The Acorn - Oak City Sound's Weekly Newsletter - Nov 25, 2022

Type of post: Chorus news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Nic Cols
Status: Current
Date Posted: Fri, Nov 25 2022

1. Notes for this week

  • It was a good rehearsal last Monday evening - 18 singers present.
  • We were happy to receive the following Visitors:
    • First-time visitor Gene X.
    • Long time RTP Member Bill Andrusic back for his second week!
    • Gene X's sister Mara
  • Next Monday, November 28, we have our usual rehearsal at Searstone at 6:30 (Note the early start time!).
    • We'll continue to work Christmas rep. By now, all songs must be memorized and we should be off-spots!
    • Memorize, memorize, memorize!
  • Christmas Show Important Info:

2. Carol's Korner

  • Keep drilling those lyrics so that they become second nature. If you think about the progression of the story of the song, it will help you string the right words together. One trick you might try to help with memorization: write down the words...with a pencil and paper. When you are able to write without pausing, you know the words.
  • Think through the presentation elements we added last week so they don't distract you from singing well. And have fun doing it!
  • Think back to how you heard me sing "Winter Wonderland" in rehearsal on Monday and work on applying that to your singing. Smooth, connected, vowel led, consonants forward and precise.
  • All of the notes from the first run-through still apply. Please read back through those notes.
  • I want to be able to go through the whole show (chorus numbers) multiple times on Monday night, including adding in the new presentation elements. Let's all come fully prepared to perform!

3. Ben's Buzz

In then last buzz (,  I mentioned that working on good breathing also sets you up to support your sound well.  Think about that - practice a bit and see how following those tips also helps with your posture and begins to use “the whole instrument”, your body, to produce your music.

Brian Beck, a former Sound of the Rockies member, is the only person I’ve met (there may be more) that has a international gold medals singing each of the four barbershop parts.  What an accomplishment!  He taught us his process, a process he called 10-steps to a note.  They are each simple, yet more than one step are often overlooked.  Here’s the first step. 

Step 1 - Hear a Pitch
Often we use a pitchpipe, although it could be a piano, bell, or the final note of the previous song.  This is something we do mentally, not out loud.  It’s active listening.  Many singers don’t actively listen. After all, how easy is it to get distracted in the moment? 

Brian writes:  “Textbooks say that if you think you have an ear, you need to be able to discern and discriminate pitch to within two cycles (Hertz). This is a mental step; don’t practice out loud. Listen more closely and discern the exact frequency. The textbooks say that you should be able to discern two cycles. Get it down to about a half a cycle.”

Have some fun … There is an app for that!  Download TE Tuner to your smartphone or tablet. Read the background and instructions and listen to some pitches, or use a pitchpipe. Mentally focus on the pitch - actively listen.  Then try to match the pitch and the TE Tuner will show you how close you are to the pitch - you can see sharps, flats, even the cycles, and this is shown in real-time for the entire duration of your sound.  Try to keep TE Tuner in the green!

We’ll look at the other nine steps in buzzes to come!

4. Future Notes

  • Dec 1: Outdoors singout at Holly Springs' Christmas Tree Lighting. Details:
    • Location: Holly Springs Cultural Center, 300 W. Ballentine St., Holly Springs, NC 27540
    • Show up time is 4:30. We will perform in the 5-6 pm hour. Never Home 4 will sing several songs as well.
  • 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.   
  • 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

  • We are so happy to see Bill Andrusic back with us on the risers! A great contributor to our baritone section. And I should know since I stood right in front of him on the risers this past Monday.