Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Order of Songs For Our Condert

  1. Come Join the Holiday Season
  2. O Night Divine
  3. One Small Child
  4. And the Angels Sang
  5. Hymn of Angels
  6. Roundelay Noel
  7. Cartoon Christmas
  8. Sending You a Little Christmas
  9. What is This Brightness Shining?
  10. What Child is This?
  11. Mary's Lament
  12. Dance With Me, Santa
  13. I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas
  14. Holiday Craziness
  15. Bell Carol
  16. Listen to the Silence of Night
  17. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Singing With Expression and Emotion

Hello Singers,

Paul and I had a discussion after rehearsal on Thursday which began with Paul saying, "I need to figure out how to emote more when I sing." I gave him some ideas about what helps me, and then I reasoned that others in the choir may have the same need. So, I asked a few choir members and did a little internet research about singing with expression and came up with the following list of 10 things that will hopefully help you:
  1. Learn your music, both the notes and the words. This has to be number one because, unless you know your music, you'll be so busy focusing on trying to get that right that you'll look like you're studying for an exam...which may be a big part of the problem we're seeing in our choir.
  2. Connect with the message of the song you are singing. Think about what you're singing. Are you singing about something sad, or something joyful? Are you singing about something soothing, or something exciting? Many of the songs we sing are about the Savior. Be mindful of the fact that you are literally bearing your testimony through the things you are singing.
  3. Imagine yourself being in the scene of the music. For example, when singing "Hymn of Angels," imagine yourself singing with the choir of angels at Christ's birth. There's a good possibility that you were actually there. When singing "Holiday Craziness," imagine yourself in the wonderful craziness of the Christmas season, and think of how, in spite of mishaps, it's still a joyful time with family and friends. Have fun with it! When singing "Come, Join the Holiday Season," I imagine I'm in the Lawrence Welk choir singing at the mall and I want everyone to stop and listen to us. I'm not sure why that works for me, but it does.
  4. Sing to the 3-year-old in the audience, and tell them the story of the song with your face. You're right, there isn't one there right now, but imagine there is. Young children have very short attention spans, so you have to make your face and body interesting while you're telling them anything. Remember what it was like when you read to your little children and incorporate the same skills of making your voice interesting into your singing. If you don't know how to do this, ask your bishop if you can be the Primary chorister for a couple of weeks!
  5. Pick an audience member during a performance and sing to them. I do this, and it really does help. During rehearsals, when there's nobody in the audience, I imagine someone there. Maybe it's your mother or your child. It changes your singing from being an impersonal experience to a one-on-one exchange, where you're trying to tell just that one person the things you're singing.
  6. Practice looking in the mirror while you sing. At first this will seem awkward and embarrassing, but do it anyway. It will become easier and you'll learn a lot about how you look while singing.
  7. Try speaking the lyrics with expression. What are you actually trying to say? The lyrics are not just a bunch of pretty words strung together. They're a sermon; a poetic expression of an idea. Practice saying the words in a way that they make sense to someone who's never heard them before.
  8. Sing in the shower. You're undisturbed in there and you can just let yourself go. Try different things to see what sounds more emotive while you sing.
  9. Practice emotions. Write down different emotions on cards and pull them out randomly. Look in the mirror and show that emotion with your face. Limber up your face first by trying to make it tall or wide, flat or long. Get your face used to moving.
  10. Above all, don't fake it. I know that sounds kind of contradictory, but it looks really bad when someone tries to fake an emotion they're not really feeling...which is why #2 is so important. So, the idea is to learn to express through your face and body the emotions you are feeling, not to force feelings that really aren't there.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Reminders From Thursday

Just a reminder that Cory promised that if we have worked hard and gotten our pieces where they should be by Sunday, the 23rd, he won't make us rehearse on Wednesday, the 26th--the day before Thanksgiving. So, work hard on your pieces. I'm trying to get the most recent files up on the blog for you to practice with.

Also, particularly practice "Roundelay Noel," as it was not worthy of even finishing on Thursday, and it's not going to be dropped, and "Cartoon Christmas," which is on the chopping block and will be dropped if we don't sing it better on Sunday.

See you Sunday!
Karen

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Crunch Time

Hi Singers,

It's November! Our concert will soon be upon us! Cory has urged us in very direct language to buckle down and work hard, practicing our music so that our concert will be one we can be proud of.

Last Thursday we removed two more songs from our folders. If you haven't done so yet, please remove "Never a Brighter Star," and "While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks."

This Thursday, November 6, is the absolute deadline for knowing your parts on every song. If you do not know your part, Cory will be randomly bringing up 4 people to sing their part as a quartet. There's no hiding behind anyone else in your section when that happens! Additionally, he will be mixing us up, so that we won't be near anyone who sings our part. so learn your music now!

Be prepared to calender in additional rehearsals on Saturdays or Sundays between now and December 6.

Be sure to talk to people and invite them to our performance!

Okay, here's something kind of cool. This is the audio file for "Hymn of Angels," loaded into my editing program. This is what it looks like after I've edited it and neatly, cleanly spliced all the stops and starts together to form one continuous song. What I want you to notice is the dynamics. The taller the spikes, the louder we're singing. Look at the difference between the beginning and the end, when it's soft, and the middle, where it is loud. Even at the very end, where the line is almost flat, we're still singing. This song has some of the most noticeable dynamics of all the songs we're singing. I just thought you'd enjoy seeing it. I'm a very visual person, so I think it's pretty cool to see it like this.



See ya soon,
Karen

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Halloween Party Pictures

Alice and the White Rabbit

Gangsta

Dead Greaser

Clark Kent and Lois Layne

Hippies

Dorothy

Hippy

Vampiress

Scarecrow and Ref

Penguin

White Rabbit has a tail

Polygamists

Professor

Table

Clyde and Bonnie

Queen of Hearts

Mario

Wonderland Cohorts