OCC Singers’ Blog – Spring 2020
When the Outer Cape Chorale takes the stage for a performance, our audiences see and hear the culmination of months of intense preparation. But there is so much that goes on behind the scenes! In the OCC Singers’ Blog, members of the Chorale share their perspectives about everything from their discoveries while learning the repertoire to the social connections that bond us together.
We invite you to read this season’s blog below for a glimpse into the experience of being a member of the Outer Cape Chorale.
I sing with a couple of vocal music groups, the OCC included, and often feel remarkably better when I leave than when I arrive at either a practice or performance. I never really thought about it very much, just enjoyed the fact. If anything, I've attributed it to...read more
We asked the OCC singers “What is the most memorable musical event you have been to or participated in?“ What a variety of wonderful experiences! Here they are... Karen Strauss The top one has to be a New Year's Eve Peace Concert at St. John the Divine in NYC many...read more
I miss seeing everyone! I miss the hustle and bustle on Thursdays between 6:00 and 6:30 – setting up chairs, getting everyone signed in, sharing hellos and ideas! And, of course, the “Oooooohhhh” coming through the speakers as Allison calls us to order and begins...read more
Recently, I stepped outside to sing to the birds. I started with "America" and the next day, I sang the "Star Spangled Banner". The birds were unimpressed. There was no audience. I have only one distant neighbor who could see me only if she had been outside on her...read more
For the past forty years, choral singing on the Outer Cape has been a seasonal pleasure for me. I like the structure of rehearsals, getting to know the music, sometimes doing a complete turnaround when it comes to disliking or liking a piece--though usually...read more
Dear friends and singers, It is with great sadness – but also great confidence in the necessity of this decision – that we must tell you that we are canceling the Outer Cape Chorale’s rehearsals and May 2020 concert, due to the risks raised by COVID-19 (also referred...read more
All right now, OCC, Let me tell you ‘bout Sis Joe this time! A train song makes you think of traveling, of a good journey, so let’s set the stage. All right now, boys, Let me tell you ‘bout Sis Joe this time Sis Joe, on the M & O, Track heavy but she will...read more
Oh, weren't we grand - I'm sure the "magnificats" are a worn out metaphor by now. But we did master those trills and frills and 16th notes. Allison always gets us there, even though we begin thick tongued and drag our feet (as it were) and fall flat during warm ups....read more
In Rehearsal Blog – Our Fall 2019 Season
The Magnificat: Mary’s Revolutionary Text – a Biblical and Theological Perspective Not only do we sing! The Outer Cape Chorale also seeks to educate singers and community members about our repertoire. As part of this program, author, singer, and OCC Board VP...
Decrease Those Aches and Pains! At our last rehearsal we were treated to a quick and very helpful overview from physical therapist Kathy Stetson about dealing with our aches and pains standing on risers, holding heavy music, and the aftermath of tired feet, legs,...
Witches, Ghouls, and Gandalf, Too! Photos by Martha Magane Last week's rehearsal fell on Halloween night - and some of our singers came ready to scare you! Or, at least to Trick or Treat! Allison had a bag of treats for everyone! Oh, and we rehearsed,...
What to do on a Night Off From Rehearsal By Martha Magane Allison threw us a rehearsal curve ball these next two weeks, scheduling sectionals on Thursday nights and rehearsal for all on Tuesday. Getting instructions straight – especially those which mean a change in...
OCC – What it means to me By Deborah Minsky I first joined this irreplaceable group in 2007, the season of Italian Opera Choruses, and it changed my life – I must admit, though, that signing in on my very first night of rehearsal then was a bit of a challenge, just...
In Rehearsal Blog – Our Spring 2019 Season
Lessons Learned The May “Opera Meets Broadway” concerts were a big success – real crowd pleasers. Even though most of the music was familiar, we felt the need to “be sure” of everything – to really know our assigned parts, entrances and exits to the music. Allison’s...read more
Putting it Together It’s bittersweet, our last rehearsal before concert weekend. Most of the hard work is behind us. It’s time to make beautiful, expressive music—for an audience. Dress Rehearsal always feels a little chaotic. There’s the environment, Provincetown...read more
Ringers I joined the OCC in desperation. I was going insane. I had not sung with a group in 6 years, and it was absolutely making me crazy. I am 53 years old and have sung virtually every week of my life since I was about 3... except for the past 6 years. I sang...read more
Facing the Music We have a job to do, as chorale singers – to communicate with our audience and to do justice to the music. Singing is a complex balance of many parts of the body, but the one part that helps most with our job is the face. An audience will remember...read more
Anatomy of an earworm “Ooh, ah, give her your attention! Do I really need to mention?” I glance at the red glowing clock dial on my dresser, never a wise idea. It’s 1:41 a.m. and a hard-working earworm has burrowed its way into my sleep/wake cycle. It must be...read more
The View from the Podium It's Thursday! Yesssss! Can't wait for OCC! And then........ I worry! Rehearsals are a very humbling experience for me. As I look out on eager faces, I feel a great deal of responsibility to make each and every singer's experience the best...read more
Do you hear what I hear? We’re sounding good! And we still have five rehearsals to go... OR We’re getting there, but we only have five rehearsals to go. Is your cup half full or half empty? Either way, we have five more rehearsals and I know that I’ve got a...read more
Thoughts from the 10% The 10% is the T2 section. Well, maybe it should be "Thoughts from 1/12 (8.3%) of the 10%" since I'm the only T2 writing. (Blame Barbara for my crazy math. She started it all.) There were some people out for vacation and some people out sick...read more
Sectionals.... Smaller groups, tighter focus, greater growth. Each semester I look forward to sectionals. They are a chance for Allison to work with us on the trickier sections, and a chance for all of us to tackle those parts we don't quite get. This time we are...read more
I’ll Tell You Who! Who cares? Well, apparently the Chorale does. Or the lovely individuals who make up the Chorale do. I came back after missing last week due to a cold, and though I thought I could just blend in and catch up, no. Several people asked me how I was...read more
The Chorus That Plays Together During our rehearsals, we work hard on learning the music. We run through passages in four-parts, trying to integrate what we’ve practiced into a choral experience. We focus on our Italian vowels and building a crescendo on dotted...read more
We heard from former (and dedicated) OCC alto Jodi Anastasio last December with news of her move to Hawaii and how she has already found music in her life there. Some of you will probably remember Ian MacMillan who sang with the Chorale until he moved to Hawaii...read more
Enough of winter break, it’s time to sing! I don’t know about you, but after a month and a half of musically structure-less days I’m ready to dig into some new music, set my weekly goals, and set off on a new journey with the Chorale. That first night you can always...read more
In Rehearsal Blog – The Fall 2018 Season
Gratitude It is Friday morning as I write these words. THE Friday morning of the three days of concerts. My thoughts are not about how much work we have put in, not about the huge effort and energy it takes to sing three concerts in three days; I am not thinking...read more
The Music Lives Inside Me Now After the note-learning is well-behind me, though it required hours of focused study and mindful repetition; After working to blend my voice with the other voices, as we rehearse together each week, learning to hear the other sections, as...read more
A Different Perspective For the past few years I have been an alto. I met wonderful singers and actually got to see Arthur at work from my place in the section! This year I have really had the opportunity to see our chorale from different perspectives. Every week,...read more
Turning the Last Corner and Seeing… …UGLY Sweaters! Having had Thursday off from our rehearsal schedule to spend the day feasting with family and friends, we did catch up with an intense Saturday rehearsal (Allison is still taking notes, so we know there’s more...read more
What happened at Kathleen’s talk on the Faure Requiem on November 15th?
Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear Just when I’ve relaxed into the weekly routine, I suddenly realize that we’re only a month away from concert time. I guess there were a couple of sure signs: Allison working us through long phrases of music and the fact...read more
Metamorphosis of a Musical Relationship by JoAnn Phillips, Sop II Though credentials and talent were part of her history, our new conductor was rather a mystery. Her methods dismayed us as some were quite strange. That oohing and circling the air seemed deranged. But...read more
The Carpool Divas We are the "Carpool Divas". How we came to this name is for another time. Every week, we begin the same way. The group begins to assemble beginning in Brewster, where three of the Divas jump into one car and travel to Orleans. There at the Stop...read more
Our Carpool In the summer of 2016, I attended a performance of music and readings that focused on the sea at the National Seashore’s Salt Pond Center. It was a concert by the Chamber Singers of the Outer Cape Chorale. I had recently retired after teaching at Oberlin...read more
The Shakespeare In The Music I am absolutely loving the poems John Rutter has collected for his cycle of songs “When Icicles Hang.” My curiosity was piqued by the two pieces that are songs from Shakespeare plays. It seems I am not the only one in our group who is...read more
That Thing That Happens Lately when I leave rehearsal I find myself saying, “Whew! That was a workout!” Of course, mine is nothing compared to Allison’s. She must burn a gazillion calories up there as she stretches her body and her imagination in an effort to help...read more
The Music Man Let’s see… Over there are the Sopranos – those wonderfully talented women who serenade us with soaring notes. And here are the Altos, who form the sweetest harmonies as they sing what is undoubtedly the most difficult part. In the middle are the...read more
Putting in the Effort It’s football season, in case you haven’t noticed. Tom, Bill, Gronk. Sometimes the games happen on a Thursday night, but they start so late (thank you west coast!) that their OCC fan base can usually make it home to catch the first quarter. I’m...read more
Reflections On My Birthday Rehearsal This past rehearsal was interesting for me. It was my birthday and family suggested they'd love to spend part of it with me and the only way to do that would be to attend our rehearsal. My X, Lanny, still and always a dear friend...read more
Learning in Pieces One might expect that, to learn a piece of music at a rehearsal, you’d start at the beginning and progress measure-by-measure through to the end. But it turns out that there is another way – a most effective, interesting, and creative way – to...read more
We're really underway There were a couple of changes to the room this week: A long, mystery table with desserts sat between the S2 and T1/B1 seating, and there were town names posted on the wall. Desserts ... cake?! But let's do this in chronological order. First...read more
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...read more
Homecoming 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...read more