The Acorn - Oak City Sound's Weekly Newsletter - Feb 15, 2023

Type of post: Chorus news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Nic Cols
Status: Current
Date Posted: Wed, Feb 15 2023

1. Notes for this week

  • Feb 13: Our regular chorus meeting. We had 13 men in attendance this past Monday. Followed by a great Afterglow with 7 of us there at our usual watering hole: The Corner Tavern! 
    • It was great to see long-time (and long-time ago) former member George Cherny visiting with us. He was in several chapter quartets back in the day: Music Station, City Market, and Seldom Heard, to name a few off the top of my head! 
    • George joined us the Afterglow as well. Yes he still has his priorities straight. 
  • Thanks to Mike Muha for project-managing our very successful Valentine Quartet performances.
    • Quartets made up from about 10 of us toured about the county, delivering Singing Valentines! 
    • Mike has reported a net revenue of over $1,100 from the Valentine efforts.
  • Saturday Feb 18 - Oak City Sound will be manning a concessions booth at Carter-Finley stadium, much like we do for the NC State football games, but this time for the Carolina Hurricanes ice hockey game.
    • Show-up time is 3pm, gates open at 6pm, gme time is 8pm.
    • There are many details about this concession event that are different from what we are used to. Tim Kinsey has sent out an email to all the volunteers with all the info you need. So rather than repeat it here, I ask you to please check his email. If you think you are a volunteer and did not get the email (sent Tuesday at 5:29pm), please contact Tim immediately at
  • Feb 20; Our next Chorus meeting will be held at our regular location Searstone Retirement Community. 7pm to 9:30pm. 
  • Did anyone see me checking my own jaw position while I was singing last Monday night? Can you guess why I would do such a thing?
  • OCS is working to set up a booth at Cary Spring Daze's Cultural Arts Row. OCS/General Assembly has done this in the past. It runs on April 29, 2023, and we're talking running our info booth from 9am to 5pm. If you have thoughts or opinions about manning such a booth for OCS for a few hours, please let us know! We are also working on being able to perform. Please mark the timeslot on your calendar just in case. 

2. Carol's Korner

  • As we are discovering, the high quality tracks we have for our new songs are a great resource and may be a better learning option for some of us who usually like to start with the sheet music. The timing for Desperado will be much more in tempo than the tracks are, but that is still a good place to start to pin down the correct notes.
  • I'd love to have everyone off paper for "You've Got a Friend in Me" on Monday. That will allow us to clear up the rhythmic discrepancies and start having some fun with that song.
  • We have only 3 more rehearsals before we are on stage in Spartanburg. I would really like for us to sing in shotgun formation to allow us to create a fuller sound and more vocal independence for each of you. Please spend some time looking over your notes and words and thinking about how you can personalize both songs to create an emotional connection that you can portray with your facial expressions and body language.
  • Rehearsal list for next Monday Feb 20:
    • Ova the Rainbow
    • Almost Like Being in Love
    • Honesty
    • Desperado
    • You've Got a Friend in Me
    • Here Comes the Sun
    • Yesterday
    • Sweet Caroline  

3. Ben's Buzz

10 Steps to a Note

1. Hear a Pitch. See Nov 25 detail.
2. Find Your Note. See Nov 30 Detail
3. Check Your Posture

4. Drop the Jaw!  See Feb 8 Detail.
5. Form a Vowel

The fifth step is to Form a Vowel. I'd guess this is Carol's favorite step! Have we heard that a thousand times?

Remember you are doing all of these steps silently, mentally preparing to make your first sound.

Raise your cheeks, eyes, and soft palette, show your front teeth (just the front 2-4 top teeth), and form your lips into the shape of the target vowel - an “oh”, “eh”, long “e”, “ah” - whatever.

Remember to keep small, really small - big mouth is for a bass fish, not a barbershoper. We’ll talk more in-depth on all this in subsequent buzzes - just form the vowel before you make any sound, even if your first utterance is a consonant.

Pro Tip:  If your first sound is a consonant, precede it with a very small "h" sound. That will lesson the harshness of your attack and remove glottal sounds.

4. Future Notes

  • Still working with Cambridge Village Retirement Center in Apex to schedule a concert sometime between Feb - April. Stay tuned.
  • March 10 and 11, 2023: Carolinas District Spring Convention in Spartanburg, SC.
    • Our contest song set: Almost Like Being in Love and Ova the Rainbow. 
    • All contests and performances will be held at Spartanburg High School in the state-of-the-art District 7 Fine Arts Center. Convention headquarters hotel is the Marriott.
    • This is the last week for Early Bird registrations. The cost increases from $75 to $95 on February 17 (in 2 days!!)
    • All attendees are expected as a matter of goodwill toward our singing community to:
      • Take a PCR test (regular or rapid/NAAT) no earlier than the day before picking up credentials (48 hours); or 
      • Take an antigen test the day of event.
    • All fellowship events (Greek Night and District Afterglow) will be hosted at the Marriott in the Presidential Suite.
    • Two steps to register:
    • Do not delay any longer!

5. Long Range

  • March 20 - Our next guest night. Our focus will be on reaching out to the Hispanic community.
  • April 3: Oak City Sound concert at Springmoor.
  • Apr 29: Cary Spring Daze booth (and perhaps concert)
  • May 8: Oak City Sound in concert at Templeton Retirement Village. Vern Pike lives there now and is our contact. The Templeton is located at 215 Brightmore Dr, Cary, NC 27518, across Kildaire Farm Rd from WakeMed Cary.
  • August 4 to 6, 2023. At Clemson University Campus in Clemson, SC. The Carolinas District is now partnering with the Dixie District to run a single Harmony Education Program ("HEP") in the summer for both NSC and DIX districts. This tot fab educational weekend will be held at Clemson University in Clemson, SC. Absolutely top-tier faculty is assembled for this training event. I can personally attest that this is a GREAT weekend of singing education, for individual singers, quartets, entire choruses, and chorus directors. Pencil this weekend into your calendar for now. Over the winter, we as a chorus will develop plans, as appropriate and beneficial, to attend this, if possible.

6. Champagne Room
  • Major congratulations to Steve Tremper, long-time former member of RTP  Chapter, whose quartet Let's Sing took first place at the Senior's Quartet contest at BHS Mid-Winter Convention last week. What a tremendous accomplishment! btw - Steve will soon be moving to Greenville, SC.

  • Major congratulations as well to Larry Triplett, also a long-time former member and Director of RTP Chapter, whose Carolina Statesmen took 3rd place in the Senior's Chorus contest at Mid-Winters. Several current Oak City Soundsters are members of the Carolina Statesmen and participated in the contest: Dave Seibert, Paul Martin, Jim Murrell, Tim Kinsey, Bill Andrusic, and Larry Hill