Dear Vocalise Singers,
Thank you, once again, for your diligent work! Refining and polishing repertoire takes so much focus and requires being very detail-oriented. It is really difficult, and you are doing an admirable job. Keep it up!
- Elena assigned all singers to practice the sequence of
“moment of stillness –alignment — breathing — movement — meditation”
three times per week, 15 min or more each time.
This was reviewed carefully at the beginning of the rehearsal. Please, see the attached photo of the whiteboard for the flow reminder. There isn’t one “set way” of doing it but remember what you wish to achieve by the practice:
- Light, energetic, flexible body — ready to live, connect, sing
Calm, clear, open mind
Curious, playful, welcoming spirit
- Please, be reminded that Only Aria, Bravi, and VTG are participating in the Gala on Jan. 30th: All other singers will not be singing that night, but all parents are invited and encouraged to attend this festive and important event!
REMINDER: Please, review the handout you got in rehearsal on 1/11: 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 on 2/1) and which are for the festival and the spring concerts. All music needs to stay fresh in your minds and voices.
18 January Rehearsal Review [Notes courtesy of Megan Tobias–thank you!]
Pavel Chesnokov, Praise the Lord the Highest
Ran through top to bottom, worked on each one of the three sections in detail
Main challenges to work on and to improve for the next rehearsal:
- Being passionately engaged with the piece from the first to the last note: vocally, emotionally, and mentally. Not waiting for the conductor or other singers to provide the
‘fire” — BE the fire, shine brightly, be intense in your musical engagement but relaxed in your body. You need to practice the way you will perform – -this should be your motto in any kind of routine practise.
- Keeping the tempo consistent: quarter=150 for sections A and A1, 120 for section B
Practice with you metronome each time.
- The oft-repeated word “Khvalite” (Praise) needs your attention: KhvAA — this syllable
needs a warmer and more spacious “A” vowel. Don’t make it a colorless Schwa!
- Pay close attention to the dynamics – -they change fast and you must know the
dynamic plan very well on your own.
Sing with conviction and confidence
Connect phrases, as discussed “Hvalite” to “Hvalite,” Alliluia’s are connected as well.
- Downbeats are strong and committed but the feel of each of them is UP, not down (contrary to the name itself) Remember of the circular “up” motion of our conducting gestures. Also, remember the boogie board metaphor we used.
- Here is a very good recording of the piece
- Consider the style and character of Tango: Bold, intense, serious, daring–what makes it that way? [Remember the five elements of music: Rhythm, Melody, Harmony, Timbre and Dynamics]
- Precise rhythm, exact tempo, instrumental style of articulation, intense minor harmonies, sharp chromaticism of melodies are all crucial parts of a tango
- Be consistent with accents: they stay the same in the beginning. Go through the entire piece with your pencil and notice many articulation marks.
- S1: we worked very hard on starting each new melody and motives with strong articulation.. Please, review and reinforce your ability to do so.
- S1 and S2: change all “pa”s to “da” at the beginning of phrases
- S1 and S2: review melodic lines in middle section for accuracy: we will have some “quality control” check of this spot next week.
I Wish You Christmas
- We worked on singing this as precisely as possible for recording. Remember: with a recording, all of the sensory input comes from listening!
- Eyes up for pickups–sing them precisely and together
- Be aware of other vocal parts changing notes in cadences where your part is just sustaining the note: give time for that change to happen, listen attentively for such little “events”
- End phrases gently, on fermatas, avoid blowing sound bubbles
- Watch and sing sensitively, “Excited, but warmly”