The Acorn - Oak City Sound's Weekly Newsletter - Feb 22, 2023

Type of post: Chorus news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Nic Cols
Status: Current
Date Posted: Wed, Feb 22 2023

1. Notes for this week

  • Saturday Feb 18 - Oak City Sound ran a concessions booth at Carter-Finley stadium for the Carolina Hurricanes' game. Many thanks to Tim Kinsey for planning and managing this successful event.  Thanks also to those who worked the long hours: Tim, Warren, Paul, Gary, Bob, Mike, and Steve. 
  • Feb 20: Our regular chorus meeting. We had 15 men on the risers this past Monday. 
  • Feb 27; Our next Chorus meeting will be held at our regular location Searstone Retirement Community. 7pm to 9:30pm. 

2. Carol's Korner

  • We did some great work on Honesty and Hih Cah Mzthah Sahn on Monday night. Keep working on pinning down the correct entrances in those challenging bell chord measures in the Beatles tune. Baritones and leads, there is no shame in singing the other parts that lead to your entrance if that is the only way you can be sure you are accurate on that timing. 
  • Thank you for rising to the challenge of not having music in front of you for You've Got a Friend. What a difference that makes! We will absolutely include that in our spring performances, so nail down the last of those words and solidify the off-beat rhythms.
  • The contest set was rough on Monday. I would really like for us to sing in mixed formation and utilize the groupings that make us look less cardboard. I would encourage you to chant through the text as Paul suggested, focusing on flow, forward movement, and sensitive phrasing. Don't let yourself get stuck on a consonant that will stop those things.
  • Song list for Monday:
    • Ova the Rainbow
    • Ah-most Like Being in Love
    • Do You Hear the People Sing?
    • Yesterday
    • Here Comes the Sun
    • Desperado
    • You've Got a Friend in Me
    • Songs of Christmas
    • Honesty

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. See Feb 15 Detail. 

How is it that we're only half way though the ten steps, already forming a vowel, and not making a sound yet --- get on with it already!

6. Open Your Throat
Brain says (remember him?). This is the feeling of yawn, and recommends Jerome Hines’ book Great Singers on Great Singing. He continues, saying,
“He [Jerome] interviewed all the big name opera singers, and almost all of them mention the feeling of the beginning of the yawn to position properly for singing. The feeling is that the yawn muscles are arching upward. The focus is forward but the resonant space makes it rich and thick.”

Open your mouth wide and try to start a yawn. Feel what the muscles in your throat do - they tend to move up and back. Drop your Adam’s apple down. If successful, your throat will be open.

Think about it - Our singing is all about the movement of air through our body, our instrument, and how we handle that air along the way to make our first sound. It's the first sound and that of the music that follows!
[Ed: this is the whole point of the Robert Goulet exercise]. 

4. Future Notes

  • March 10 and 11, 2023: Carolinas District Spring Convention in Spartanburg, SC.
  • March 20 - Our next guest night. Our focus will be on reaching out to the Hispanic community.

5. Long Range

  • April 3: Oak City Sound concert at Springmoor.
  • Apr 29: Cary Spring Daze booth AND concert (timing tbd).
  • 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.
  • June 5 or 19 (TBD): Concert at Springmoor!
  • 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
  • Congratulations to Vern Pike, celebrating 38 years of barbershopping!
  • Yours truly is happy to report that I am recovering from a suprising heart condition called Atrial Fillibration. I spent 7 days in the hospital, and need to take things a little more slowly for a while.
  • Congratulations to the Never Home 4 Quartet for the extraordinary efforts on Valentine's Day, delivering Singing Valentines all over the county.