Period 9--Chamber Singers

 Chamber Singers Important Dates

November 5—Choral Concert for 2nd Quarter, Central UMC, call time 6:30.  Bus to Central at 3:00.

November 7—Be One, Bring One.  Report immediately to Choir Room in formal black, plan on 7:30 a.m.  There will be time to change afterwards.

Saturday, December 1—Performances at Musical Instrument Museum.  Formal Black.  Call time precisely at 11:00.  Performances at 11:30 and 1:30, with lunch provided in between.  Museum admission is free.

December 10, Monday—Choral Collage, First UMC (NOT CENTRAL!!) at corner of Central and Missouri, call time at 6:00 p.m.

January 25-26, Friday and Saturday—Regional Auditions and Solo/Ensemble Festival

February 1, Friday morning—AMEA State Conference

February 2, Saturday Night, 8:00 p.m.—Chanticleer concert

February 4, Monday night—Choral Concert for 3rd Quarter, Central UMC

February 8-9—NAU Jazz/Madrigal Festival.  Registration is confirmed and motel reservations have been made!

hFebruary 15-16—Regional Festival

March 8 or 9—All State auditions

April 18-20—All State Festival, NAU



There has been a tendency to fall into last year’s patterns of leadership.  The philosophy has changed substantially from last year.  This year’s goals as a graded exercise are:

                  To isolate a detail from the repertoire in current rehearsal

                  To create an exercise to improve balance, rhythm, intonation, diction, or interpretation

                  To demonstrate through the conducting gesture the inward musical impulse

To this end, please check yourself as you prepare:

Do not rehearse a piece all the way through.  I will be more fastidious in enforcing a 3-minute limit.

Do not do breathing exercises, even though this is at the basis of all the technical details listed above.  Ensure that your posture constantly reflects the breath support you expect from the choir.

Prepare an abstract exercise towards the goal that you announce.

It may not succeed, which is fine.  Your own true and proper assessment is much more important.

Practice your gesture in front of a mirror.  We are not working on beat patterns, but there needs to be differentiation between stronger and weaker beats, crescendi, diminuendi, and articulation.  Practice breathing with your prep beat.  NEVER COUNT OUT A MEASURE.  It cannot help the choir breathe, and it simply is never accurate.  The musical thought is first internalized; only then can it become audible and physical.

After your detailed instruction, run a passage of about four measures.  The gesture should be both expressive and also helpful in coaching the singers in the technical detail you were  coaching.

Always consult with me at the end of the Chamber rehearsal.  This is a very important time for me to coach you in conducting.

Always consult with me for your project with Foundations III.  Always have a plan B.  If they are not counting half notes when you wanted to work on phrasing, do not let them rehearse mistakes.

Remember that your duties include setting the tone precisely at 3:05, and making sure chairs are stacked.

As an example, let’s take an intonation exercise:

Announce the goal—“We are going to work on tuning m13.”

You have already done some analysis; perhaps the problem is a dim7th chord.

Derive an exercise from this—maybe just making arpeggios of these chords.

Microtune the choir.  Make comments immediately to a single section, or isolate an interval between sections.

Rehearse the passage expressively.


Objective/Technical Goals

   Mastery of all the technical goals of Concert Choir

   Always marking score without prompting

   Unfailing good posture with no prompting

   Ability to modify vowels and placement throughout the range for better choral ensemble

   Constant awareness of the details of the score towards greater expression

   Infallibly consistent good posture and vocal production

  Quick recognition of most important intervals within a choral score

   Theoretical knowledge of functional harmony

   Developing awareness of the unique demands of various historical styles

  Demonstration of all the facets of good vocal production at all times

Behavioral Goals

   Respect for the art of choral music

   Everything done and said for the good of the ensemble

   Model of deportment for the rest of the choral program

   Immediate response to director’s downbeat and instructions

   Absolute respect for peers

   Unfailing focus throughout the rehearsal


The Hebdomadary will rotate every two days.  Although the word refers to a week’s service, I still like how it sounds.  Performance will be graded this year in order to enhance aural skills and fluency in expressive conducting.  In addition, the Hebdomadary will also work at the end of the lunch hour with the Foundations III choir. 

On your two successive days of responsibility, plan on the following

12:25 p.m.

   Work with the Foundations III choir.  Since you will not have been at all of their rehearsals, your musical task will be coordinated with Dr. Westendorf.  It may be improving tone, working on a passage with solfege and Curwen hand signs, refining two and three part singing, or other technical basics.

3:05 p.m.

   The expectation this year is that all will be standing in place with music precisely at the bell.  The Hebdomadary will set the example through verbal communication and positive example.  At the end of Dr. Westendorf’s warm up, the Hebdomadary will have prepared one solution to an technical difficulty within a very short passage that is in the current repertoire.  Prepare an exercise that is independent of the actual passage.  Any one particular aspect may be addressed, such as intonation, expression, balance, blend, and so on.  The goal should be very concentrated.  After this the actual passage can be rehearsed with a conducting gesture showing tempo, dynamic, and mood, with no verbal instruction or prompting.  Immediately afterwards give only one instruction, repeat the passage, and truly listen for improvement.  You may repeat this procedure, but take no more than 4 or 5 minutes.  At that point, check that the choir has pencils in hand, not just stored in folders.  The Hebdomadary will ensure that all chairs are stacked at the end of rehearsal, and that all contribute in this task.

Grading will be as follows:

Defining the goal for the choir

Clarity of verbal instruction

Thoughtfulness in preparing exercise

Aural skills as shown in careful listening and consequent instructions

Fluidity and appropriateness of conducting gesture


The Hebdomadary will rotate every two days.  Only medical absences will be excused.  If you know you are going to be absent, arrange for the next person on the list to take your rotation.  In the case of a medical absence, another singer will be assigned for the next day, and the absentee will complete his or her rotation after the rotation of the newly assigned singer.  In any case, take it on yourself to ensure that the two-day pattern stays as intact as possible.  In this way no one will be in front of the choir unprepared.

Rutledge, Chloe

Van Horn, Kyler

Emmert, Clare

Snider, Mary

Kaplan, Matthew

Rhiner, Jennie

Sheard, Liam

Longo, Ashley

Ransom, Belle

Island, Thor

Peterson-Steinert, Tristan

Gray, Makayla

Wertheimer, Aya

Block, Kayla

Burris, Cory

Cumpston, Kaylee

Daniells, Elise

Denomme, Christopher

Featherston, Ryan

Gloria, Michael

McVicker, Timothy

Mertens, Emma

Ozols, Annika

Schermitzler, Brendan

Shonaike, Adeyinka

Thompson, Adrion

Wertheimer, Daniela

Young, Jori