Forum Replies Created
- April 18, 2019 at 10:13 am #590282
Thank you, Maggie! Devi, please take note.
MarieDecember 7, 2017 at 10:32 am #550109
Most of her vocal music tends to be published by Furore Verlag. Go to SheetMusicPlus and type in Fanny Mendelssohn (her middle name was Cecile and that comes up too but Hensel doesn’t seem to matter on SMP) + vocal duets and trios. We use the first volume of her duets and the first of her trios. There are other volumes with piano with the same voicing. and several collections of artsongs as well.
Hope that helps,
MarieDecember 6, 2017 at 9:24 pm #550063
Fanny Mendelssohn -Hensel wrote vocal duets and trios. Duets are SA and trios are SAT(B) but could be adapted I bet. Most are unaccompanied and are more chromatic than her kid brother Felix’s partsongs. There are a few collections of her works around. Worth checking out—different and by an underappreciated woman composer—win/win!
My chamber choir has sung a few of her works and will be singing a couple more this coming spring. We really like her partsongs!
MarieSeptember 6, 2017 at 7:45 pm #542042
I think it should be a mutual decision, using your own example of length of prelude/postlude, regarding something like this. Your church may LIKE long preludes or prefer short ones. There are places and reasons for both. George should be following your church’s customs since he is now with you. If you are getting complaints about length of his preludes and postludes you should let him know. If he tells you that’s the way he’s always done it (I write a weekly ChoralNet blog and this week’s blog talks about something similar) and his other church liked it, then explain he’s now on staff at a different church and should be sensitive to their likes and dislikes.
Do you know if this was discussed at George’s interview/audition? What does your clergy think? If your clergy wants you to handle it…..since you ARE Director of Music……then you need to handle it.
MarieJune 11, 2017 at 9:49 pm #537752
I have never heard of a licensed appraiser for used choir robes and am not sure where you would find one. I am in the southern suburbs of Chicago and, in fact, my chamber choir did a concert in Munster, IN at St. Paul’s Episcopal this afternoon (where our accompanist is organist/choir master).
I have several bits of advice for you. Do you know the name of the company where the robes were purchased? If you do, go to their website and find the model and color of the robes. You could contact them and see if they have an idea on much they would cost, with wear and tear and this number of years old etc. You could bring one or two robes to a local consignment shop and see how much they would charge for them. You could bring one or two robes to Salvation Army or Good Will stores to see how much they charge.
You could search the archives of ChoralNet at the bottom right hand side (where it says “search this website”) of this page . I would type in “Used Choir Robes” and see what comes up. I am a Moderator here at ChoralNet and we get at least two to three postings a month for used choir robes. Prices range from Free–you pay postage–to more and even much more.
It seems your district wants something official. I am not sure how you can get that but you could try one or two of the above and see what they say!
MarieMarch 15, 2017 at 4:20 pm #535397
When in doubt, I use choral settings of poetry. In fact several years ago, I had less men than I thought I would for a concert and programmed Vincent Persichetti’s settings of the poet, ee cummings (lower-case letters used on purpose). The Persichetti settings (their were four in the particular set I used) were in two parts, S/T and A/B so it didn’t matter how many basses I had. The piano accompaniment needs a really, REALLY good pianist. I also programmed several movements of “Frostiana” (again, you need a good pianist).
I think Shakespeare qualifies for poetry as well in this instance. Emma Lou Diemer’s “Three Madrigals” with text by The Bard was actually written for a HS choir and would fit.
I love “As Torrents in Summer” by Elgar with text by Longfellow. This is an unaccompanied movement from his oratorio, “The Conversion of St. Olaf” and is beautiful. Might be a bit difficult for HS kids but you never know!
MarieJanuary 29, 2017 at 11:34 am #534434
It may be as simple as the brand of blank CDs you use. I had trouble initially with a similar problem. I stopped going to my local Walgreen’s to purchase whatever no-name CDs they had on sale and instead only use Memorex CD-R MUSIC blank CDs. Just bought 100 of them myself on Amazon for not very much. Since I have used the Memorex, I have had no complaints! 🙂
MarieOctober 31, 2016 at 7:25 pm #523580
I echo what Michael and Craig have written; it’s important for the person but also for the rest of your choir to see………compassion, no matter what. Music often transcends cognitive abilities in situations such as this . It could be singing in your church choir is helping those folks stay with you (and their family) mentally longer than if they weren’t singing with you. Something to think about.
Practically, I would agree with Craig about folders and extraneous music. If you have a white/black board in your choir room, get into the habit of listing music for rehearsal and music in your folder for a service. And have a person (or you do it) make sure their folders have only what they need at the time. You might ask someone in their sections to be their *guiding angel* for choir to make sure they are where they are supposed to be and have what they are supposed to have. Never let them take music home and always have a duplicate folder for them…..saves so much grief!
If it’s gets too tough, of course, contact family members. They are well aware of what is happening and might have some suggests to help you.
It is great you have asked for help and insight.. It is the right thing to keep those folks singing with you as long as possible and you know that……..what are wonderful person you are!May 26, 2016 at 6:57 pm #516313
There is nothing wrong with a *War Horse*…..it is a War Horse because it works musically and fits the situation and you can probably pull it off with no problem. I would do the Lutkin as the Response to the Benediction…..I’ve done it that way (in a Presby church too) and is a lovely sentiment to leave someone with.
I would ask you….does the Pastor have a favorite hymn? Or something he really likes that you’ve sung? Ask his spouse and see if he does have a favorite, then find a great arrangement of it.
MarieMay 20, 2016 at 3:25 pm #516034
I posted a ChoralBlog yesterday about interview questions for committees hiring a new choral director. One or two (or maybe more!) could apply to your situation. My Blog next week will focus on those being interviewed with a few additional questions for that sort of situation…….. some could apply here as well.
Love your questions too!
MarieMay 12, 2016 at 11:06 pm #515541
What is really helpful are clear liquids…hot (shouldn’t be hot, but warm) or cold….they keep the voice hydrated. I supply bottles of plain water for my choir or they bring their own. There is no need to do more than that…..if people want something special, they can bring it themselves….you’re not the bartender!
MarieMay 11, 2016 at 11:06 am #515419
I use a baton. I was trained to use a baton. I feel comfortable using a baton. Sometimes, I don’t use a baton but it is ME who decides to use it or not use it, depending on the repertoire and the group I am conducting.
The main choral ensemble I conduct is a chamber choir consisting of 12 to 15 adults, most having music degrees. They have no problem with me using a baton (or not). In fact, they would complain if I didn’t use one.
It is the conductor (YOU) who decides to use a baton or not. Everyone has their own personal preferences and, music pastors aside, it isn’t for them to decide for YOU. There are no hard and fast rules for using a baton.
As far as *just choir*……..there are many FAMOUS orchestral conductors who do NOT use a baton. Are they wrong? No, they do what they feel is best for them and their ensemble. You do the same.
MarieMay 9, 2016 at 6:11 pm #515212
Don’t forget, if something *sounds* like something else, the Little Old Church Ladies of the World think its the same piece (I hate calling anthems “songs”). It depends on the lectionary readings for the season too, if you are a lectionary based congregation. If you are carrying through with a theme and this is the clergy’s idea, then that is that. and any complaints should be directed their way. And if your choir is happy and is enjoying and getting joy out of singing these pieces, than that is also that.
I think one or two or three times for an anthem during a three month period isn’t too many times. Don’t program the same piece week after week though (unless that’s what the clergy wants), then the Little Old Church Ladies of the World will have a point.
MarieMay 9, 2016 at 2:58 pm #515200
I developed the form of my rehearsals with my first church job because I got tired of just what you are describing. Certain people were ALWAYS late and ALWAYS had a good reason for being late and yet were the first people to crab about not having enough rehearsal on an anthem. I decided to begin with warm-ups….we start singing exactly at the prescribed time EXACTLY and I don’t talk about it, we just start the warm up. Next, we have announcements. Can be anything needed to be announced and if the Church Ladies of the group need to announce anything or anyone wants to share anything, this is the time. Then we start the actual rehearsing. All this takes about 10-15 minutes, the warm-ups and the announcements. I consider people late AFTER the announcements and people are encouraged to step in and join in with warm-ups (if they don’t arrive in time for the beginning) and the announcements without discussion. If someone doesn’t feel warmed up, they could st.art getting there on time. If someone misses an important announcement, they could get there on time. I tell them we don’t repeat the announcements until AFTER rehearsal if they are truly important.
Since we don’t start working on the music until about 10 minutes into rehearsal, it mostly works with my current choir and the tardy ones slip in. I have one singer now who is chronically late (about 5 minutes) and it’s no big deal because of the way I’ve structured rehearsal.
MarieApril 26, 2016 at 11:45 am #514182
I have lots of favorites. I bought a few Laura Ashley separates a few years back….palazzo pants and a pull on skirt and a stretchy lace top (lace is key…looks formal and can be cool) . I have a black dress(from Coldwater Creek) I pair with various lace jackets, which is loose and very comfy though CC went bankrupt, is back in business but not the same. I have a velvet dress I bought from Amazon several years ago for a “Messiah” which works well for me here in the Midwest. I would advise going on Amazon and seeing what appeals to you.
I really like the look of a long black dress (with short-ish sleeves)and the lace jackets. I have the jackets in several colors—silver, greyish and red–and match the color to the rep, if that makes sense! It’s not always cold in Chicago and our spring concert is in June, which can be miserable, hot and humid. I have been mostly comfortable since I went with the dress/jacket combo and it looks very formal.