Typical Tuesday night rehearsal, except we had a board meeting just before rehearsal and, in true Saskatchewan fashion, it snowed. 15 plus centimeters of snow to fall in the next 24 – 48 hours. Welcome fall which just meant that the rest of the patio furniture – what could not fit under the cover – is now either in the living room on the way to – or in the basement.
Ah well, fall (or is it winter) in Saskatchewan.
We had our board meeting and decided that we needed to meet with our new marketing manager next week to discuss some way’s ahead for the choir – you know that strategic plan kind of thing where you strategize where you want to be in 5 years and what you want to look like, etc. We’ve been doing that courtesy of a grant from Sask Culture – capacity building to be exact.
After the meeting we had our choir practice. Firstly we started working on the toughest piece of the concert – Take Him Earth For Cherishing – factoids included from wikipedia:
The motet Take Him, Earth, For Cherishing, long associated with the 1963 memorial service for President John F. Kennedy, was in fact written in late spring of 1964. It premiered as part of a November 22, 1964 Canadian tribute to Kennedy at Washington’s National Gallery of Art sung by the Choir of St. George’s Cathedral, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, under the direction of George N. Maybee. Maybee brought the St. George’s choir to England in September 1965, and they performed the piece at King’s College, Cambridge with Howells in attendance. Take Him, Earth is described by Howells’ pupil Paul Spicer as “a classic of twentieth century choral music” and “an undoubted masterpiece”.
We basically took the piece apart and worked through the tougher bits in a group format – page or section by section working the individual parts then as a group then running them all together. Worked as I believe we are more solid – doesn’t mean people should not be working on it at home though.
Next work was Even in Our Sleep by David MacIntyre – we did a piece by him in our last season and you can sort of hear the similarities in places – just the style of composition. Some work needed mostly to get the right sound into the ear of the different sections.
Following that was the tune Day is Done by Stephen Paulus, which runs about 6 minutes and is also a tricky tuning piece. We need to really listen to ensure we are in the correct pitches.
I think this was when we broke to reset in quartets. That is the normal setting for the choir in concert. A little tougher to do when still learning the parts, but much more rewarding when singing as you get the chance to listen to the other parts and hear the harmonies/interplay with the other voices.
Our next tune was Allan Bevan’s Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal and our last piece was Lullaby written by Ryan Murphy – a tear jerker if you listen to the words.
Well, that’s all for this evening. Enjoy Canadian Thanksgiving all!!