WOW, WOW, WOW! I am so proud of you! You gave an outstanding performance Sunday at the MLK celebration concert. Here are some of the words audience members and other performers have shared with me: moving, thought-provoking, thrilling, community-building, fantastic, let’s do it again! You have taken an enormous step in the process of building Ensemble’s footprint and scope in Cantabile. Congratulations, and thank you.
Additionally, your concentration and determination in this week’s rehearsal of Four Bridges was really impressive. A recording project requires such precision and brings different challenges and rewards than a live performance does. Thank you for your dedication to the success of this project and the professionalism you displayed in rehearsal. Just wait until we get into the studio at Fantasy Studios – it will be a remarkable experience for us.
I need you to understand the importance of PRECISION in this recording. The recording studio does not mask any errors. We must all be 100% accurate in rhythm and pitch. It is vital that you follow the rehearsal plan this week and make room in your schedule for practice every day.
- Practice each track 5 times in a row before moving on to the next track.
- Tap the beat on your chest as you sing.
- Make it your intention to be ever-so-slightly ahead of the click track.
- If you make a mistake, just listen to the track once. Write beats in your score so your eyes will track accurately. Circle notes you tend to sing incorrectly and make a note of how to fix it (ie, draw an arrow up if you tend to sing the pitch too low or draw a straight, vertical line at the end of the note if you tend to hold it too long). Then go back and sing it again.
- Memorize each cue so that you can put your music down and watch me conduct.
I am asking a lot of you this week in preparation for the recording. There are roughly seven minutes of music in this piece. If you practice it 5 times (repeating each track 5 times before moving on to the next one), it will take you 35 minutes to get through the whole piece. If you add on 15 minutes for correction of mistakes, that makes a 50 minute practice session. I am asking you to do that every day this week. If that is daunting to you, try working on half the piece before you leave for school or when you first get home from school, and practice the second half later in the evening. I am including a Cantabile Ensemble Practice Log in this blog. ASSIGNMENT: Bring it to rehearsal next week, filled out with your practice times.
I can promise you great reward for the work you do. Not only will you have a huge sense of pride in yourself after a successful recording, (which, by the way, hundreds-if not thousands-of people are going to hear!) but your musicianship will be vastly improved after going through this process. That means even better, more sophisticated and exciting performances of all your other repertoire this year.
PARENTS: here is a review of the details of the day. I realize that this is a long day and want you to know the extraordinary opportunity this is for our singers. Not only do they get to work in one of the top professional recording studios in the country, they are the stars of a world premiere! It is important that every singer be in attendance. Also, because of the nature of the event, singers will not be allowed to arrive late or leave early. We need every singer to ride the bus together and return together. Thank you very much for arranging your schedules to allow your singers to have this experience.
Who: Ensemble Singers
- Your Four Bridges Score in your Cantabile binder
- Water Bottle with your name on it
- Healthy sack lunch: there will be time to eat, but not enough time for singers to go get lunch at the studio.
- Tea in a thermos (optional, but encouraged)
- Something warm to wear such as a sweater or sweatshirt (jackets are not encouraged as they can create noise during recordings)
- Homework, reading, or other activities to keep singers occupied during breaks. Electronic devices are allowed if they are being used for homework or other academic purposes. Please be aware that Cantabile assumes no liability if they are lost etc.
- Please bring something such as a backpack or bag with your name on it to keep all your belongings in. (Cantabile tour bags work great for this!) We are still working with the studios to determine if there’s a safe (locked) location for us to store our items in, so please use discretion when packing your singers belongings.
If you ever have questions or need help with an assignment, don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Make it a great week!
FOUR BRIDGES – NEW CUES AND REHEARSAL TRACKS
Here are the SoundCloud rehearsal tracks, with a 2-measure intro to each cut.
Be sure you have marked your score with the new cues. Draw long vertical lines between the new divisions and label the measures as they are below (A, A1, K, K1, M, M1, M2, M3):