21 November 2014

Home Stretch Approaching

Excellently productive choir rehearsal last night.  The Concert Order is in its third draught, and it was time to share it 'round;  and for the most part, no panic ensued.  We also found, in the Timetable which I had prepared (apparently, a shade hastily) an omission and erratum ... the omission being Christmas Eve (!!!), the time of which service remains t/b/a.  The erratum was the date of the Concert (the dangers of copy-&-paste). Still, all was sorted out, or as much as it was necessary at this point to sort out.

We began (after warm-ups) with the Wassail Song.  Now, I tried in earnest to rustle up a free download of The Typical Harmonization, and repeatedly came up empty-handed, so I fell back on The Oxford Book of Carols.  (For ease of my choir's reading, I prepped an edition with just the four verses we shall sing.)  One slightly tricky wrinkle in the tenor, but I can sing along with them.

Next we rehearsed Calypso Christmas, with our young electric bassist.  A page here and there is on the high side for my sopranos, but when warmed up they should do fine.

We then reviewed Lord of the Dance. We hadn't looked at it since the Sunday we sang it with the handbells; so, a shade rough, but not at all in bad shape.

There then followed a sort of "sing-along" rehearsal of Sweetest Ancient Cradle Song, as I had brought a CD with a MIDI sound file of the brass (and choir), the better for everyone to hear all that's going on, earlier than our rehearsals with the brass. We listened (and more or less sang) once; then talked a bit ... I assured the choir that we shall be taking the Vivo section less briskly, though of course we could not adjust the tempo of last night's CD. Naturally there were a few places where we slid out of sync with the playback, but everyone went more or less with the flow. We did the same a second time, and a bit better; and I think everyone found it a productive communal exercise.

We then had just sufficient time to go over Sunday's anthem a bit, and we shall be able to polish that well come Sunday.

Next week, since the holiday erases our Thursday rehearsal, my choir have graciously agreed to rehearse on Tuesday evening.

In the spirit of the Concert Order not yet being etched in stone, one item of Tuesday's business will be to make a decision concerning 'Round the Glory Manger. I'm fine one way or the other: whether we decide that we only need a little refining rehearsal to get the piece into shape, and we keep it; or we decide that the effort is a bit more than our schedule will allow, and we drop it. There is music enough in the program, that dropping the piece will not by any means make the concert too short.

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