October 24 – Bravi/VTG Rehearsal #8

Intermediate Blog Rehearsal # 9 Thursday October 20th
October 22, 2016
Prep 1 Rehearsal Blog # 7 October 27th
October 28, 2016

October 24 – Bravi/VTG Rehearsal #8

Hi, Bravi and VTG:

As we said on the Vocalise blog (which you should all read!)… Thank you for your focus, energy, and commitment while Elena was away.  We’re nearing the home stretch — the concert is just over a month away.  You’ve done a lot of good work, so keep it up!

Just a reminder, we WILL be having a rehearsal on Halloween.  I’ll be dressed as a choir director.

Action Items for Monday:

  1. Keep practicing EVERYTHING with a metronome! We had very few people at this last rehearsal confirm that they actually used a metronome to practice. It helps so much to internalize those tempi both for choreography and to prevent rushing/dragging.
  2. Keep singing your other repertoire (Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah, O Come All Ye Faithful). Keep it fresh even if we haven’t rehearsed it for a few weeks.
  3. Work toward memory as quickly as possible — all of your repertoire should be memorized by the beginning of November.

Concepts introduced and reviewed:

  • Intention and conviction in movement
  • Engaging with and expressing text
  • Memorization, internalization, and expression of dynamics and tempos

Happy X-Mas, War is Over:

  • When you’re learning the notes and rhythms, please pay VERY careful attention to what’s written on the page: the rhythms are often similar to the recording, but aren’t exactly the same. For example, ends of phrases (m.5, second syllable of the word “begun,” M. 7 “fun”) and pick-ups (whenever you say “so this is Christmas,” m. 4, m. 13, etc.).
  • Sopranos, please double the tenors on the first entrance, singing up the octave from mm. 1 – 4. (Same for pickup to 13 – 17 and pickup to 26 – 29).
  • Tenors do not sing from the pickup to m. 5 until the pickup to m. 10.  Instead, basses please double the alto melody down the octave for these measures.
  • Everyone please sing your parts as notated from m. 10 – 13.
  • Please pay close attention to all cutoffs as you memorize — some are notated on big beat 2 (or little beat 4), while others are notated on big beat 3 (or little beat 7).  Compare the cutoffs in measure 6 vs. measure 10, for instance.
  • Think about the historical context when finding a way to express yourself in this song. Why did John Lennon and Yoko Ono feel that these things needed to be said?
  • Listen to the recording to get a feel for the song BUT…
  • DO NOT sing like they do on the recording. The way Lennon sings is idiomatic to the style, but does not quite work in a choral arrangement. Remember to sing in your own voice.
  • Pay attention to who has the melody or counter-melody, they should definitely be heard.

Allunde Alluia:

  • Review this song and make sure you have memorized it correctly. Don’t let all that repeated material fool you! Know where you’re coming and in and what’s next at all times. Remember where to breathe and where to carry through.
  • Bravi/VTG: Do not sing at the beginning of the song. Wait for your entrance, but stay physically and emotionally engaged.
  • Bravi/VTG: Please review the voicing we clarified in our rehearsal.  Tenors should mostly sing Part 1, Basses mostly on Part 2… except for the section we termed “#2… “Zhay poo-wah yay…’ when we should all sing together.
  • Your movement should have conviction, but it should also be tender. You’re celebrating the birth of a child and praying that it will be a wonderful member of society!
  • Connect your movements fluidly. Don’t let the choreography become separate sets of moves. Each motion should transition into the next. Practice your choreography in the mirror and see where you unintentionally stop moving or engaging.
  • A few things we reviewed last night:
    • “Allunde, allunde” –  your open, upstage hand (in a firm, but not stretched L) should frame your chin closely, but it shouldn’t be on your face. When you call out, your head should not be completely facing the side, but rather at a 45 degree angle from the audience.
    • When you raise your hand at the beginning of each non-”allunde” phrase, trace it with your eyes – “admire” it.
    • Rocking the baby should have your arms overlapping each other. Always start rocking to the right.
    • When you bring your arms up and cross them with outstretched hands, give a slight lift when you reach the downbeat of the last “allunde.”
    • Your hands come down straight in front of you, not in a widening circle.


  • Review this song. Notes, rhythms, text, and dynamics should be memorized!

Sing We Now of Christmas:

  • Be certain you review this before Monday.  We did not touch it in last week’s rehearsal, but we will likely put it together with the piano and cello next week!  Notes, rhythms, cutoffs, dynamics, divisi, and text delivery should all be memorized and nuanced!
  • The “eh” vowel (no-EL) should always be vertical and not spread.
  • The first vowel in “now” should rhyme with “FA-ther,” not with “Cats.”
  • Connect with the excited mood of this text and try to bring it to life through your face as you practice.  This is admittedly easier to do in performance, but we have to practice as we intend to perform.

Suo Gan:

  • Please memorize the first section. (pages 1 and 2)
  • Strive for tall vowels, beautiful tone production, and linear phrases.  These are concepts that need constant attention as we continue to grow as an ensemble.
  • Remember to do daily work, bit by bit, on the Welsh diction.  Refer to the audio recordings and also to the following website for reminders: http://www.go4awalk.com/m/fell-facts/welsh-language-pronunciation.php
  • Always listen for the melody, as it moves around between the tenor lines and occasionally even in the bass line.  When you have the melody, please sing it as confidently and expressively as Jerry does in the beginning.

Other announcements and reminders:

  • Parking and traffic on Oct 31st: Please be aware that Halloween falls on a Monday night this year.  Typically the area surrounding FCC is a ‘hot spot’ for trick-or-treating.  As such, it may be challenging to do drop off and/or pick up that night.  Therefore, you may not be able to park outside the church either at drop off, or for pick up.  We recommend carpooling, allowing for extra time to get to church, and making a backup plan of where to meet after rehearsal if you’re not able to park in front of the church.
  • November 5th Fall Rehearsal Information: Please read the email that went out last Thursday with important information about this event!
    • Call Time: 9:30am in the parking lot off of Bryant St.
    • Uniform: Black Cantabile t-shirt, smart jeans, tennis shoes
    • Please also bring: your Cantabile music, pencil, labeled water bottle, and sack lunch.  (Please do not bring your yoga mat.)
    • Pick Up: Approximately 2pm in the Fellowship Hall after the concert
  • 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 10th – which is about two weeks away!!  Don’t make Elena call you personally and remind you to sign up!
  • November 7th: Full uniform check at the beginning of rehearsal.  Everyone needs to come in their full uniform (including shoes and socks) to rehearsal on November 7th.  

Thanks again for a great rehearsal this week! We’re into the final stretch before Monterey and our Winter Concert, so now is really the time to focus and polish with precision. We’re confident that the hard work will pay off, and we’re excited to see where each of you will be at next week!

Happy praciticing…  we’ll see you next week for a fun Halloween rehearsal!

Jace, Elena, Jazmine, and Justin

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