August 24, 2016/Rehearsal #1

Intermediate Rehearsal Blog #1 Thursday August 25th
August 26, 2016
August 29, 2016 – VTG/Bravi Rehearsal #2
September 2, 2016

August 24, 2016/Rehearsal #1

Dear Ensemble,

It was wonderful to see each and every one of you on Wednesday, and on behalf of all of us at Cantabile, we are so excited for another year of exceptional music making!

On Wednesday, in addition to meeting many new friends, we started two new pieces.  Please see your action items for practicing below:


Standing position We will be starting our rehearsals on the mats: enjoying a quiet moment together and working on deep breathing, then will follow with some fun yoga stretches. At the first rehearsal, Elena taught the singers to find the five points of connection of feet to the ground.  Practice finding and feeling these 5 points: outer heel, inner heel, mound under your big toe, mound under your little toe, and the big toe itself. Once you feel grounded and connected through all 5 points, the spine elongates and everything lengthens. Practice your standing position: rooted to the ground through the feet, lifting up to the sky with the crown of the head. Practice this several times throughout the day and defy gravity! you will never be slouch!  

Breathing: See if you can remember the difference between regular breathing (the one that happens throughout the day without being noticed) and the deep, slow breathing we practiced. Sit or stand quietly, noticing the breath slow down and become deeper. Empty the lungs fully by pulling the navel toward the spine, then slowly fill up with air starting from low lungs, moving to mid- and then to upper lungs. See you can make each inhale and exhale longer by a half-second each time!  

Grace, arranged by Mark Hayes

This is one of the songs that you will perform at the Holiday Concert in December. This one will be sung with Vocalise and Bravi.

In class, we listened to a great rendition of the piece, performed by the Women’s Chorus of Bringham Young University. You can find this recording here.

  • Learn you part through m. 57 (just before the key change) before rehearsal next week.  
  • As a reminder, Alto 2’s will sing the Tenor part, and Soprano 2’s and Alto 1’s will sing the Alto part at the following locations:
    • m.31-m.33
    • m.41-m.80
    • To be absolutely sure when to “jump” to a different part, review these images of the score with parts marked. Transfer the markings into your own score.
  • Make sure you are breathing at the appropriate times (stagger breathe), and are not taking breaths between beats 1 and 2, following a tied whole note (i.e. between beats 1 and 2 in m.6, m.10 etc.)
  • Do make sure to “lift the voice” (stop singing for a quick moment)  when indicated (m.48, and m.52)

Listen to the excellent rendition of the piece on Spotify:  BYU Women’s Choir’s CD, “Wondrous Love” – we listened to it on Wednesday.


  • Learning most of your part up through m. 77 (the key change) for next week.   
  • The divisi will be as follows:
    • m.61-m.77
      • Soprano 1 sing the top line (currently marked Soprano in the score)
      • Soprano 2 and Alto 1 sing the bottom of the first stave (currently marked Alto in the score)
      • Alto 2 sing the second stave (currently marked Tenor) with the Tenors of Vocalise
      • Pictures of the part divisi are here.  Transfer the markings into your own score.
  • The words to this piece are nonsense syllables to resemble Finnish (some of them are actual Finish)

Here’s the video we listened to in rehearsal.

Old Fox Wassail

  • Listen and follow along in your parts at least once before the next rehearsal.

If you are unsure of your part placement (Soprano 1, Soprano 2, etc.), you can find them here.  

Other announcements and reminders: (this was all listed on a bright pink handout at the end of rehearsal that should have made it to your parents!)

  • A very warm welcome to our newest Ensemble members: Casey, Ava, Anjali, Quincy, Sophia, and Saman.  We are thrilled to have you with us!
  • A HUGE thank you to our choir parent for this year: Diana!
  • Parent orientation is Wednesday, September 7th at 6:15pm.  Your parents must attend – we will cover a whole year of vital information! Ensemble is a family commitment: for you to be successful, your parents must be well informed and stay current to all our activities.
  • Retreat: all singers are required to attend the Cantabile retreat at YMCA Camp Campbell September 16th – September 18th.  Please make sure you read your handout!
  • 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!
  • Bring your yoga mats!  Every week we will start at exactly 5:05pm on the floor with our shoes and socks off, and our yoga mats half-rolled beneath us. New singers will be getting their Cantabile yoga mats at retreat.  
  • Musicianship Homework: please make sure you finish your assignments for this week, as well as your self-assessment, and bring them to rehearsal on Wednesday!

Thank you all for an amazing first week of making music together.  It’s going to be a life-changing year for all of us, and it truly wouldn’t be possible without all your focused and passionate work, dedication, and love that you’re going to put into the music.  Have a wonderful week and we’ll see you next Wednesday!

Elena and Jazmine

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