October 3, 2016/Rehearsal #5

Intermediate Rehearsal Blog # 6 Thursday Sept. 30th
October 2, 2016
October 5, 2016/Rehearsal #7
October 7, 2016

October 3, 2016/Rehearsal #5

Dear Vocalise,

We had another great night of rehearsal last night. Thank you for your focus, flexibility, and receptivity to working with our guest clinician, Lori Bammesburger. We’re continuing to make good progress on all of our pieces, and our performances will be here before you know it!
Action Items for next Monday (Reh. 9 of 17)
Practice EVERYTHING with metronome. Memorize tempi for each piece.
Memorization: Walker, Vindo, Grace. Memorization checks in small groups
Alunde Alluia: Watch and listen to this performance from 2012. Learn the piece and choreography
Amavolovolo: practice movement, make it sharp and seamless
Competition choir: if you wish to audition to the Pakkanen solos, you must do it at the next rehearsal.

Concepts introduced and reviewed:
Internalizing and memorizing tempi for each piece
Diction: consonant pairs, fricatives, diphthong
Matching tone to music style, ie Gospel Style: darker, soulful sound, “sit back” tempo and groove feel. Overall shape of the piece: starting less agitated and building up to exhilaration and ecstatic celebration.

I Thank You God: Diction work! Tempo and its variations!
To be performed at the Holidays with Cantabile concert and for the Golden State Competition.
Do 75% of practice with metronome. Memorize 88, 108 and 120. Practice accelerando and ritardando to start and end with exact tempi.
Lori worked with us a lot on getting the air moving over the consonants to help them pop more. This song is full of opportunities to do just that! Words such as “thank” (both the “th” and the “k”), “who”, “how”, etc. should use lots of air so they are clear and we can understand what you’re saying.
We spent a good deal of time making sure that all of our crescendos truly started at a piano and grew from there (m.13, m.28/29, m.59 etc.)
A reminder there should be no breath or break between “are” in m.62 and “opened” in m.63. The phrase needs to carry all the way to the downbeat of m. 64.
Lori continued to stress the importance of phrasing and word emphasis throughout the song, and we worked on this last week as well. In phrases such as “I who have died” etc. use your hands when you practice so you can lean on the important syllables
M.80/81 and m.88-m.92: the vowel for “day” should be a diphthong with “ay” and “eh” not “ay” and “ee”. This allows the word “day” to still be heard and understood, without closing off the sound too much and making it too bright with a “ee” vowel.
M.93-end (especially the Soprano 1’s who are singing the top notes): Think of your sound like a beautiful babbling brook, instead of a rushing river. This will help keep it sparkling and resonating, without it sounding harsh or shrill.
M.100: Final consonant of “God” – add a slight shadow vowel on the “d”, but make sure it’s still on a pitch. That will help ensure that it’s heard as “God” and not “Got”.
As a reminder, this is due to be memorized by next week, Oct 10th.

Music Down In My Soul
To be performed at the Holidays with Cantabile concert and for the Golden State Competition.
Practice with metronome, internalize and memorize tempi
Listen to this excellent interpretation of the song for sharp articulation, great tempo drive and watch these girls dedication and engagement with the music.

As a reminder, this was also due to be memorized by this week (Oct 3rd).
We worked with Lori on getting a more grounded, deeper sound, that’s more authentic to the gospel choirs of the American South. To do so, we practiced using our hands/arms on words like “soul” to show the depth of sound, and to keep us from rushing too much.
During the “Over my head” section, the long notes (“head”) need to swell slightly so that the music keeps moving forward and doesn’t stagnate.
In general, we need to “sit back” more and not push ahead too much with the feel of the piece.
Remember, this song is suppose to get everyone into a frenzy at the end of the song, not start there are just get louder. Start this piece softer, but with the same intensity and passion that you sing with, and then let it grow from there.
The syncopations are dragging throughout the piece. Please practice with a metronome so that you can see if you’re rushing (“and it fills”) or dragging (“joy of the Lord”, “everlasting”).
Here is the recording that Cantabile made back in Spring of 2013 to help you practice.

Pakkanen (Competition singers only)
Learn and memorize your part
Practice with metronome
Watch this clip for an excellent rendition of the piece https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDCcGbGjDCQ
Listen to the original recording of Pakkanen by Rajaton

Iraqi Peace Song
This will be performed at our Holidays with Cantabile concert on Dec 4th.
As a reminder, this was also due to be memorized by this week (Oct 3rd).
We practiced this sitting down this week. As a reminder, this is how we will be performing it, so if possible, practice it sitting down so that you can practice proper singing posture while seated.
Your tone and phrases should sound like a warm river – smooth, connected and beautifully rich.
When singing the syncopations throughout the song, lean on them, but don’t punch them.
Sopranos m.68 make sure your entrance (and your phrase) is gentle, not overpowering.
As the piece builds (m.86-m.93) it should sound thicker, with a noticeable change into mp at m.94

This will be performed along with Ensemble at the Holidays with Cantabile concert on Dec 4th. You did a great job with this piece last night. Here are a few refinements and reminders:
Make sure your arms and wrists are straight during the “pointing back and forth” section. (Remember, this is to simulate gunfire.)
During the part where your fists go in a circle in front of you, your fists should be together, side by side. Also, you need to think that you’re string something heavy and thick so that your arms look strong and the motion is fluid.
Lori shared with us that the thing that will truly make this piece authentic (and that will really capture our audience) is the unbridled joy that is in the South African culture. The smile and joy on your face when you practice this peace should radiate off of you, as if you can barely contain how happy you are.

This is the opening choreographed number for the Dec. concert (with Ensemble and Intermediate) Action Items:
Please learn your part by next week – it’s not a hard piece but you need to be clear about repeats and variations
You can watch/listen to this recording of Cantabile singing this in 2012. Practice choreography as well

At this point the following pieces should be learned and you should be memorizing them:
Grace (due next week 10/10)
Vindo (due next week 10/10)
Iraqi Peace Song – Memorized by NEXT WEEK (10/3)
Amavolovolo (SATB) (including choreography)
Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
Allunde Alluia
Please refer to the handout for the full schedule of when each piece is to be memorized and performed.

Other announcements and reminders:
Tour to the Crescent City: Registration is now open on the member portion of the website. As a reminder, we need to register by November 1st.
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!

It may seem like we have ages before our upcoming performances, but trust us when we say they will be here before you know it! So use this time wisely and productively so that you can truly relax and enjoy your performance time. It is always a joy to make music with you, and an even greater joy when we get to share that music with others in performance.

Have a wonderful week!
Elena, Jace, and Jazmine

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