The Acorn - Oak City Sound Weekly Newsletter - Nov 17, 2022 Upd 11/18/22

Type of post: Chorus news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Nic Cols
Status: Current
Date Posted: Thu, Nov 17 2022

0. Late Updates

Carol's Korner section is all rewritten. Read it now!

1. Notes for this week

  • The last NCSU Football game concession was held on Saturday, November 12,. Thanks to all who' ve worked on this important fundraiser. The revenue we accrue from this activity will be posted to our account in January 2023, in case you're wondering.
  • Next Monday, November 21, we have our usual rehearsal at Searstone at 7pm.
    • We'll continue to work Christmas rep. By now, all songs should be memorized and we should be off-spots!
    • Memorize, memorize, memorize!
  • The monthly board meeting was held last Monday Nov 14. 
  • Christmas Show Important Info:
    • This week is your last chance to sell program ads for our Dec 6 Show at Cary Arts Center. Have you approached at least one person, organization, or business to sell the Ad to? All sales have to be turned in by mid-November!
    • If you have people you would like to invite to the concert and want a digital version of our poster to send to them, feel free to download the poster at 
    • Additionally, tickets can be purchased online using the following link:
  • John Adams - Funeral was held last Saturday, November 12, in Chapel Hill. Many members of OCS and HCA were in attendance to pay final respects to John's family. John Adams was a pillar of the Barbershop Society. We will miss him! 

2. Carol's Korner

Reiteration of Monday night's runthrough:
  • We all still have a lot of work to do on memorization and some notes.
  • It's the Most Wonderful Time - feel this in 2 big beats per measure and keep soaring on the vowels so the consonants don't bog us down - basses sing like tenors, and everyone else come from the top side of every entrance to keep it light and bright.
  • Songs of Christmas - pretty good overall - be careful not to oversing - always listen louder than you sing.
  • Carol of the Bells - this was one of our better songs - sing in 4 bar phrases and plan with your fellow section members about who will breathe when, or at least be aware of when you feel another person is about to sing (you will hear it in the sound they are making) and catch a breath before or after they do.
  • Jingle Bell Rock - we all know this pretty well - remember to keep the "ng" sound soft and glide into the next word or syllable instead of punching it.
  • Merry Christmas, Darling - this is coming along - Nic will be directing this as I sing it on the show, so we will try singing under his direction on Monday - please check through all of your notes on this as some spots are iffy.
  • It's a Hanukkah Song - I plan for us to have a lot of fun with this one, so complete memorization is vital - we will add a few more presentation items on Monday so be ready.
  • Winter Wonderland - keep this light and fun - glide from vowel to vowel and keep the consonants precise and crisp.
  • We Need a Little Christmas - HAAAA LAAAAA UTHAAAA HAAAA LEE - Start slow and build the speed and energy as we go through the song - there will be a few presentation elements added here, too.
  • All I Want for Christmas - Sean sets us up well with a great opening solo - let's learn the words and structure of the song so we can take his lead and run with it - Sean takes the solo back for "is you" at the end - leads move to either tenor or bari.
  • White Christmas - flow is so important in making this song shine - this could be our best song in the show - sing your best and stay on the long open vowels longer than you can.
  • It Came/Silent Night - flow, simplicity, and clarity are essential here as well - 4 bar phrases throughout.

    I want to be able to go through the whole show twice on Monday night, including adding in the new presentation elements. Let's all come fully prepared to perform!

3. Ben's Buzz

Same as last week. Why? Because we haven't mastered it yet!

Breathing buzz part 3 …
Breathe silently. When the audience hears breathing, whether slow breaths during rests or gasps anywhere, it interferes with the music. Breathe silently.

Two key things to do this:
First, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Many people breathe in through their mouth, especially for gasping air. To make it worse, a wide mouth, like you use in a grin, increases the noise of the air intake. Yuk. Listen to your breathing in a recording sometime. 

Second, pull in air using your diaphragm. Your chest and shoulders shouldn’t really move when you breathe in. Your stomach area should grow, and more than that, your whole middle section should expand all the way around. 

Here’s an exercise:
Lean against a wall with your feet several inches from the wall, using good posture. Now breathe in deeply through your nose, mouth open or closed, and notice your belly growing. Also feel your back press slightly toward the wall. You can also feel your “back breathing” by putting your hands on your lower back while you breathe. This gets the air all the way down to the bottom of your lungs (remember the last buzz? See )

Doing just these two things will lead to quieter breathing and also set you up to better support your sound.

4. Future Notes

  • Dec 5: Show, a Monday evening Christmas Concert at Searstone.
  • Dec 6: Show, a Tuesday evening. We will put on our Christmas show at the Cary Arts Center theater.   
    • We will need to sell tickets and Ads. Last week, Mike emailed to all of us a summary of what you need to know regarding Ad sales. He mentioned Monday evening that we are not married to a particular pricing structure, so be inventive! If each one of us sold a single Ad, it would bring in more revenue than the entire revenue from our last concert. Just do it! 
    • Christmas Vignettes: As part of the Christmas Show, we will again offer our audience personal stories regarding Christmas. This has been well received by both the chorus members AND the audience. Mike keeps asking for these .... so please create one from your holiday memories THIS WEEK and send it to him. A photo or two to go along with the story would be helpful. 
  • Dec 12: Christmas Show at Glenaire! On a Monday evening. Show up time will be 6:15, and concert starts at 7pm.
  • Dec 19: Christmas Concert at Springmoor Retirement Community in north Raleigh off Creedmoor Rd. On a Monday evening. Show up time will be 6:15, and concert starts at 7pm.
  • Dec 26 - No chorus meeting
  • Jan 2 - No chorus meeting

5. Long Range

  • January 30 - Our next guest night. More details to come..
  • February - plan to run Singing Valentines again this year. February 14 is a Tuesday, so we'll look for opportunities on the previous weekend.
  • March 10 and 11, 2023: Carolinas District Spring Convention in Spartanburg, SC

6. Champagne Room

  • Last Saturday, Warren Fuson and Nic Cols participated in a memorial quartet (with former OCS/General Assembly members Larry Triplett and Jason Patrick) to sing at John Adams' Memorial Service. We sang Jim Clancy's arrangement of the Our Father hymn. It was both sad and joyous. Sad, because we will miss John,. But joyous, since his kids recounted several times all the Barbershop conventions and contests and shows that they attended in their growing up years "... with their Dad" and considered it very fitting that a Barbershop hymn was included in his final service. We all think John was there, as well, singing the high overtones that he so enjoyed throughout his life.