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Director's Notes (scroll down for latest entry)

Updated: 5 days ago

This will be updated each week following the most recent Monday night rehearsal. Rehearsal format will follow a similar pattern each week as follows: brief opening comments, warm-up, review and focus. There will be a 7-minute break roughly halfway into the rehearsal preceded by any announcements by members of the Executive Board. Here in the Director's Notes selections that were focused on will be listed and some notes may be included regarding notable outcome of the rehearsal. Additionally, the upcoming rehearsal plan for the following week will list selections by number that will be reviewed and those that will be focused on. The selections to be reviewed will simply be read through near the beginning of the next rehearsal. No attempt will be made to work on or make corrections to selections being reviewed. The selections to be focused on will undergo analyses to include interpretation, teaching correct pitches, rhythm, diction, and any other needed corrections.


Your comments are welcome and can be added at the bottom of this page.

 

01/22/2024 rehearsal (Registration is from 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm):

What a pleasant surprise. There were more attending than we could possibly have imagined. Normally, the attendance is higher for the Christmas season. So given there were 26 participating for the Christmas 2023 season the thought was that 35 sets of music should be more than enough. Wrong!! We came up short be three sets of music. Not to worry more sets of music will be ordered. For those that have a set of music be sure to write the concert order numbers on the front of them as they will be referred to here by number only. Also, for those that will receive a set of music later then you will need to do the same.

It was a great first rehearsal and very exciting. The electricity in the air was palpable. On hand we had most of our instrumental combo with Meredyth and Nancy on keyboard, Alan on electric bass and our newest addition Luis on guitar. We will also have Marie on the trap drum set and our violinist Kristi that will be joining us later. We read through the complete program without taking time to fix anything. This is mainly to introduce the songs and fulfil your curiosity of what each song should sound like. For each song we first sang along to the recording and then followed up as time permitted with a live readthrough. Not unexpectedly the indication is we have our work cut out for us.


We will get to work next week by beginning the rehearsal with a warmup exercise then review of three songs, during which there is no attempt to fix anything. We will then focus on three songs where we will divide up and concentrate on individual voice parts working on blending and correcting rhythms and pitches. Then come back together to put it together with the full choir.


As was announced at this rehearsal during the uncertainty of weather conditions and access to the parking lot be sure to check the webpage and watch for an email notification in the event the rehearsal must be cancelled. If the Prince William County government offices (not public schools) are closed our rehearsal will be cancelled.


Next Monday the review will be on selections (in the order listed): #9, #7, & #6. The focus will be on selections: #8, #12, & #5.

 

01/29/2024 rehearsal (Second registration date is from 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm):

At our second rehearsal of the season, we jumped right into the fire, in a manner of speaking. The assistant director Delinda led the warmup. After that I led the review of selection #9 (has a Voice Track and includes a male and female line solo), which is one of the two pieces to be directed by Delinda at concert time. Then Delinda led the review of selections #7 and #6. Since we had on hand all the necessary musical leadership, we were then able to break out into two groups. Delinda and Meredyth worked with the basses and tenors in the sanctuary, while Nancy and I worked with the sopranos and altos in the fellowship hall. During this time, we call focus we worked in detail on selections #8 (Voice Track available), #12, and #5. Selection #12 is by far the most challenging on our program. This has a lot of 16th note runs and syncopation throughout the song. After the focus we did a quick recap of each of the songs that we worked on. You are encourage to spend some time listening to the recordings and singing along to get used to the rhythms.


I should note that this was my first rehearsal following cataract surgery on my left eye, which obviously went well. I will be having my right eye done at the end of February.


Next Monday the review will be on selections (in the order listed): #5, #12, & #8. The focus will be on selections: #2, #4, & #1.

 

02/5/2024 rehearsal (Final registration date is from 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm):

Comments to be added later


This was the third and final rehearsal allowing for normal registration. Additional registration beginning next week for new members will only be allowed after first undergoing a brief interview with the director. At this point as typically happens there have been a few faint of heart that have chosen to drop out. I am very grateful for the rest of you that are sticking it out.


We began the rehearsal with some brief announcements and a warmup exercise. Following that we did a quick review of three selection (5, 12, & 8) that we focused on the previous week. Then we went to work on the selection #2 during the focus part of the rehearsal. After a recap of selection 2 there were some announcements from the Executive Board members, to include a short video. We took a break before proceeding with the other two selections (4 & 1) to be focused on. For number 2 after getting the point across about keeping the 16th notes very short we were fine. In #4 we encountered some tricky rhythms that we eventually got through but it was very challenging. Number 1 was pretty routine.


Next Monday the review will be on selections (in the order listed): 1, 4, & 2. The focus will be on selections: 3, 11, & 10.

 

02/12/2024 rehearsal:

After I gave the initial welcome and rehearsal plan summary Delinda continued with some warmup exercises. Then she conducted the review of #1 that kind of fell apart and was unfinished (it is still unfamiliar to the choir). I then conducted selection #4 that Delinda will be conducting on the actual concert. After that Delinda conducted the last review piece #2, a well-known piece. We then broke out into two sections for the focus time where we began with #3, which is an arrangement that is a bit awkward for the sopranos. We then came back together for a recap of that selection. After announcements and a break, we proceeded to focus on two more selections, #11 and #10. We concluded the rehearsal with a recap of those two selections.


It has been noted that at least one and possibly more choir members are using their cell phones during the rehearsal. If you absolutely must use your cell phone, please go out of the room so as not to distract others who are trying to learn the music for our program. Also, speaking of distractions, there are people that are over singing their section and not blending and are often not singing correctly. If you cannot hear the people next to you then you are likely singing too loud. Please be aware of the people in your section and if you are not matching the pitch and rhythm then obviously one or both of you are wrong and this needs to be addressed.


Next Monday is Presidents Day but we will be rehearsing, and the review will be on selections (in the order listed): 10, 11, & 3. The focus will be on selections: 6, 7, & 9. Reminder, please listen and sing along to your sample recording, this will help you to get the rhythms right. Also, there are Voice Tracks available on the WCC website for selections:2, 3, 8, 9, 10, & 11.

 

02/19/2024 rehearsal (There will be a rehearsal on this date):

Happy President's Day. Perhaps due to the holiday the attendance was low. As announced in the opening comments this was our final session of the first round of focusing on each individual selection on our program. After warming up we reviewed selections 10, 11, and 3. Then we divided up and began the focus on the first selection of the evening, number 6 following that with a recap. After announcements and a break, we continued the focus on selections numbered 7 and 9. Then ending the rehearsal with a recap of those selections.


The warmup was a bit painful as there was one person singing very loud and not on pitch. I would remind everyone that as a choir we should be concentrating on blending and balance. The review went mostly well but with the understanding there is much more work to be done on these selections. We made good progress on number 6, 7, and 9. The rehearsal then ended a little early to allow the WCC Executive board to get started.


Next Monday we will be reading all the selections in concert order. There will be no review or focus. There will be some time but very limited to fix a few problems as we go through each selection. Most of the instrumental combo should be on hand.

 

02/26/2024 rehearsal:

Comments to be added later


Next Monday the review will be on selections (in the order listed): TBA. The focus will be on selections: TBA.

 

03/4/2024 rehearsal:

Comments to be added later


Next Monday the review will be on selections (in the order listed): TBA. The focus will be on selections: TBA.

 

03/11/2024 rehearsal:

Comments to be added later


Next Monday the review will be on selections (in the order listed): TBA. The focus will be on selections: TBA.

 

03/18/2024 rehearsal:

Comments to be added later


Next Monday the review will be on selections (in the order listed): TBA. The focus will be on selections: TBA. Executive Board meeting following rehearsal.

 

03/25/2024 rehearsal:

Comments to be added later


Next Monday the review will be on selections (in the order listed): TBA. The focus will be on selections: TBA.

 

04/1/2024 rehearsal:

Comments to be added later


Next Monday the review will be on selections (in the order listed): TBA. The focus will be on selections: TBA.

 

04/8/2024 rehearsal:

Comments to be added later


Next Monday the review will be on selections (in the order listed): TBA. The focus will be on selections: TBA.

 

04/15/2024 rehearsal:

Comments to be added later


Next Monday the review will be on selections (in the order listed): TBA. The focus will be on selections: TBA. Executive Board meeting following rehearsal

 

04/22/2024 rehearsal:

Comments to be added later


Next Monday the review will be on selections (in the order listed): TBA. The focus will be on selections: TBA.

 

4/26/2024 MANDATORY on-site rehearsal:

Rehearsal begins at 7:00 PM. Comments to be added later



 

4/27&28/2024 Concerts at Ferlazzo:

Comments to be added later

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