go Ring-A Dem Bells – review

Equally important to practice is Four Bridges.  This is not a piece you can put off practicing until the last minute.  It requires steady, frequent practice to get it into your mind and muscles.  Plan to sing through it at least 5 times outside of rehearsal each week.


January 17, 2018 – regular rehearsal and rehearsal with FCC adult and bell choirs

  • Ensemble A 4:30-7:45 pm
  • Ensemble B/Adv. 5:00-7:45 pm

January 21, 2018 – CONCERT: Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration concert – Driving Out the Darkness

  • 2:00 pm at FCC (call-time 12:30 pm)

February 4, 2018 – Four Bridges (Montalvo Arts Center project) recording session

  • 9:00-5:30 at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley – we will meet at FCC at 9:00 and take the singers by bus to Berkeley, returning for a 5:30 pick up.  Exact details coming soon.

If you ever have questions or need help with an assignment, don’t hesitate to email me at lori@cantabile.org .  Make it a great week!





Practice using your voice part track below.  Remember to practice stepping in place (beginning on your right foot), clapping and arm/fist movements at the end as you see it in this video.
High Sop 1

Low Sop 1

Sop 2


Come and Sing

Listen to this video of Cantabile singing and emulate the beautiful tall vowels, crisp consonants and pure vocal tone you hear.

Sop 1

Sop 2


Shed a Little Light

Sop 1

Sop 2 (Sop)

Sop 2 (Alto)


Remember to watch this video, sing along and move as the choir does.

Peter, Go Ring-A Dem Bells arr. Jeffery Ames

  1. Here is the recording of of the full performance of this song.

Soprano 1

Soprano 2 (Soprano in 2-part sections)

Soprano 2 (Alto in 2-part sections


Four Bridges

  • Take advantage of the rehearsal tracks with only the voice part recorded.  This will help you be clear about rhythms and pitch.
  • Mark you music by writing in beats, circling notes you tend to miss and making a note to yourself that helps you remember how to sing it accurately (ie, and arrow pointing up if you tend to sing the pitch too low, etc.).

Letter M – Sop 1

Letter M – Sop 2 (Sop)

Letter M – Sop 2 (Alto)

Letter M – Alto

First Quintuplet (small group only)

Other Quintuplets (small group only)

SoundCloud Clips

Sophie and Riley… in case you missed them last week!

January 12, 2018

January 10, 2018/Rehearsal #2

Dear Ensemble, My sincere apologies for forgetting to email you last week to let you know that a blog had been posted!  Thank you to those of you who went searching the Member Only page of the website and discovered it there.  I am feeling better this week and am back in the groove for posting blogs by Friday each […]
January 7, 2018

January 3, 2018/Rehearsal #1

Dear Ensemble, It was wonderful to see you all last Wednesday at our first rehearsal of the spring semester.  I hope you were able to reconnect and visit with family and friends over the break.  If you read all the way to the end of this blog, you can see the furry faces that greeted me in Colorado!  Spending time […]
December 15, 2017

Final blog of 2017! December 14, 2017

Dear Ensemble, Thank you for making room in your schedules last week to have a rehearsal with Howard to work on Four Bridges.  It will go a long way towards helping us to be confident at the recording session in February.  The spring semester is going to start with a bang, and I am asking you, singers, to devote some […]
December 1, 2017

November 29, 2017/Rehearsal #15

Dear Ensemble, I am proud of you and I’m excited for our performance this weekend!  The work you did at the dress rehearsal on Tuesday night and then at our regular rehearsal on Wednesday was remarkable.  Keep challenging yourself to be better every day.  Be sure to practice today, tomorrow and Sunday before you come to the theater, striving to […]
November 20, 2017

November 20, 2017/Special Edition Blog

Dear Ensemble Singers and Parents, I am excited to let you know that I have received the score from composer Howard Hersh for his Montalvo Arts Center Sound Installation commission titled Four Bridges.  It is a wonderful piece, full of mystical, magical and somewhat nostalgic moments that the children’s choir delivers over a marvelous orchestral score.  Please see links to the […]
November 17, 2017

November 15, 2017/Rehearsal #14

Dear Ensemble, I hope you were as inspired and filled with joy by Elena’s visit to us this week as I was!  And kudos to you for responding to her conducting and suggestions so flexibly and willingly.  That is a hallmark of a true artist – to be open to new ideas and to be willing to take risks and […]
November 11, 2017

November 8, 2017/Rehearsal #13

Dear Ensemble, The count-down has begun!  Only one rehearsal remains before Dress Rehearsal, with one regular rehearsal after that, and then the Holidays With Cantabile CONCERT!  I am so excited about our first performance together at the California Theatre with all of our Cantabile family members in Intermediate, Vocalise, Aria, Bravi and VTG.  It is going to be a glorious […]
November 3, 2017

November 1, 2017/Rehearsal #11

Dear Ensemble, Thank you for a focused, productive rehearsal on Wednesday.  Your commitment to our artistry as a choir and to learning all you possibly can is inspiring! ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REMINDERS: Call Times for the Fall Rehearsal: TOMORROW, SATURDAY NOV 4th Please note your call time for the Fall Rehearsal TOMORROW Saturday, November 4th.  Your call time is 9:00 am and […]