In Rehearsal Blog – The Fall 2018 Season
The hardest part begins
I love Thursday nights during Chorale rehearsal seasons. When we’re starting out we have new music in front of us full of unexplored time signatures and rhythms. At first, it all looks impossible. What was the composer thinking? Does it have to be so complicated? How can a group of singers, some experienced, some beginners, many a little seasoned or looking at a long break between that high school chorus and the present, ever learn the music, let alone master the nuances that will make a performance an experience for audiences to remember? I know we will because we have done it before. We’ll explore the notes, learn to feel the rhythms and dynamics of sound, then hear those very notes and rhythms as we’re falling asleep at night or walking in the woods with the dog.
At first, it all seems like little bits and pieces. Then a rhythm takes form. Tonight, a section in John Rutter’s “When Icicles Hang” called “Good Ale” quickly took hold. Well, it is a drinking song, and we know how those repeat endlessly until the bottle is empty! A little analysis by Allison of the intervals and how one part relates to the other and a picture forms. Rutter has given us a drinking song with some subtle variations that make it more interesting than the song sung at the sticky bar during last call! I get it! Voices embrace the theme. We’re off! Just a little stuck on other parts, but little by little it all makes sense.
Tonight Allison worked with us on dynamic changes in The Faure Requiem, and proceeded to show us how beautiful the sound can be as we layered part on part while paying attention to volume changes. We made some gorgeous sounds!
So good to see people I’ve known for years singing with the Chorale or in groups that preceded it: The Provincetown Choral Society, even a few from the Wellfleet Cantores of the 1980s. And now we sing with a group of 150 people who look at those pages of music in September and by December will have made them their own. What kind of love is that?
– Martha Magane
Welcome, Friends of the Outer Cape Chorale! This season, we’re trying something new – a blog to share perspectives about our Fall 2018 season, from the start of rehearsals through the concerts themselves. We hope to have a few different authors contribute to the blog as we go along.
Soooooooo, here goes! Thursday, September 6th was our first rehearsal of the Fall 2018 season. It was exciting – as it always is – to see all the returning singers (and several new singers) come thru the doors. By 6:15, the line at the sign-in table was actually outside! People were smiling and laughing, giving each other hugs and chatting about their summers. Even though we haven’t seen many of our singing colleagues since May, it felt like we never left.
Carl, Curtis, Chris, Kat, Madir, and other members of the set-up crew had already assembled the chairs, moved the piano, and hooked up the microphone and speakers. Kathleen set up our Member Matters table. Barbara helped people sign-in and answered questions. Sue, Janice, and Fred took in the dues and handed out the music and practice CDs for the December concert. Rita welcomed new singers and helped them register, Mary Alice, Amy, Mary, and others guided them to their sections and introduced them to other singers.
It might have looked chaotic, but soon Allison was leading us in our first “oooooh” and into our vocal warm-ups. Suddenly, we were a group, an ensemble, a chorus – ready to join together making music and to delve into the new music in our hands.
One of the things that fascinates me at every first rehearsal is how quickly we actually begin singing phrases from the pieces. For many of us, the music is completely new! But Allison focuses us on a section of the music and Arthur plays our notes for us. And there we are, singing short passages in four (or more) parts. And we sounded good! It’s so encouraging to make immediate progress. We must have a very smart Artistic Director!
As it usually does, the rehearsal flew by. Soon everyone was stacking chairs, hugging goodbye, and heading home. For me, as it is pretty much every time, it was the best two hours of my week! Can’t wait until next Thursday!
– Jeff Tagen