October 17th 2016/Rehearsal #7

Prep 1 Blog # 6 October 20th
October 21, 2016
October 19, 2016/Rehearsal #9
October 21, 2016

October 17th 2016/Rehearsal #7

Dear Vocalise,

Thank you for another week of focused, meaningful rehearsal.  Please see your action items for next week:

Action Items for next Monday (Reh. 11 of 17)

  1. Practice EVERYTHING with metronome. Memorize tempi for each piece.
  2. Pakkanen: Practice your choreography!  (See below for links and instructions)
  3. Alunde Alluia: Watch and listen to this performance from 2012. Learn the piece and choreography – we will be working on this on 10/24
  4. Keep all of your other rep polished and fresh – you should be singing every piece every week at home.

Concepts introduced and reviewed:

  • Internalizing and memorizing tempi for each piece
  • Diction: consonant pairs, fricatives, diphthong

  • Internalization and memorization of dynamics
  • Connecting with and expressing the text
  • Matching tone to music style, ie Gospel Style: darker, soulful sound, “sit back” tempo and groove feel. Overall shape of the piece: starting less agitated and building up to exhilaration and ecstatic celebration.


Pakkanen (Competition singers only)

  • This must be practiced with a metronome at 144.  Only when every singer has internalized the correct tempo and feel will this groove together smoothly.
  • Your music should be fully memorized by this point.
  • Practice your choreography in front of a mirror.  It is just as important as correct notes and words.  Make sure your movements are clear and purposeful.    
  • Please watch our performance at ACDA for a review of the choreography.  We’ll be working on translating it for three rows next week.  
  • Katia helped us with a few of our pronunciations: your “a”s need to be forward and bright, not your traditional “choral ah”.
  • Listen to the original recording of Pakkanen by Rajaton.  Listen to how sharp and percussive the language is, and well as how forward their sound is.

Music Down In My Soul

To be performed at the Holidays with Cantabile concert and for the Golden State Competition.

  • Double check your learning of this music – review where you have B flats and B naturals
  • Sing this song with a tone that’s a bit darker, richer, and more chesty; this is not a cutesy light soprano song!
  • More energy, more feeling, more vulnerability. Consider the historical context of the African-American spiritual and its performance practices. Here’s a short excerpt from Frederick Douglass’ autobiography about the African-American spiritual. There are a lot of complex emotions involved when singing spirituals. Think about the joy that can spring out of deepest sorrow. Use these to find and portray meaning in every word of this song.
  • A reminder that there is no breath in the first phrase! Take a full, deep breath to carry through.
  • m. 10: Sop 2s, keep that G# high!
  • m. 12: Sop 1s, little bit less of you to balance out the chord; you are the only voice that doesn’t move there
  • The syncopations are dragging throughout the piece.  Please practice with a metronome so that you can see if you’re rushing (“and it fills”) or dragging (“joy of the Lord”, “everlasting”).  
  • Listen to this excellent interpretation of the song for sharp articulation, great tempo drive and watch these girls dedication and engagement with the music.

Iraqi Peace Song

To be performed at the Holidays with Cantabile concert.

  • Thank you to those of who have this memorized.  However, too many of you were on “auto pilot” when you sang at rehearsal, and hadn’t memorized the actual music, but what you thought was in the music.  When you practice this week, pay attention to the small pieces that are different each time you sing a phrase.  You need to be 110% sure about every note, every word, every syncopation, every dynamic marking, every entrance and cutoff.  It only takes one person learning something incorrectly to throw the entire group – don’t be that one person!


I Thank You God: Tempo, Diction, and Dynamics (from last week)

To be performed at the Holidays with Cantabile concert and for the Golden State Competition.

  • Do 75% of practice with metronome. Memorize 88, 108 and 120. Practice accelerando and ritardando to start and end with exact tempi.
  • Memorize the dynamics for each phrase: where they start, how they change, and where they end.
  • Make an effort to truly connect with the text that your singing.  Find meaning and purpose in every word of the song and share that with the audience.  It should come through in your face, your words, and your sound.
  • We continued working on word stress in such lines as “I who have died am alive again today” and “I thank you God”.  
  • A reminder there should be no breath or break between “are” in m.62 and “opened” in m.63.  The phrase needs to carry all the way to the downbeat of m. 64.
  • As a reminder, this should be already memorized.

Vindo (SATB)

To be performed at the Holidays with Cantabile concert on 12/4

  • Your part was due to be memorized on 10/10.
  • Make sure you know every dynamic marking throughout the piece: where the phrase starts, where it goes to, and where it ends.  The dynamic changes are often sudden, and that’s what makes them exciting!
  • As a reminder, here is the original recording – listen until you get their sound in your ears and in your voice.

Allunde Alluia

This is the opening choreographed number for the Dec. concert (with Ensemble and Intermediate)

  • Have your part by next week – it’s not a hard piece but you need to be clear about repeats and variations.
  • You can watch/listen to this recording of Cantabile singing this in 2012.  Memorize choreography.

Memorization: Please refer to the handout for the full schedule of when each piece is to be memorized and performed.

Other announcements and reminders:

  • 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 1stwhich is just over a week 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.  
  • November 14th: Golden State Choral Trophy Festival Orientation Meeting.  All singers who are attending the Golden State Choral Trophy Festival in Monterey, and their parents are required to be present at this meeting.  We will start promptly at 8:15pm and end at 8:45pm.  
  • 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 of 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 car pooling, allowing for extra time to get to church, and making a back up plan of where to meet after rehearsal if you’re not able to park in front of the church.

Here’s to another inspired week of music making and practicing!

All our best,

Elena, Jace, and Jazmine

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