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Items by Cory Alexander

Results: 107
Title Author Date
Comment: Re: Rutter "What is this Lovely Fragrance"
Trefor,   I appreciate your reply.  The link is not the same arrangement as on the recordings, but I will take a look and see if it will work.   Thanks!
Forum message: Rutter "What is this Lovely Fragrance"
Hello!   I would like to program "What is this Lovely Fragrance" as heard on two John Rutter albums: Colors of Christmas and The Cambridge Singers Christmas Album.  I would like to program it with orchestral accompaniment as in the recordings, but I cannot find score or parts anywhere for sale...
Comment: Re: Fun unusual arrangements of carols for men's voices
Robert,   I conducted the demonstration recording of a fun, mixed-meter arrangement of "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" by Kelly Turner published by Hinshaw that remains one of my favorites.     Cory
Comment: Re: Memorization vs. Using music folders
John makes some great points, as usual. Here are my two cents:   My opinion is that this is a practical consideration first.  If your group can make the best art with scores in hand, then use them.  If not, don't.     In my experience, choirs sing more musically and are much more resp...
Comment: Re: Student who smokes
Ben,   I would echo everything Ann said.  If he is a voice major, I would give him an ultimatim: quit smoking or quit the program.  I'm not saying "abandon him," but let him know there's a time limit.  If he's having this much trouble as a college student, he will never have a career as a ...
Comment: Re: sounds of nature...
Janequin "Le chant des oiseaux" (and several others that mimic war, and other man-made sounds) Copland "I Bought Me a Cat" Josquin "El gillo" (melodic lines imitate cricket chirping, but doesn't actually employ "cricket noises")     
Comment: Re: Death and Mortality
A couple I don't see posted (maybe I didn't look hard enough):   O Danny Boy (I like the Flummerfelt arrangement, though Grainger's wordless setting is good if it works in this context) Perhaps Adams' "Transmigration of Souls" would fit the theme   Cory
Comment: Re: Is Messiah most performed work of all?
I can't fathom the amount of time it would take to perform the necessary research to validate (or negate) such a claim.  I suppose finding a consensus of supposition might be possible.   Among major choral works in the western, classical tradition, it seems that "Messiah" COULD be the most f...
Comment: Re: choral lyrics from children's literature
Rutter's "5 Childhood Lyrics"
Comment: Re: Your favorite funny/amusing choral pieces for HS and adult voices?
Gail Kubik's "Oh dear, what can the matter be" is amusing, particularly the part where the basses sing, "he promised he'd bring me a bunch of red roses," in a lower part of their range.  I believe this is part of a two-song set with "Polly wally doodle." (??)   I had success once programming...
Comment: Re: Soloists from the Chorus
I can't offer any better advice than those above, but if you're looking for examples, there are a couple of major choral groups that sing everything one-per-part and sing the whole thing--for example Paul McCreesh's St. Matthew Passion, the Dunedin Consort's Bach B minor Mass, etc.  There's also ...
Comment: Re: Choral/Vocal work featuring piano
If your choir is up to it, the third of the Badings "Trois chansons bretonnes" is pretty showy for the pianist, but also demands a lot of sensitivity and musicality.   Cory
Comment: Re: The University of Michigan vs. St. Olaf College
Andrew,   Both schools have world-class music programs.     I think an important question would involve the size of school where you feel comfortable.     For example, I went to a private, liberal arts college (around 1,600 students) because I had no...
Comment: Re: JS Bach Motet "Lobet den Herrn" instrumental parts
PDF files of the string parts can be found here: http://www.copy-us.com/?opus=1190&lang=en&session=5d16daadbe7da248a6c0c605ca6db8b8   I stumbled upon this a few weeks ago.  The parts seem accurate, but I haven't performed with them.   Cory
Forum message: Looking for concerts in Dallas, TX area
Hello all,   I don't know where to post this question, but I am taking a group of around 30 college students to the Dallas/Fort Worth area at the last minute (it's a long story).  I would love for them to see a concert--the more professional the better, but I would consider almost anything i...
Comment: Re: Renaissance -- Top Ten Greatest Hits
Purcell (1658-1695) is Baroque.
Comment: Re: Renaissance -- Top Ten Greatest Hits
As far as "greatest hits" are concerned, are you talking "well known" or "historically important?"  The ones you have listed are certainly among the most performed Renaissance sacred choral works.     I think one might add the Tallis "Spem in alium" and/or Allegri "Miserere" as among the mo...
Comment: Re: Brain Gym exercises
I learned this one from my supervising teacher while student teaching.   The group sings, "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean," but on every word that begins with the letter "B," they alternate sitting/standing position.  For example, if they begin sitting down...   "My Bonnie lies over the ...
Comment: Re: Opera Chorus with Soprano Solo
Regina Coeli from Cavalleria Rusticana
Comment: Re: Choral Psychology
Maria,   You might laugh at my reply, but I am actually serious.   A book I read that helped me was "How To Be Your Dog's Best Friend" by the Monks of New Skete.  Although the book can be found in the "pets" section of your local bookstore, it teaches many fundamental elements of leader...
Community Forum Post: Recruiting strategies
Hello!   I am interested to know what you find to be the most helpful strategies for recruiting choral singers.  I am looking for a sort of "top 10" list--nothing too scientific.  I'm wondering if I've overlooked some important activity.   I teach at a small university with a young pro...
Comment: Re: Vocal Score for Sleigh Ride - Anderson
I have the Brymer arrangement for chorus and orchestra right here on my desk.  It's published by Hal Leonard.
Comment: Re: Messiah-Vowel on "Purify"
In my opinion, [I] is the right vowel; however, unless you could hear the choir from the outside (the conductor or audience perspective) it might be difficult to hear what the choir actually sounds like.     For example, when I was a doctoral student our chamber choir (made up mostly of grad...
Forum message: O Come All Ye Faithful for Orchestra
Hello all,   I'm looking for an orchestral accompaniment to "O Come All Ye Faithful" that matches up with a standard SATB arrangement for a choir/audience sing-along.  I expected to find a lot online, but didn't.  A search of the ChoralNet website didn't provide what I was looking for eithe...
Comment: Re: Voice part classification help
A helpful tool, and one of the best ways I am aware of to make a determination.     It's important that the singer trying to find the correct passaggio location is singing with good, relaxed technique.  Even then, it is very easy to (unconciously at times) "make" the change happen rather th...
Comment: Re: Voice part classification help
John,   From Doscher again: "The singing voice is considered a young instrument from the time it changes during puberty to the age of 25.  Muscular maturation continues during those years.  For instance, ver few singers develop the extrinsic laryngeal muscles before 21 or 22 years of age......
Comment: Re: Voice part classification help
Nick,   From Doscher, "Functional Unity of the Singing Voice": "Probably the least reliable and most dangerous way to classify a voice is by range," and later, "Tessitura and careful monitoring of bridges between registers is the most viable way to classify young voices."   Many singers ...
Comment: Re: Measures in music - how can I tell students quickly?
Kenneth,   If you train them to use (your example) "5-1-3-3" that's great.  I've heard of that myself and it can be a great time saver.  I usually say, page, system, measure, beat, but if there are rehearsal markings or numbers on the first measure of each system, I expect my (college) stud...
Comment: Re: Working on tone & blending while notes are still being learned?
Cathy,   My typical approach is two-sided.  I work on elements of blend, balance, tuning, phrasing, etc. in every warm-up.  I also typically focus on a small section of a piece (maybe a single phrase or maybe a verse--something short enough that they can get all the notes and rhythms correc...
Comment: Re: What is the vowel in the second syllable of "measure" "treasure" "pleasure"
I would tend to agree with John, David, Stephen, and Edward.  My choice might be more in the direction of [ø] or [œ] in solo singing, or in a lighter style of music.  
Comment: Re: brahms requiem recording
I will second David Janower's recommendation.  As for why, I think it's because, like most of the Gardiner recordings, it is rather intense.  It's clean and more "baroque" than many recordings with a sort of transparency and forward motion.   I will say that the Gardiner was the first recor...
Comment: Re: B Minor Mass recording
Susan,   I own five recordings and have heard several others.  My favorite all around is the Gardiner/Monteverdi Choir recording on the Archiv label.  Others that I like very much are Suzuki, Parrott, Rilling (the 1999 recording with Quasthoff), and a relatively new recording conducted by J...
Comment: Re: Top DMA Programs
Kyle,   I would suggest that the program is less important than the person with whom you would work.  Try to find a director with whom you get along well.  The whole experience is likely to be more worthwhile and beneficial to you.  The search for a mentor is more time consuming, but worth...
Comment: Re: Help with choral grad programs
Brandon,   I think you'll find the gradmusic.org website to be very helpful (I believe Alan is being modest by not telling you it's his brainchild).  There are lots of strong programs all over, but I would suggest you contact the professors with whom you would work directly rather than relyi...
Comment: Re: be happy church choir leads
I've been a paid section leader at a couple of churches and a regular volunteer choir member at several others over the years.  The two factors that most determined my satisfaction were 1) was the director an effective musician who was able to get the choir to improve as time passed? and 2) did t...
Comment: Re: To Memorize or Not to Memorize
John,   I like your checklist idea.  I might use that, or something like it, in the fall.   Thanks,   Cory
Comment: Re: To Memorize or Not to Memorize
When I was in school, all the way through my undergrad, choirs I was in almost always sang from memory.  We used music for special events, but nearly all concert and competition performances were from memory (I can still sing two Bach motets and most of the Mozart Solemn Vespers from memory almos...
Comment: Re: Adding a third college choral ensemble
David,   You know best what would benefit your program, but I might do either of the things you suggest above.  Here are questions I would ask myself in your situation:   Would starting a men's choir would help you recruit more male singers?  Would having a women's choir help your fema...
Comment: Re: collaboration with other churches, schools and community organizations, and church music programs
Amalie,   I sang in a couple church/school events ages ago as a high school student and had a lot of fun.  I actually ended up joining the church where I sang.  I don't think that you are the one who has to worry about the church/state issue; that would fall to the school directors who woul...
Forum message: Repertoire for small, undergraduate choir
Hello all,   I teach at a small university with a tiny music program that's only existed for about seven years.  In my two years here, the choir has doubled in size (to 20 singers--hoping for 25-30 in the fall) and is now able to sing literature appropriate for a small, undergraduate choir. ...
Comment: Re: Program Protocol
If memory serves, the song was a sobriety test of sorts--if one could still sing the song, one was sober enough to order another pint.
Comment: Re: Program Protocol
I agree with the first two posts.  I don't recall having ever seen the poet/lyricist mentioned in the "Program" part of the program, but in the translations or program notes instead.  The one exception is, "The Star Spangled Banner" which was written by John Stafford Smith, although I usually se...
Comment: Re: pronunciation of often
After a bit of research, it appears that "often" was pronounced with the "t" until the 1700s when the "t" became silent.  It has only been recently (latter half of the 20th century) that people began to pronounce the "t" again.   I have regretted for some time that there are not strict rules...
Comment: Re: Choral Music for King/Queen/etc.
Britten "Choral Dances from Gloriana" comes to mind.  Also, there exist many settings of texts having to do with King David including lots of settings of "When David Heard" for example, or Thompson's "Last Words of David."  John Rutter's "Sing a Song of Sixpence" from "Five Childhood Lyrics" has...
Forum message: Bach cantata 140 duet text
Hello Friends,   I am writing with a question about the bass/soprano duet, "Mein Freund ist mein" from Cantata 140.  Specifically, the bass text, "und ich bin dein," or, "und ich bin sein."  I must admit I am a bit confused regarding the reason for changing the text.  Although the scriptur...
Comment: Re: Vocal Compass Question
In warming up, it is always good to start at the very beginning in the upper middle part of the range and work down for the reasons that Skye mentions in the last paragraph.  I usually start on a lip trill 5 4 3 2 1 in F major (sometimes E or E flat in the morning).  This forces most of the wome...
Comment: Re: MM Choral Conducting?
Andrew,   When I was calling and writing, I would often start with open-ended questions like, "what can you tell me about the choral program at ______."  In some cases I got all the information I needed from that question (often from the way the question was answered rather than from the spe...
Comment: Re: Italian pronunciation question
Perhaps this has to do with everyone (at least everyone I've ever heard) mispronouncing "bruschetta" as though it was spelled "bruscetta."   I've taught Italian Diction courses a number of times.  I've never been to Italy, but according to any textbook I've seen you are correct.     As...
Comment: Re: Fun rounds that can be performed?
While double checking the composer of "Sing dem Herrn" (Praetorius) I found this link:   http://www.choralnet.org/view/221737   Cory
Comment: Re: Suggestions for balancing altos and sopranos
Without hearing them specifically, a diagnosis would be difficult.  There may be some fundamental problems that would take months or years of one-on-one study to correct.     You don't mention the age of the singers.  That could make a difference in this discussion.   Generally, I hav...