Vocalise Rehearsal Blog

Dear Vocalise,

Thank you so much for a great rehearsal this week and ESPECIALLY for arriving so promptly and getting settled and focused for the welcoming mediation BEFORE 5:30. We had no late arrivals and that is a great year way to start the season!
Your home practice assignment will be a bit more than usual since we have two weeks in between the rehearsals. And happy Labor Day Weekend, by the way 🙂

For those new to Vocalise and new to Cantabile, here is how we roll in this super-advanced choir:

  • Once a piece is introduced in rehearsal, it must be practiced at home consistently.
  • Not all pieces of the repertoire are practiced at each rehearsal, it is simply impossible. You still have to review/practice/improve them on your own.
  • A schedule of learning/memorizing repertoire will be sent/handed out at the next rehearsal.
  • Singers are to make notes in scores/notebooks to reflect interpretation, history, poetry and any other aspect/concept explored in rehearsal. (not knowing composer’s name, place of origin and whether he/she is alive or dead is not cool, end of story.)  
  • LEARN YOUR NOTES AT HOME: In rehearsal, we come together to interpret the music together, hone our vocal artistry and explore the boundless creativity of a choral ensemble.  
  • Strength is in numbers but excellence is in personal responsibilities. Choir makes you stronger by lifting your voice high; you make the choir shine by bringing precision and brilliance into its every chord.  

Grace (SATB), arranged by Mark Hayes

  • Have your parts learned perfectly by next rehearsal; this was supposed to have been done last week.  Especially
    • Altos: m.30-m.33, including adding a glottal stop on beat 1 of m.32
    • Altos: m.46-m48, making sure the ½ steps are in tune
    • Sop & Altos: m. 53: you should be singing the word “grace” here, not “surely” – only the Tenor’s sing the word “surely”
  • Pay particular attention to phrasing (drawing big arches in the sky), and the subsequent dynamic implications, especially on the longer held notes.  Focus on keeping the sustained sound alive and moving.
  • We added “poco marcato” and double vertical lines (to show separation and articulation) at m.70 and m.79
  • Here is the new divisi:
    • m.54-m.73: Alto 2’s drop to the Tenor line on beat 2 of m.54 (“will”)
    • m.55: Soprano 2’s join the Alto 1’s on the Alto line

Listen to the excellent rendition of the piece on Spotify: BYU Women’s Choir’s CD, “Wondrous Love”

Iraqi Peace Song (SSA)

Alissa did a great job with the solo last night! We will be hearing Malaina and Alisha on the solo at the next rehearsal. If someone else is interested, please, let us know.

  • Your parts should be completely learned for next week.  Some things to watch out for that were incorrect in rehearsal last night:
    • m.60-m.63: Alto’s sing with the Sopranos
    • m.65 and m.69: the rhythm is 8th note, quarter note – it was sung last night as two quarter notes.  Please make sure you practice it correctly
    • m.71: Altos – make sure the half note is held all the way until the downbeat of 4
    • m.86-m89: Sopranos (1 and 2) please focus on this section as well
    • m.92 Altos: Make sure the rhythm and pitches are correct here
    • m.97-m.99 Altos: Do not go on auto-pilot! The rhythm is different here than in the rest of the song.  Please make sure you learn it correctly. (And that the whole note in m.99 gets 4 full beats.)

Here’s the original CD track, of which this choral version is an adaptation.

Vindo (SATB)

  • Now that you have your part divisi (included below), make sure your part is solid for next week.
  • Focus on making a brighter sound, especially during the “A-i-yaa…” sections
  • m.53 Altos (and Tenors): make sure the whole notes are continuing throughout the entire measure (especially in m.54, m.56, and m.58)
  • Part divisi:
    • m.61:
      • Soprano 1’s on top line of top staff
      • Soprano 2’s and Alto 1’s on bottom line of top staff
      • Alto 2’s join the Tenors on the third staff
    • m.77:
      • Soprano 1’s on the top staff
      • Soprano 2’s on the second staff
      • Alto 1 and 2’s on the third staff
    • m.84:
      • Soprano 1 and 2’s on the top line of the top staff
      • Alto 1’s on the second staf
      • Alto 2’s (with the Tenors) top line of the third staff (in bass clef)
    • m92:
      • The 5 1st sopranos (back two rows) on the top line of the top staff (E)
      • All remaining Soprano 1’s on the middle line of the top staff (C#)
      • Soprano 2’s on the bottom of the first staff (A)
      • Alto 1’s n the second staff
      • Alto 2’s (with the Tenors) on the top of the third staff (in bass clef)
    • m.95:
      • Same as above except the 7 Soprano 2’s identified last night take the lowest note of the chord (G).  Continue this divisi as needed to the end.

Here’s the video we watched in rehearsal last week.

Amavolovolo (SATB)

  • We didn’t rehearse it this week, but make sure your parts are learned and ready to go for next week’s rehearsal.

Here’s the video of the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir we watched in rehearsal

Please, start learning the moves!


Other announcements and reminders:

  • No rehearsal next week!  Next Monday (September 5th) is Labor Day and we will NOT be having rehearsal that night – please use this time to practice!
  • Monterey (SSA Singers) – Most of you stated that you are going to the competition in Monterey which is GREAT news.  Please make sure you register and pay for the trip by no later than September 23rd.  Please contact the office if you have any questions about the trip.
  • Parent orientation is Monday, September 12th at 7:30pm.  Your parents must attend – we will cover a whole year of vital information! Vocalise is a family commitment: for you to be success, your parents must be well informed and stay current to all our activities.
  • Retreat: all singers are required to attend the Cantabile retreat at YMCA Camp Campbell September 16th – September 18th.  Please make sure you read your handout!
  • Carpooling:  Please use this spreadsheet to both request and offer carpooling to and/or from weekly rehearsals, events (eg. Retreat) and concerts. The more of our families that use this resource, the more useful it will be to our community. If you can offer a carpool – please add yourself to the list. Thank you!
  • Girls: We are changing the shoe requirement for this year.  Please purchase your new shoes (Capezio Daisy Ballet Flat in black) through Amazon or Capezio asap!

Thank you all for the good work that you put in at rehearsal.  We’re looking forward to hearing the fruits of your labor in two weeks when we return.

Happy practicing!

Elena, Jace, and Jazmine

September 2, 2016

August 29, 2016/Rehearsal #2

Dear Vocalise, Thank you so much for a great rehearsal this week and ESPECIALLY for arriving so promptly and getting settled and focused for the welcoming mediation BEFORE 5:30. We had no late arrivals and that is a great year way to start the season! Your home practice assignment will be a bit more than usual since we have two […]
August 25, 2016

August 22, 2016/Rehearsal #1

Dear Vocalise, It was wonderful to see each and every one of you on Monday night, and on behalf of all of us at Cantabile, we are so excited for another year of exceptional music making! On Monday, in addition to meeting many new friends, we started three new SATB pieces, and one SSA.  Please see your action items for […]
May 3, 2016

May 2, 2016/Rehearsal #16

Dear Vocalise Singers, Two concert weeks are upon us! Please make an effort to stay hydrated, rested, and well-informed during this busy period. Below are details for this week and next week. This Week: Dress Rehearsal–Wednesday, 5/4 Location: All-Saint’s Episcopal Church, Palo Alto (555 Waverly Street) Call Time: 4:45pm (5:30pm for Bravi/VTG) Release time: 7:45pm (8:00pm for Bravi/VTG, 8:30pm for […]
April 29, 2016

April 25, 2016/Rehearsal #15

Dear Vocalise Singers,   First of all: Rehearsal this Monday is at First United Methodist Church in Palo Alto (625 Hamilton Ave) at the regular time. PLEASE TAKE NOTE!   Concert week is upon us. Below are all of the details for this week. Announcements and Assignments Dress Rehearsal–Wednesday, 5/4 Location: All-Saint’s Episcopal Church, Palo Alto (555 Waverly Street) Call […]
April 21, 2016

April 18, 2016/Rehearsal #14

Dear Vocalise Singers, Thank you for your wonderful hard work on Monday. We are getting closer and closer to our last concerts of the year and you are sounding great. Please keep working on memory so that interpretation can flow! Announcements and Assignments:   When singing SATB music (Tristeza, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Double Shot), please use the following divisi: […]
April 14, 2016

April 11, 2016/Rehearsal #13

Dear Vocalise Singers, Thank you for your hard work on Monday. We covered a lot of ground, but there is still much to do. We only have three rehearsal left before your concert on May 7th. Practice is the name of the game this week. Everything must come back better than it was last week! Announcements and Assignments   Please […]
April 7, 2016

April 4, 2016/Rehearsal #12

Dear Vocalise Singers, We only have four more rehearsals until your concert! In the blog this week, you will find a list of the music we will be learning for the your concert and the All-Choir Concert. Please spend your time reviewing all of these pieces and ensuring they are getting ready for performance. Announcements and Assignments   Please continue […]
March 31, 2016

March 28, 2016/Rehearsal #11

Dear Vocalise Singers, The blog this week is a bit different. Instead of a rundown of rehearsal, it is a chart that details what you will be singing at the Festival and with Maestro Escalada. Please use it as a guideline for your practice in preparation for Friday and Saturday! Announcements and Assignments     This Week is the Clinic […]