Bravi / VTG Rehearsal #10 – October 30, 2017

Intermediate Blog # 11 November 2nd
November 3, 2017
Vocalise Rehearsal #9, Notes for Nov. 6th
November 4, 2017

Bravi / VTG Rehearsal #10 – October 30, 2017

Hi, VTG and Bravi:

As we near the performance season, we have a nice opportunity for a little preview tomorrow at the workshop! Please do your best to be on time and fully present, so that we can jump into music-making.  Tomorrow, I also encourage you to be good examples for your younger friends in Cantabile (Ensemble/Intermediate) who will be with us for much of the day.  Welcome them, engage with them during our down-time, cheer them on in performance, and remember that many of them look up to you and will be inspired by what you do.  So it is important not only to sing well, but also to demonstrate good rehearsal etiquette and camaraderie.

Action Items for this weekend and Monday (specific repertoire notes to follow):

  1. Blue Christmas: Practice hard on your notes.  This is the least familiar and needs to be brought up to speed quickly. Notes 100% learned by next week.  Memorized by the week after.
  2. Convidando: Work on Spanish diction and facial engagement.  100% memorized now.  Perform this tomorrow.
  3. Merry Christmas / Happy New Year: Learn all notes well, and work toward memory.  Memorized the week after next.
  4. Caribbean Mass:  Santo and Agnus Dei memorized, other movements very close.
  5. Amani: Memorized.  We will perform tomorrow.
  6. 12 Days of Christmas: Almost memorized. Much work is already done, but please review movements as well.


Blue Christmas – arr. Mac Huff

  • All notes should be learned now, working toward memory.
  • Remember your listening homework for style, which is very important in this piece: Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald.  And of course, Elvis!
  • Always differentiate dynamics and tone when you switch from accompanimental figures (doo-woop, bm-bm-bm, etc.) and words.  Instrumental/accompanimental sounds should be precise and crisp, and slightly softer.  When you switch to words, sing out a bit and make sure your singing is appropriately legato and suave, but always keep the sound somewhat off the voice.  No edge in the tone.
  • The final chord should be: Basses: F (low or high), Baritones: A. Tenor 2: C, Tenor 1: E, Highest tenors: G. (Spelling a major chord with added 7th and 9ths!

Convidando – Zéspedes

  • 100% memory. We will perform this at the rehearsal workshop tomorrow.
  • Spanish diction must include rolled r’s, bright “ah” vowels, and appropriate syllabic stress.
  • All “L” consonants are to be sung with the tip of the tongue, not the fat middle part of the tongue like an American “L.”
  • We will be presenting a performance of this — not only to be heard, but to be SEEN.  Faces should be bright and engaging from the first note to the very last.
  • Basses should spend a few moments reviewing your very difficult part on the first and fourth page (the slow sections). The intervals are just “okay” right now — they are not clearly etched.  Practicing singing staccato to see how quickly you can find these pitches, then put the legato back into the sound, insisting that each pitch is immediately clear and accurate.
  • Please remember the grand pause before the very, very final “¡Ay!”

Merry Christmas / Happy New Year – arr. Malucelli

  • Incase anyone has not heard a proper recording of the original piece — the Hallelujah Chorus — here it is:
  • This clip, by the way, offers another learning opportunity. Of course the chorus sounds fabulous.  But look how bored, uninterested, and disengaged they look! I would venture to say many of them even look irritated.  So this goes to show — you must fully embody the spirit of each piece, in order to invite the audience to fully enjoy your beautiful singing.
  • This needs to be memorized as soon as possible.
  • Basses, please spend some time on the first page — sing in solfege first, then add words. The repeated jumps are not hard, but they happen very quickly and must be clean.
  • Tenors, please be sure you have your part’s “road map” marked clearly so that you know where to jump back and forth between the tenor and bass lines. Sing with a nice supported tone, but do not over-sing. You will have Aria altos singing along with you.

Caribbean Mass (SATB), by Glenn McClure


  • Be sure you know the translation – it is written in the front of your score.
  • 2ND ALTOS: a reminder – you are singing the Tenor line in this movement.
  • Observe dynamic and stylistic markings – ie, begin Piano and accent “De-” of “De-um.”  The whole movement is a gradual crescendo to Fortissimo at the end.
  • SOPRANOS: be aware of the G-natural in places like ms. 35 and make sure it is low enough after singing so many G-sharps.


  • Do not breath between ms. 2 & 3 and ms. 6 & 7.
  • Put an accent on beat 1 of ms. 3.
  • Ms. 5 and similar places should be marcato.
  • The measure before letterA should be marcato, and the following four measures (and following similar sections) staccato, with a separation between “Altissimo” and “Onnipotente.”
  • ALTOS: sing the Tenor line in ms. 30-32.
  • Ms. 51-52 and following should be marcato and the last note (the “-gnor” of “Bon Si-gnor”) should be short.
  • Throughout the piece, be sure to roll the “r’s”
  • At letter D: 2ND SOPRANOS sing the Alto line; ALTOS sing the Tenor line; ALL TENORS AND BASSES will sing the Bass line.  Go back to your own part at letter E.
  • Letter E to the end was shaky on Monday.  Learn your part.


  • The opening section should be very smooth, but light.
  • Throughout the section at letter C, be sure to notice when you are singing unison with other parts and tune as such.
  • Letter D – this section is quiet, but needs obvious accents where marked.
  • Be sure you know the Italian from letter E to the end.

Recordings for your reference:

Kyrie (sung by the MA All-State Honor Choir, Dr. Janet Galvan, Conductor):

Here is Santo…

…and Credo:



This was a bit shaky and we only had time for a brief run-through of this on Monday.  We will sing it this coming Saturday – please review it so you can be leaders for the younger groups.



Call Times for the Fall Rehearsal: TOMORROW, SATURDAY NOV 4th

Please note your call time for the Fall Rehearsal TOMORROW Saturday, November 4th   Your call time is 9:00 am and you must arrive in your Cantabile T-shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes/sneakers.  Please arrive in the back parking lot (off of Byron St) for check in.  A friendly reminder that the concert is scheduled for 1pm, and you will be done by 2pm.  The rehearsal and concert are held at First United Methodist Church, Palo Alto: 625 Hamilton Ave.  


Holidays with Cantabile Information Coming MONDAY 11/6

Please keep an eye out for information that will be emailed home to you on Monday, 11/6.  This will include information about your call and release times, drop off and pick up information, and volunteer sign-ups for our Dress Rehearsal (Tues 11/28) and Holidays with Cantabile Concert (Sun 12/3).


Holidays with Cantabile Tickets Now On Sale

Please visit the Cantabile website to buy your tickets today – they are going quickly!  Additionally, we need your help in filling the hall, so invite your extended family, friends, teachers, and neighbors today!


Tour Registration Reminder

If you haven’t already told us about your plans to attend tour, please either register via our website or email Jazmine ( and let us know your status.  Thank you!

We are looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!

–Jace, Elena, and Lori

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