Avanti Rehearsal Blog

Dear Ensemble,

Thank you, thank you for your great work, not only at rehearsal on Wednesday, but also during your practice at home last week.  Your improvement between rehearsals was significant and allowed us to focus on polishing the music and developing our expression of the important message each song contains for our audience on Sunday.  You know, Dr. King was a great champion of justice and equal rights for people of all races, but he was also passionate about wiping out poverty and providing equal access to quality education.  I came across this video of a young lady describing her dream, inspired by King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and it hit home for me the understanding that King’s dream has not yet been fully recognized in this country.  This is why concerts like the one you are going to present on Sunday are vital to our community.  When you wonderful young people put this message out to your community, as the young lady in the video does, you are a powerful voice for the voiceless.  You have inspired me in the process of preparing this concert to be more aware and supportive of efforts to change these inequalities in our culture, in whatever small way I can.  Thank you!

And now… let’s prepare ourselves the best way we can for the concert on Sunday.  Please carve out some time between now and then to review all the things we worked on in rehearsal before you arrive at the church on Sunday (details for the concert below).  Sing through every song at least once, standing with good singing posture, focusing your eyes on one spot (imagine me standing there!), being expressive with your face and body and including choreography in Amani.  Be sure to get good rest this weekend, eat well and drink plenty of water so you are physically in great shape for the event.  Bring excitement, joy and focus with you on Sunday!

LOOKING AHEAD… After Sunday’s concert, please turn your attention to our Montalvo Arts Center project.  There are some specific notes about Four Bridges farther down in the blog you will need to know before next week’s rehearsal, so be sure to read all the way through it.

If you ever have questions or need help with an assignment, don’t hesitate to email me at lori@cantabile.org .  





Driving Out the Darkness, a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Location: Foothills Congregational Church

Uniform: Full Concert Dress

Bring: Water bottle with your name on it.  Please do not bring anything else with you. Be sure to eat a good lunch before coming.


12:30 Singers arrive and meet in the Learning Center

12:30-1:30 Parents drop off potluck items for reception to Parish Hall Kitchen.  Come around to the kitchen door and please be aware that there may be a church meeting finishing up in the Parish Hall itself around 12:30 and be sensitive to that when you come.

1:40 Doors open to the sanctuary for seating

2:00 Concert and Reception

3:45 Approximate end-time of entire event

Parents, we hope you are planning to come to the concert and encourage you to invite friends and family.  It is free and open to the public.  After the concert, please plan to stay for the reception and get to know the members of the church choirs and staff.  We very much appreciate your help with the refreshments for this community-building event.  You may sign up for items to bring here.  Please remember the following guidelines:

  • Please drop off your item between 12:30-1:30 pm to the Parish Hall KITCHEN DOOR.  A Cantabile staff member or volunteer will be there to receive you and your item.
  • All items should be self-contained, pre-plated, and should not need any heating, refrigerating, or further prep-work.  They should come covered, with their own accompanying utensils (i.e. tongs, spatulas)
  • Please label your dish with your singer’s last name (masking tape works great for this!)
  • Please plan on your contribution feeding approximately 8-10 people.   
  • Main Dishes: These should be ready to go hot main courses such as lasagna, a sandwich tray, casserole, or a large quiche.
  • Side Dishes: These can include fruit trays, veggie trays, cheese and crackers, or chips and dip etc.
  • Desserts: Small “finger foods” such as cookies or brownies work better than large cakes
  • Absolutely NO NUTS of any kind in any FOOD item.
  • Drinks: Water, sparkling water, juice, etc.  Please bring large containers and we will provide cups.
  • All paper products, utensils for eating, napkins and cups will be provided by Cantabile-please do not bring these items.



High Sop 1

Low Sop 1

Sop 2



Come and Sing

Sop 1

Sop 2


Shed a Little Light

Sop 1

Sop 2 (Sop)

Sop 2 (Alto)


Peter, Go Ring-A Dem Bells arr. Jeffery Ames

  1. Here is the recording of of the full performance of this song.

Soprano 1

Soprano 2 (Soprano in 2-part sections)

Soprano 2 (Alto in 2-part sections




Howard has decided to split the following cues into shorter cuts so as to make things go smoother in the recording studio.  Please mark your score in such a way that you remember what the new cuts are.  Draw long vertical lines between the new divisions and label the measures as they are below (A, A1, K, K1, M, M1, M2, M3):

Cue A

Cue K

Cue M

Here are new SoundCloud rehearsal tracks, with a 2-measure intro to each cut.

January 19, 2018

January 17, 2018/Ensemble Rehearsal #3

Dear Ensemble, Thank you, thank you for your great work, not only at rehearsal on Wednesday, but also during your practice at home last week.  Your improvement between rehearsals was significant and allowed us to focus on polishing the music and developing our expression of the important message each song contains for our audience on Sunday.  You know, Dr. King […]
January 12, 2018

January 10, 2018/Rehearsal #2

Dear Ensemble, My sincere apologies for forgetting to email you last week to let you know that a blog had been posted!  Thank you to those of you who went searching the Member Only page of the website and discovered it there.  I am feeling better this week and am back in the groove for posting blogs by Friday each […]
January 7, 2018

January 3, 2018/Rehearsal #1

Dear Ensemble, It was wonderful to see you all last Wednesday at our first rehearsal of the spring semester.  I hope you were able to reconnect and visit with family and friends over the break.  If you read all the way to the end of this blog, you can see the furry faces that greeted me in Colorado!  Spending time […]
December 15, 2017

Final blog of 2017! December 14, 2017

Dear Ensemble, Thank you for making room in your schedules last week to have a rehearsal with Howard to work on Four Bridges.  It will go a long way towards helping us to be confident at the recording session in February.  The spring semester is going to start with a bang, and I am asking you, singers, to devote some […]
December 1, 2017

November 29, 2017/Rehearsal #15

Dear Ensemble, I am proud of you and I’m excited for our performance this weekend!  The work you did at the dress rehearsal on Tuesday night and then at our regular rehearsal on Wednesday was remarkable.  Keep challenging yourself to be better every day.  Be sure to practice today, tomorrow and Sunday before you come to the theater, striving to […]
November 20, 2017

November 20, 2017/Special Edition Blog

Dear Ensemble Singers and Parents, I am excited to let you know that I have received the score from composer Howard Hersh for his Montalvo Arts Center Sound Installation commission titled Four Bridges.  It is a wonderful piece, full of mystical, magical and somewhat nostalgic moments that the children’s choir delivers over a marvelous orchestral score.  Please see links to the […]
November 17, 2017

November 15, 2017/Rehearsal #14

Dear Ensemble, I hope you were as inspired and filled with joy by Elena’s visit to us this week as I was!  And kudos to you for responding to her conducting and suggestions so flexibly and willingly.  That is a hallmark of a true artist – to be open to new ideas and to be willing to take risks and […]
November 11, 2017

November 8, 2017/Rehearsal #13

Dear Ensemble, The count-down has begun!  Only one rehearsal remains before Dress Rehearsal, with one regular rehearsal after that, and then the Holidays With Cantabile CONCERT!  I am so excited about our first performance together at the California Theatre with all of our Cantabile family members in Intermediate, Vocalise, Aria, Bravi and VTG.  It is going to be a glorious […]