This was the first of two final session to polish all selections as needed. After the warm-up led by George we started work on #6. A nice easy piece in which we must avoid becoming complacent, that is tending to get a little behind the beat rather then staying precisely with the beat. #8 requires maximum attention to the direction provided by the director as there are many ritardandos and tempo changes also the dynamics are extremely important. #16 like #8 has many ritardandos requiring keeping a close eye on the director. Keep the swing style prevalent in #7 and it will be fine. George has reminded us that we must observe the dynamics both the one written and the ones he as altered to get the best effect for selection #11.
A very encouraging rehearsal as most everything went very well. There are still a few spots in selection # 14 that needs some more attention but we will address those at the next rehearsal. The soloist backups based on Peer Judge results were announced as follow:
#1 Soloist: Michelle W Backup: Karen M
#2 Soloist: Christen B Backup: Karen M
#6 Soloist: Nicole Unger Backup: none
#9 Soloist: Nicole, Duet: Bill L, Michelle W Backup Soloist: Karen M. Duet: Larry, Karen
#10 Soloist: Christen B Backup: Karen M
#12 Soloist: Bill L Backup: Michelle W
#15 Trio: Christen B, Amy F, Karen M
There will be one Feature by Christen B "I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas"
Next rehearsal will be a final polishing for selection #: 6, 8, 16, 7, 11, 4, 3, and 14
This rehearsal was mostly routine. After the warm-up led by George we reviewed selection #s: 9, 7, 13, and 14. The focus was on selection #s: 2, 1, 11 (led by George), and 6. There is a noticeable presence of sopranos struggling with the rhythm at measure 17 in selection number 1. Even though extra time was spent on this the improvement was only slightly better. More attention is needed here.
Peer Judge Tally sheets have been received from the peer judges and the results have been analyzed. One selection is in need of a contingency agreement so the results will instead be announced at the next rehearsal instead of posting here.
Next rehearsal will be a complete review with minor touchups of all selections on the program in reverse concert order.
George began the rehearsal with our standard warm-up exercise then went into the review of selection #5. I then continued the review session with selection #s: 16, 12, and 3. We then began to work on the focus selections starting with #14 for which we spent a little more time then originally planned but made some significant progress with it. Next we worked on selection #s: 13, 7, and 9 all of which are well in hand. Following the shorten rehearsal we began a series of Line Solo and Feature tryouts. There were 14 participants in Line Solo tryouts and then 3 Feature tryouts. The Line Solo in selection 12 was the most popular with 10 participants.
Next rehearsal the focus will be on selection #s: 2, 1, 11, and 6.
There were some pluming issues at the beginning of rehearsal and while George was attending to that I led the warmup and then continued into the review of selection #s: 8, 10, 4, and 15. Each of these were right on track in our season of rehearsals. We then began a more in depth look at selection #s: 3 (reminder sopranos do not start until measure 13), 12 (there are still a few rhythm issues with this piece but it is coming along), 16 (no problems here), and 5 (George has several interpretive changes to this piece - ask your neighbor about these if you missed this rehearsal).
Next week the rehearsal will be shortened a bit to allow time for line solo and feature tryouts. The focus will be on selection #s: 14, 13, 7, and 9.
It was good to see Alan our bass guitar player back. The word on Marie is that she is recovering slowly but expects to be back with us soon.
We were back to the grindstone for this rehearsal. First reviewing selection #s: 6, 11 (see comments by George below), 1, and 2 after the warm-up. Then focusing on selection #s:15, 4, 10, and 8. Selection 15 is the most difficult on the program but we made significant progress on it this week and like many others are just in need of some final polishing. Number 4 is coming along nicely it is the inspiration piece for the title of our program and we really want this to come alive. The other part of the title is inspired by selection 10 which speaks to the warm fuzzy side of the season which can be quite touching if we sing these words from the heart as though we really meant it. Number 8 is an excellent contemporary arraignment of the old familiar Christmas carol. For this there is a blend of a smooth legato style interspersed with a crisp staccato style and we should carefully apply the appropriate style as called for and I think the audience is going to love it.
Next week the focus will be on selection #s: 3, 12, 16, and 5.
This was the rehearsal that almost wasn't. Meredyth has indicated previously that she would be delayed in arriving because of other matters that she would have to address just prior to the rehearsal. I then received an email from our percussionist Marie saying that she was involved in a head-on collision on Sunday while leaving church. There were no other details provided except to say it will take her at least four weeks to mend. Just before the rehearsal was to begin I received another email from our bass player Alan saying his car had broken down and he was awaiting a wreaker to tow it.
Since we do not have a backup accompanist George led us in an acapella warmup exercise. We then proceeded to read through the entire program from start to finish with the recording until Meredyth's arrival about midway through. Folks were asked to mark their music in the locations where they are having problems so that we can address them in the next series of focus sessions. The choir did a great job as everything is mostly done except for one or two songs. Generally we do need to pay closer attention to dynamic markings and avoid singing where there are rests. For the song Almost Christmas everyone needs to spend some time on their own familiarizing if not memorizing the words because the tempo is so fast it is difficult to read those words unless you have at the very least read through them a few times prior.
We then concluded our time together visiting and sharing the great food provided by members of the choir during the social following the rehearsal.
Next week the review will be on selection #s: 6, 11, 1, and 2 and then we will focus on selections: 15, 4, 10, and 8.
After the standard warm up we completed the focus on selection #14 as time ran out the prior week before finishing work on that piece. We then proceeded to review selection #s: 13, 7, and 9. Selection 14 has proven itself to be the most challenging piece on the program but we made some excellent headway on it this week. In this piece there are lots style changes, time changes, key changes , and of course variations in the rhythm. Selection #5 will be directed by George on the concert but since he was called away on business he was unable to make this rehearsal so we touched on it lightly. Number 16 is fairly simple and should not cause any difficulty. Just a reminder to skip over the optional short ending at the bottom of page 9. For those of you familiar with the Stevie Wonder recording of selection #12 it should then make this piece come easily. At the end of the rehearsal we only had time to quickly read through selection # 3.but it seemed to go pretty well but we will take a closer look at a later time. Next week we will read through the full program in concert order and break in time for the social to follow. Don't forget to bring your goodies and also take this opportunity to meet others in the choir.
George was unable to attend the rehearsal for this evening due to job related responsibilities. So after the standard warm-up exercise we settled down to work. First order of business was to complete the focus on the selection #15 for which we were unable to finish working on last week before time ran out. This song has a pretty brisk tempo and has a lot of eighth notes and words. To get comfortable with this folks are going to have to spend some time away from rehearsal becoming familiar with the words and even better memorizing them. Following this we reviewed selections 4 (watch out for the D.S. al Coda), 10 (a contemporary song written and recorded by Ann Hampton Callaway - with a slow jazz feeling), and 8 (an old French carol with a new contemporary arrangement). The focus was on selections 9 (which has lots of time signature changes 12/8, 6/8, 9/8, 3/4), 7 (an arraignment of two popular traditional spirituals), 13 (a contemporary arrangement of an old favorite Welsh carol), and 14 (a fresh new look to one of the all-time favorite Christmas season songs). Next week the focus will be on selections: 5, 16, 12, and 3.
Added two new members this week. Once again George led the choir during warm-up and in this case three of the four review selections, The reviews consisted of selections 2, 1, 12, & 7. Then focus was on selections 8, 10, 4, & 15. We ran out of time before completing #15. We will try to make up for that next week. Additionally next Monday the focus will be on selections: 9, 7, 13, & 14.
In spite of the promise to give attention to every detail of the music so that everyone has an opportunity to thoroughly learn the music before concert time there always seems to be some people that have misgivings and drop out early or decide not to come at all but for the faithful who have participated for many seasons they have come to realize that we do manage to learn the music well just prior to concert time. It is a slow process and that is why we allow 14 weeks to learn the music.
I apologize for the late update. It was a good turn-out in spite of it being a holiday. It turned out to be a "George" night as he spent most of the time before the choir during warm-up, reviews and focus on one of the selection that he will be directing on the concert. As part of the master rehearsal plan George will have an opportunity to direct every selection on the program at least one time. Each week we review several selection prior to a more intense time focusing on other selections. For this rehearsal we reviewed selection #s: 3, 12, 16 & 5 and then focused on selections #s: 6, 11, 1, & 2. Next Monday the focus will be on selections: 8, 10, 4, & 15.
Thank you to all who attended the first rehearsal of the Christmas 2018 season. It was a bit warm but we made it through all right. We simply read through the full program with a spot check here and there. For some to the more complicated pieces we sang along the recording.
Next week even though it is Labor Day we will rehearse and we will do a quick review of selection #s: 3, 12, 16, and 5. We will then focus on selection #s: 6, 11 , 1, and 2.
The rehearsals for the WCC Fall 2018 "Hope for Christmas - Celebrating the Child" concert season will begin Monday, August 27, 2018 7:30 pm. The music for this concert season has been finalized and is made up of both sacred and secular popular songs that are a mix of traditional and contemporary arrangements. Samples of the music are available now here on the WCC website under the "Songs we're singing" for you to preview and enjoy.
Auditions are not required to join. Please arrive early (7:00 pm) to register for membership and to meet with your friends both old and new. Everyone who wishes to participate including former members must register even if you sang last season. You may take the music home with you after rehearsal if you have registered and paid your membership registration fee otherwise you must turn the music in before you leave when the rehearsal is concluded. Another benefit of paying your registration fee entitles you to receive a free sample recording on a CD of all of the concert music we will be singing this season.
Registered members should write the selection numbers on the front of each piece as indicated below or from the Concert Order document that you will also receive. The reason for this is that after the first rehearsal the music will very likely not be worked on in any particular order in order to apportion rehearsal time as evenly as possible. Numbering the selections will make it easier to quickly find what you need during the rehearsal. If we happen to run out of music packets more music will be ordered and it should arrive within a week to ten days.
Full sample recordings of all of the songs on our concert program are available on this website under "Songs We're Singing" and on a sample music CD that will be provided once you have registered. The following is a listing of the songs in concert order of the choir selections.
All selections will be directed by the Resident Director Lee Irwin Culbreth or the Assistant Director George Boyd
If you are interested in performing a solo on the concert see Line Solo and Feature details in the categories on the right.
Just a little discussion about rehearsal etiquette. First of all we do want you to have fun and enjoy yourself during the rehearsal but keep in mind that the primary reason for being there is to sing not talk. So, for that reason you are strongly encouraged to come early to make and visit with friends before the rehearsal begins. You also have an opportunity to visit during the break and immediately following the rehearsal. Once the rehearsal begins please do not talk particularly immediately after the director stops the music to make a comment. Frequently a lot of people will blurt out comments which are lost in the clamor of noise as several people try to speak at once. Best practice is if you have a question or have an additional comment to make about the music please wait to be recognized by the director. Just a reminder from your perspective it may not seem disruptive if you begin to speak to your neighbor softly but in fact no matter how quietly you speak it impacts the noise level in the room even if you speak very softly and the more people that speak at the same time the louder the noise level gets. So once again please quell the urge to talk while the rehearsal is in progress.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Some of the selections on the program may have indicated solo, duet, and small group opportunities. It is not required but highly recommended that these be memorized. These will be filled by people willing to tryout in an audition process and that have been selected by a panel of peer judges. Ideally there will be a primary and a backup for each solo voice part chosen from those who tryout and are given the highest number of votes from the peer judges. Until such time as a selection has been made or if no suitable candidate is selected through the audition process the line solos are to be sung by the appropriate voice section within the choir.
Selections with line solos:
#1 - Any voice
#2 - Any voice
#6 - High voice
#9 - F/M duet
#10 - Any voice
#12 - Any voice
#15 - SSA Descant
A Feature may be a single voice or any size ensemble of voices and may include special instrumental accompaniment. As with Line Solos, Features will be selected through the audition process. Vocal parts of Features must be fully memorized. Due to the combined length of the choir selections on the program Features for this concert will be limited based on the total length of the Feature selections submitted. Each Feature must be unique and not a repeat of one of the choral selections or another Feature. It must be a traditional or contemporary sacred or secular song.
During the weeks prior to the audition for Line Solos any and all that have an interest may sing the solo lines during rehearsal. Apart from that each candidate and in particular those interested in trying out for a Feature is responsible for preparation on their own time. Feature candidates are responsible for arranging time to meet with the primary accompanist or accompanist of your own choosing. Line Soloist are responsible for coordinating time with either the primary or other accompanist to work with them on their Line Solos.
Auditions will be held on the specified date indicated in the schedule of events following a shortened rehearsal. Please note that the auditions frequently go much later than the normal rehearsal ending time. If there are extenuating circumstances that would prevent you from participating in the audition on the indicated date contact the Resident Musical Director in advance for approval to audition on the week following the scheduled audition date. The scheduled audition may possibly be extended into the following week if the audition process begins to run too late. All candidates are judged by a panel of volunteer peer judges. The final decisions for Line Solos will be made by the Director that is conducting that selection on the program and will be based on tally results from peer judges. The decision for Features will be made by the Resident Director and will be based on the results of the peer judges tally sheets within the limits of the allotted time for Features. In some cases a candidate may be tagged by the musical director for a Line Solo that they did not audition for based on their audition results for another Line Solo.
Any member of the WCC choir may volunteer to serve as a peer judge except those that will be auditioning. Those trying out for a Line Solo but not a Feature may serve as a peer judge for Feature tryouts only. Likewise anyone trying out for a Feature but not a Line Solo may serve as a peer judge for Line Solos only. Peer judges will be expected to participate for the full session however late that might be to include the extended week if necessary. A tally sheet will be provided to each peer judge. There will be space on the tally sheets to allow you to add notes about each audition that may help you decide later how to rank them. At the very least the peer judge will be expected to rank each candidate for a specific Line Solo as a 1 for the candidate they believe is the best choice, 2 for the second best choice, 3 and so forth for all remaining candidates for the specific Line Solo. For Feature auditions the candidates are expected to be superlative and not just average or worse. In a manner similar to Line Solo auditions rank each Feature candidate as they compare to all other candidates. One final thought on judging the candidates we do not necessarily have to have a Line Solo or a Feature. If you feel a candidate is not outstanding just leave the ranking blank. We are looking for something that will wow or at least impress the audience not just fill a spot just for the sake of filling a spot.
Concert attire for Spring season is black trousers (pants) with length that touches top of shoes. Black belt, black socks (black hose) and black shoes. The top should be a business dress shirt for men and a blouse with sleeves for women. No polo shirts or T-shirts. The shirt should be a solid jewel tone color (no patterns, embossing, stripes, patterns or other ornamentations). Below is a sample of the preferred jewel tone colors.
Lee Irwin Culbreth