August 26, 2015/Rehearsal #1

September 24, 2015/Rehearsal #5
September 29, 2015
September 2, 2015/Rehearsal #2
September 29, 2015

August 26, 2015/Rehearsal #1

Dear Ensemble singers,

It was great to meet you all last night — what a talented, fun and energetic group of singers you are!

Thank you for being so welcoming and warm on our first rehearsal together which was also my very first Cantabile rehearsal. This year our choir is over 50-voices strong and made of returning Ensemble singers (2nd and 3d year), singers newly promoted from Intermediate and a great bunch of excellent new students who have just joined Cantabile this fall. Welcome to all of you and let’s have a fantastic artistic adventures with music from all over the world!

Just a quick review of our rehearsal schedule and Cantabile rules:

  1. For all rehearsals, dress in comfortable and stretchy clothes: Singers are athletes — you will be asked to do stretches (and sometimes push-ups, as I hear from Elena!), we will also dance and when we sit, we sit on the floor!
  2. At all times, be kind, welcoming and mindful of others. Remember the first rule of Cantabile “No talking in rehearsals”
  3. All sessions begin strictly on time and you must be 10 min early to sign in and get in your place.

–Musicianship sessions are as before: 4:30-4:55 Mus A and 7:10-7:40 for Mus B

–If you are still unsure which session to attend, please, email me ASAP.

–The sign-in sheet will be outside — be mindful of the session that happens before you and keep voices down when you arrive.

  1. Warm up begins exactly at 5 pm — place your belongings by the windows and take a seat in a semi-circle as per voice-placement this week.
  2. Rehearsal plan will be on the white board — take the pieces out of the binder in preparation.

Keep reading the blog to the end but first — Here are your action items for the next rehearsal (but keep reading to the end of the blog!)

For Next Week:

–REGISTER if you haven’t yet 🙂

–Write in Solfege for “Like A Stream”

–Review and learn notes and rhythms through the top of page 5 in “I Will Sing”

–Almost-memorize the first eight measures you sing of “My Lord What A Morning”

–Musicianship Assignments (as outlined below)

–Remove the FAQs and Family Manual from your binder and share them with your families

–Get ready for more singing next week

(if you had to give your folder back due to pending registration, please use the scans attached to practice the pieces.)

Warm Up

Elena (the “Queen of Cantabile”!) came to lead us in some stretching, breathing, and introductions. We met the many singers who are brand new to Cantabile, the many who are newly promoted to Ensemble, and the boys who are in Ensemble this year–the most ever! It is so very important to have all of you here, as you are all crucial parts of this group.

During the warmup, we learned the traditional greeting song from Zimbabwe, “Sorida.” “Sorida” means :welcome” or “hello,” which is exactly what we did with our hand game–welcome each other! Share this song with your parents at home and teach them the hand game that goes along with it. While you are teaching them, see if you can figure out the solfege. I will ask about it next week!

Thank you for your patience and great singing while we assigned parts. You sound wonderful! If you have any questions about what part you sing on any piece, please feel free to contact me or talk to me in the next rehearsal. And thank you for your thoroughly completed “Who I Am” forms. I can’t wait to read through them and learn more about each one of you!

Pieces We Rehearsed:

Like a Stream Gently Flowing

We learned just the first phrase of this canon by the Hungarian composer György Ligeti, including the chromatic solfege. Just as a reminder:

G-sharp = Fi

C-natural = Te

F-natural = Me

For next week, please complete writing in the solfege for the rest of the canon and practice that first phrase, on words and solfege. For those of you who had to return your binders, I have attached a copy of this piece so you can do this assignment at home.

Take a listen to this youtube video of a performance of the canon. They are singing in Hungarian, but otherwise, it is exactly the same!

I Will Sing With The Spirit

You did a good job reading through the first few pages of this John Rutter piece. Please review and learn your notes and rhythms through the top of page 5 (where we stopped in rehearsal). Be careful to note where your part repeats exactly, and where it changes.

Take a minute and listen to this recording of the piece. It will give you an idea of just how “bright and serene” it can be!

As an extra challenge: google John Rutter and find a video or recording another song that he has written. How is it similar to this one? Can you find one you have sung before? How hard was it to find something he has written? Do you think he has written a lot of music?

My Lord What A Morning

This spiritual arrangement is beautiful and powerful, and we have only begun to scratch the surface of it! We had a great reminder of the difference between a spiritual and a gospel piece: Spirituals are folksongs, they don’t have authors and have been passed down through oral tradition, while Gospel songs have composers. Songs like this one are spirituals, and have arrangers who set them in a particular way.

Please be sure you review the eight measures (m. 6 through 13) we sang in rehearsal and have them close to memorized. It will help us with learning the rest of the piece. Look carefully at measures 8 and 9 and ensure they are accurate! Here is a recording of the piece all the way through. Take a listen and see what is in store for the future!


General Musicianship Notes:

Everyone received a schedule for Musicianship assignments with their music this week. We will stick to this schedule as best we can. Each assignment is due when you arrive at rehearsal on Wednesday (Musicianship A at 4:30, Musicianship B at 5:00).

If you have already done part or all of the book you are assigned, please bring it in to show me. If you have completed it, you can either do it again as review or get supplemental materials from me. You must still attend musicianship classes. If there are any questions about this, feel free to contact me.

Musicianship A

We spent time reviewing the pattern of whole and half steps in a major scale (WWHWWWH) and the brackets (for whole steps) and carrots (for half steps) we use to show them. We also spent time doing a quick rhythm review, including writing in counts, clapping, and different note values. Both of these things will be reviewed in your homework for next week.

For next week: Complete pages 1-4 of Book III.

Musicianship B

We started building a circle of fifths, going through two sharps and flats, with both major and minor keys. We also reviewed the rules for finding sharp and flat key signatures. Start memorizing them now! By the end of the semester, you will need to know them all.

We also did some sight singing and canon singing. You did a very good job–I was impressed! Remember: when you are sight reading, the beat must stay steady and consistent. This becomes particularly evident when we are singing with another part; you will get left behind if you lag!

For Next Week: Complete pages 1-4 of Book IV.

See you all next Wednesday!


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