September 26, 2016/Rehearsal #4

September 26 – VTG/Bravi Rehearsal #4
September 29, 2016
Prep 1 Rehearsal Blog # 3 Thursday Sept. 29th
September 30, 2016

September 26, 2016/Rehearsal #4

Dear Vocalise,

Thank you for another great night of rehearsal.  It was the warmest night that we will have all year, but you stayed focused, engaged, and did some wonderful work in preparing for our Holidays with Cantabile Concert, and the Golden State Competition.

NEW PIECE: Allunde Allua
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

I Thank You God
To be performed at the Holidays with Cantabile concert and for the Golden State Competition.

  • Expectation: everyone must have notes, rhythms, dynamics and phrasing learned solid by now. 100%
  • NEW: We spent a lot of time interpreting the poem: “tasting” its sounds and finding different colors in the language, finding gestures and movement to embody to feelings it evoke in us.  The work was incredibly important and all singers are to continue this journey into the text on their own. Spend time just saying the poem over and over again, tasting the words in your mouth, paying attention to the  minute movements of your lips and tongue, to many different ways ee cummings strings sounds and words together. There are beautiful words in this poem – natural, infinite, amazing, great, illimitably – say and sing them in the way that depicts what you’re singing about.
  • Below is a synopsis of what we worked on in rehearsal:
    • M.4 Altos make sure your notes are accurate
    • M.4 everyone, slight separation between (glottals) “this” and “ah” in “amazing” so we understand the words.  Also, a slight emphasis on the “ah” of “amazing”.
    • Altos, work on for the “la”’s in m. 6: smaller mouth shape, pitch must be precise
    • M.8 — smooth and connected
    • M.9 – -non crescendo on the fermata
    • Whenever there’s a “thank you” the “ah” vowel needs to be faster so that you sing the entire word “thank” without slowing down.  
    • M.14 There needs to be a slight crescendo from here to m.19; as we discussed the music is repetitive, and moves downward in melodic contour, so you need to add a slight crescendo to keep it feeling sustained and supported throughout the entire phrase, and especially through the held “day”.
    • M.22: Sopranos – pull that note from the string in your heart
    • M.28: Soprano 2s – don’t scoop up to the Bb, and put the emphasis on “birth” of “birthday”, with less on “day”.  (We practiced this with our hands to help demonstrate the sound.)
    • M.29 and 30: Slight emphasis on “life”, “love”, and “wings”
    • Keep the entire phrase of “and of the gay great happening illimitably earth” forte and strong (until the crescendo)
    • M.39: Soprano 1s – final “D” on “God”
    • M.42: Soprano 1s – dissapear into the Soprano 2 line on your “how”
    • M.47: Soprano 2s and Altos: This line should be connected, but articularted
    • M.51: Soprano 1s – make sure to end on beat 4 so you can catch a quick breath and join the phrase in the next bar.
    • M.54: There is a slight separation between “You” and “doubt” between beats 3 and 4.  The “doubt” of beat 4 belongs with the phrase “doubt unimaginable You?” in the next two bars.  Make sure it feels that way.
    • M.55 should be the point that m.41 until then has been building to – make sure it’s truly “unimaginable”! 🙂
    • M.57 slight separation between “no” and “of” and “all”.
    • M.58: Soprano 2s don’t scoop up to the C
    • M.60 “Now the ears” both needs a glottal, and should be pronounced “thee” (not “the)
  • Here is the recording of Cantabile singing this from Spring of 2013.

We will only be singing this at the Golden State Choral Festival.  

  • If you have sung this before: review your part with a fine comb! Use the score to practice, don’t rely on memory alone. Be prepared to coach other singers in your section, those who have done the piece before.
  • If you are learning a different part this time — thank you VERY MUCH!
  • If this is a new piece, for you, here is your plan:
  • Make sure you are certain what part of the divisi you are to sing, at all times.
  • Work slowly, by section, and learn your part by next week’s rehearsal.
  • All: we begin reviving choreo next week.

Music Down In My Soul
This another piece that we’ll be taking to Monterey for competition, and singing at the Holidays with Cantabile Concert.  It’s great that so many of you still remember this from the last time we performed it.  As such, learning your parts should be easy enough: please have them learned and MEMORIZED by next week (10/3).  Here is the recording that Cantabile made back in Spring of 2013 to help you practice.

At this point the following pieces should be learned and you should be memorizing them:


  • Grace (SATB)
  • Vindo
  • Iraqi Peace Song – Memorized by NEXT WEEK (10/3)
  • Amavolovolo (SATB) (including choreography)
  • Most Wonderful Time Of The Year


Please refer to the handout that was passed out in rehearsal last week 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!

As always Vocalise, your enthusiasm and love for music and your fellow musicians makes working with you a true joy.  Have a wonderful week practicing all of the exciting text and music set before you, and we look forward to seeing the fruits of your labor on Monday!

Happy music making!

Elena, Jace, and Jazmine

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