Dear Vocalise Singers,
Please be sure to read Elena’s wonderful email from Monday night — it is copied at the end of the notes. You are off to a great start this semester with many amazing things to come!
Light, energetic, flexible body
Calm and clear mind
Curious, playful, welcoming spirit
REMINDER: Please, review the handout you got at the rehearsal: it has precise plan for each rehearsal and the list of current repertoire. There is a lot of music in your folders — notice which ones are a repeat from December (for our February concert at ACDA and recording session) and which are for the festival and the spring concerts. 1st. All music needs to stay fresh in your minds and voices.
11 January Rehearsal Review [Notes courtesy of Megan Tobias–thank you!]
Ain’t No Grave
Sweet Honey in the Rock
Tonight is yet another evening when I can’t go to sleep without thanking you for an unforgettable rehearsal.
You continue to amaze me with your spirit, artistry, and attitude.
I love your openness to things that are hard to describe, to feelings and emotions that are deep, complex and mature, and to experiences that require calm and trust in your colleagues and in yourself…
We were digging deep tonight: into the music, the text, the voice… Perhaps, into the meaning of life.
Artistis are explorers of human spirit and human condition. Sharing the truth and beauty is the strongest call of every artist. Mastering our artistry while staying honest and connected to our inner truth is the only way to reach others with the beauty we find.
So there you go: my definition of artists for you, without any help from the Webster Dictionary!
Tonight we experienced art and artistry in several very different ways; each one very meaningful and important.
Libertango (a piece 90% of us know extremely well and have performed it many times) — we took the piece apart, like a complicated Swiss clock. We took time to admire and to clean every detail of it—
intonations, motives, phrases, rhythms, articulations, harmonies, leaps, dynamics — until it was sparkling and working with all its sophistication and intricacy. We found more in this “old” piece than we ever saw before and that is a fantastic skill
to have. I am so proud of your insight, wisdom and curiosity to dig deeper.
Aint’ No Grave — you rocked it, girls. Many thanks to Gwen for rehearsing it while I was out of the room. Tonight was only the second time we sang it through but you were phenomenal! only at the second rehearsal, we were interpreting, not merely figuring out notes and rhythms.
I am stunned but such a progress which can only come from excellent home practice — but may be I shouldn’t be? In all honesty, I am quietly envious of myself for having such a glorious choir to work with 🙂 !
And then there was Sweet Honey in the Rock. I had thought it would fly! I was sure it would be so easy to learn I would have to ask you to sing it backwards to make it challenging, I really was!!
But what do I know?! A score can look like a piece of cake and yet surprise you greatly. We struggled and tried a bunch of things, looking for a path to the right feel and good sound.
You were relaxed and eager to keep exploring. As a leader, I really appreciate such an attitude. I read a wise saying once: “It is by being completely lost that you find the true way.”
In many ways, it is the opposite of what I learned many years ago from my conducting teacher: “A conductor can’t be late or lost!” This, apparently, should apply to conductor’s score AND her life!
Well, both sayings have their merit. As for me, I had a great plan that fell through in Sweet Honey but I utterly enjoyed being lost and trying unplanned things — with you!
Here is to a glorious semester of taking leaps, spreading the wings of our imagination and curiosity, and digging deep into the meaning of it all!
With all my love and thanks,