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Last update of the year: Guided Concert Practice Notes; Reminders about Saturday; Heads-up for next year; A Cordial Invitation

Hi all! Wow, what a lovely and meaningful last rehearsal of the year! This has been a crazy, crazy semester–thanks for hanging in there with us!

Yes, this is a more official DCS website post; no, I am not expecting this to sent normally. I’m going to link it to you all in our email thread as per usual; it just also felt like alot to pack into a regular old email. I digress…

Please read to the end, as important information about next year is included, as is an invite you’ll definitely want to be privy to…


Below is a comprehensive list of spots to look at and things to remember for much of our repertoire, in case some guidance as to what to practice would help you to manage your time this week!

Apologies if these are slightly tenor-centric. Bahahaa.

Chronologic:
– Measure 27: Tenors, watch to make sure that that Eb is not an E natural.
– Measure 32: Everyone cuts off on beat three, EXCEPT the Basses! This is especially important, so that altos can be timely with “it clings”, and tenors are ready to sing the ostinato starting in the following measure. Speaking of, Tenors: use your eyes in this following section, not your ears. Our tempo becomes wonky as soon as we begin to lose a hold of Dr. Head’s beat pattern.
– Measure 42: Sorry, Tenors; you have 10 measures of low Ebs, before your 4 measures of high Ebs. Or, you can think about it be remembering to switch after hearing the Basses’ second, higher iteration of their chromatic “it clings” motif. Either way, count and use your ears for that! Similarly, make sure not to blurt anything out in measure 47.
– Measure 51: No breath between “joy” and “will” !!!
– Measure 54: Watch out for pitches here everybody. specifically the chord on “its” feels a bit like a guessing game. I think this stems from the dissonance between the sopranos and tenors, whose lines are unison until that chord (C natural vs B natural), and between Bass 2s and Alto 2s (D natural vs E natural), whose lines are also unison until that chord. Tricky tricky! Get comfortable enough with your line as a standalone melody that the dissonance doesn’t freak you out.
– Measure 56, 58: Our “T” consonants are a mess here. Watch Dr. Head, or, when in doubt, but a T on the last eighth beat of the measure!
– Measure 63: Tenors, lighten up your tone BEFORE the high falsetto A, so you have an easier time getting to and sustaining that note in your chest register.
– Measure 68: Tenors and Bases, watch for Dr. Head’s cutoff after measure 67’s fermata, so you’re not encroaching upon the held-out soprano note!
– Measure 84: Tenors and Basses… just double-check you know the counting in this sequence. It feels slightly out of synchronicity. Helps to subdivide by the quarter note using aspirate Hs, and speak the rhythm that way. Bi-hi-ndi-hi-hing, sha-ha-ha-pi-hing………..
– Measure 108: Know exactly when this cutoff happens, so the ending can have its proper effect! Quicker than you think.

Lift Boy – incredible. No notes. Just remember your dynamics at the bottom of page 5, and remember that we’re telling a very specific, morbid story! Act it out!

Tristis Est Anima Mea
– Measure 12: Agitato! More marcato than you think is necessary.
– Measure 14: Circum as in cheerios, not as in cereal? Someone correct me if I’m wrong.
– Measure 20: Be ready for a new tempo here, with the soprano entrance! We’re often caught off guard.
– Measure 26: Tenors, we’re jumping straight up into our passaggio on an [a] vowel here. It simply cannot be horizontal and splatty! Think “aw”.
– Measure 26: Everyone watch for a ritardando here! Look up!
– Measure 42: The aleatoric section. Write yourself a reminder to start soft please!

Dies Irae
– At the beginning of the piece, just remember that your ostinato becomes far less important once another voice part enters above you! Take this into account as you adjust dynamically. If you can’t hear a melodic voice part or soloist, you’re probably too loud!
– Again, just generally for voice parts singing ostinati; trust your EYES more than your EARS! Really focus on keeping your ostinati crisp to Dr. Head’s beat pattern, so that we can be cleanly together. You know them well enough by now to be able to look up at least a bit.
– End of pg. 5: Really, our biggest pitfall is the transition between pages 5 and 6. I would just make extra sure you know what’s coming next after getting so very comfortable with the ostinati we’ll have been harping on for 30 years.
– Page 7: just feels a bit unstable. Spend some time becoming extra comfy transitioning between each chord, especially because we’re going to have to watch Dr. Head for cutoffs and entrances after fermati!

Anthony O’Daly
– On the page marked 23 in the PDF; this is when altos have “not a flow’r can be born…” Altos and Tenors, make sure of your parts there. Especially making sure you’re in the center of the pitch on that C natural, Tenors.
– On the page marked 24 in the PDF; this is the “on our meadows” cascade, in which Sopranos start on a typical E, Altos begin on a B, Tenors begin on an F, and Basses… have that thing they have. We just really need to take some time to be extra sure of these pitches. I would 100% practice this at the piano, and then do it with the Dale Warland singers recording, first at normal speed, and then at 1.25x speed. All of the C naturals vs C#s, F naturals vs F#s, are really difficult to land consistently. Make sure you’re sure which are which for your part!

I’ve Been in the Storm So Long
– Measure 9: Sopranos, your entrance needs to be a little more confident here! Sure yourself up on those first pitches. And yes, unlike the tenors, you DO enter on the first downbeat of the measure! Give yourself permission to be bold there. You’ve got it.
– Measure 48: Tenors, that final note that sticks out like a sore thumb (on purpose) is a B FLAT!! Not a C, not an A. Think Le –> Sol, AKA Fa –> Mi.
– Measure 62, 64: Altos, there was blip here. I circled this, but am not sure exactly what happened. Un-blip it!
– Measure 67, 71: Sopranos, watch out for that leap from F to D. The F is quick and on an upbeat, and you’re never quite expecting that to be there. Take an extra look! Might feel a little weird to be rhythmic homophony with the Altos after all of that time.
– Measure 73: Take an extra gander at these pitches. These eight notes took you by surprise. Practice transitioning from the previous page to this one, so you know what’s coming when!

Afternoon On a Hill
– Measure 8-9: Remember, no breath here please!
– Measure 17, and generally: be careful of the word “flowers.” A lateral diphthong and an “r” sound all in one word! “flaw – oes.”
– Measure 20: Be careful of fly-away Ss! Cutoff and consonant on beat 3.
– Measure 27: Tenors, be sure to cut off when Eric asked you to, on beat 3 of this measure!
– Measure 31: Be verrry careful with this cutoff/consonant/transition into page 7! You have to watch Dr. Head for sure, but also keep in mind that your consonant/breath should go on the And of beat 3, so you can come in after the graduated lift on the word “I.” Use your eyes and your instincts, and listen across the choir!
– Measure 39: Tenors, breath on beat three of this measure; notice how Eric gives you a quarter rest there to set you up for success. Everyone, its a unison on Do! Come in confidently. You’ve got it! Also definitely over-familiarize yourself with your next two notes, so that the page turn doesn’t throw you off, and so that you can watch Dr. Head here.
– Measure 45: NEW TEMPO! Be prepared, mark this in your score, be extra sure of these notes, and look up!
– Measure 53: Remember to warm up your town here. Not so bright and metallic.
– Measure 56-57: Watch out for the unison D again! Tenors and Sopranos, you have a unison leap from Do to Sol to Do here. You’re in unison! Take advantage of that extra security built in. Also, just think quintally and quartally here (in 5ths and 4ths; very open sound. Possibly not what you’re expecting?).
– Measure 60: Sopranos, this one, as you know, is different. you start on Do! mark that in your score so you don’t get scared.

Constellation I
– The tempo marking in this movement is 69-72, meaning that Ticheli expected alot of rubato here. I am leaning towards 69 in measure 1, and towards 72 in measure 2. Kindof a dramatic effect thing. Don’t lag behind me!
– Measure 6: Tenors and Basses, feel free to bring out the first note of your descending lines even more. Thanks for following along with my rallentando here.
– Measure 7: Cutoff, consonant, and breath all on the And of beat 1, so you can come in on beat 2!
– Measure 8-9: Sopranos; Sol – Ti – Re – Do
– Measure 10: Tenors and Altos, feel free to bring out the second note of this rubato line more than you have before. Again, thanks for following me here!
– Measure 11: Sopranos, turn your sustained C into a quarter note and quarter rest, and put your S consonant on beat 2. Everyone else, do the same to your half notes, which would result in you placing your S on the downbeat of beat 3.
– Measure 12: Just make sure you’re familiar enough here so that you can accelerando with me!
– Measure 20: the word “path” can feel a little breathless almost; we’re going to speed up jusssst a little here.
– Measure 34: We’ll work on this on Saturday, but this is a 3:2 polyrhythm. You can also subdivide this with aspirate Hs: me-he-he rge-he-hes.
– Measure 37: ALL cutoff, consonant K, and breath on beat 2, as to reenter on beat three.
– Measure 42-end: Let’s challenge ourselves to be as quiet as we can here! I’ll challenge myself too. πŸ˜‰

Constellation II
– Measure 7: As you noticed when we kindof fixed, this, I will be conducting in 4, as opposed to in macro 2 here, as to give Tenors and Basses the gesture of syncopation so that you can come in on beat 4. Sopranos and Altos, stay strong! Don’t come in a half-beat early because you hear the Tenors and Basses come in! Stay strong y’all. I would ask that, now that you understand the problem, and how this should feel to sing correctly, that you drill this along to the recording.
– Measure 13: Altos! Feel free to cut some time off of your phrases to breath before and/or after your “Too quick to hold” interjection here. It all happens in quicker succession than you may be giving yourself time for! The prosody here is also weird: note that “Too” is on the macro upbeat, and “Quick” is on the macro downbeat. Give this a few repetitions!
– Measure 21-22: In case it was ever not clear, please do not breathe between “make” and “wishes”. Your new text is: “meh kwi shehs.”
– The fugue section (starting measure 28): Trust your eyes more than your ears here! We get a bittt out of synch towards the middle here. Notice that the emphasis of the phrase changes: DOWN the sky, down THE sky, down the SKY… don’t let that oscillation of emphasis throw you off!
– Measure 38-46: Notice the rhythmic differences between the first version of “Too burning and too quick to hold” (quarter notes) and the second version of it (more syncopated.) Speak and sing through these too different patterns!

Constellation III
– Measure 1: Same thing here. Different tempo for measure 1, than for measure 2. Don’t let it throw you off! Be ready to get to that next chord, in a new, brisker tempo.
– Measure 7-9: Just like in Mvt. 1, this is a polyrhythm, this time 4:3. Measure 10, the 2/4 measure, should almost feel the exact same. Snap a consistent beat along with the recording and see how that rhythm feels against it.
– Page 19: Just look this guy over once or twice.
– Measure 35-36: Same thing with the different tempi here. Don’t get discombobulated! Additionally, its a true Paul Mealor pianissiissimo. Let’s act like it! I’ll try to too.
– Measure 35-36: This is the exact same chord progression and voicings as the beginning of the piece, just now in F major rather than C major. Sopranos: Mi – Sol – Do – Fa – Mi!
– Measure 48: Basses, watch out for that chromatic change up from C to Db! Get that in your ears; it is vitally important for the chord change and affect there.
– Measure 44-End: Altos, you can really stretch that F natural over the barline before bringing it back down. It’s the only true hairpins Ticheli marks in all of the quiet sections of this song cycle!

Tryptich/From Heav’n Distilled a Clemency
– Not much to say in particular: just watch for cutoffs! They often happnen quicker than you think, since we’re in a fast 2. Pay attention to those on your next run-thru! I think particularly of the T/B cutoff on Page 51, Measure 171.

Peace
– Measure 5-6: This eighth note cascade through the voice parts just needs some polishing. Look this progression over!
– Measure 44: These two half notes always feel a bit unsure!

Noche de Lluvia
– I’m honestly so proud of how much y’all are slaying this. Thank you for humoring me! I encourage you to jam, and to envision your own narrative as we sing this piece together. Please look over the text to chew on for a sec: its the final page of the PDF.
– Measure 72-73: DID YOU HEAR THAT UNANIMOUS SIGH TODAY??? That’s exactly what I want. Do that every time! herrrrrrrrrmana… :^)
– As a reminder:
Page 1: Tantalizing/Enticing. “Wait, please… come with me!”
Page 4 & bottom of page 8: Wholesome/Loving/Lush. Think of who you love the most!
Measure 36: Sensual/Visual. Tenors and Basses take control here: notice how your text is that of a feminine presence (” lay your head between my breasts”). What do you think that means? Powerful feminine energy slay. #BarbieMovieMoment
Page 7: ETERNITY! Awe. Wonderment. This storm is getting really bad! It’d be a shame if you had to go and brave it alone…
Page 10: Tantalizing/Enticing. “Wait, please… don’t leave just yet.”

Peace Song
– Measure 25: I have this starred, but I’m not sure why. Look over this progression!
– Measure 35: Main choir, your first entrance after mini-choir comes in is verrrrry scared-sounding. Please look this over so that you can come in with confidence and accuracy! I would say this section until Measure 60 needs a glance over.
– Measure 79-81: Sopranos and Altos, please look over these moving lines. They’re crunchy, and they happen fast!

Cloths of Heaven
– Measure 9: Cutoff on beat 2 please! None of these cascading T’s.
– Measure 18: Another cutoff on beat 2.
– Measure 27: I would just highlight every time we have a cutoff on beat 2.
– Measure 32: This cross voicing is tricky! Basses, you come in on Re. Tenors, you come in on Fa. Look this moment over, especially with a recording!
– Measure 45: This is only 3 beats long! Be prepared to cut off on the downbeat of 3, breathe, and sing on the upbeat of 3! Soon after, be prepared not to breath after “dreams”, and go right into “under” on the downbeat of that 3/4 measure.
– Measure 59: I have it marked that we should watch Dr. Head here.
– Measure 62: You guessed it! Another cutoff on beat 2.

Y’all, you sound darn great. These things are really coming together in a really beautiful and poignant way! I think we just need to do some individual work to make transitions between sections more seamless; that seems to be our overarching issue for many of these pieces. Gosh, that took a long time. Please look over all of these!


Saturday!

Calltime: 6PM.

Downbeat: 8:00PM.

Dress: Typical Chorale concert black.

Location: Loudis, with the red chairs.

Livestream: Will hopefully be on the UD events page, if they can hack it this time.


Seniors: Fill out this form to be Recognized!! We want to celebrate you properly and accurately πŸ™‚

Link to form


For all you acapella-heads wondering, here are Chorale’s significant dates for next Fall:

Chorale Barbecue: Friday, 9/13/24 (spooky!!)

Chorale Tour: 10/30/24-11/1/24, with a final local concert at 3PM on 11/2/24.

Carols By Candlelight or Some Kind of Winter Concert: 12/8/24


LASTLY: YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO THE CHORALE PICNIC!!!

That’s right, folks–on Monday, 5/13, during typical Chorale time, we will be having a casual and fun picnic on the Amy green. It’s potluck vibes, so please feel free to bring utensils, supplies, snacks, meals, desserts, smiles… perhaps we should make a signup sheet so we don’t all bring mini cupcakes. I’ll work on that. But, PLEASE mark your calendars, and come hang out that day to celebrate this wacky year together!


Jeez louise, that was alot! Thanks Chorale, really, from the bottom of my heart. You’ve been a joy, and I am so glad to get to learn and grow with you!

On that note, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns (bgonczi@udel.edu). See you Saturday! .25 <3

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