The Acorn - Oak City Sound's Weekly Newsletter - Apr 13, 2023

Type of post: Chorus news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Nic Cols
Status: Current
Date Posted: Thu, Apr 13 2023

1. Notes for this week

  • Apr 10:  Regular rehearsal last Monday evening at our regular location. We had 17 singers "on the risers", including recent guests Mike Carney, Michael McQueen, David Kraay and Patrick O'Hannigan. Thanks so much for joining us.
  • Apr 17: Regular rehearsal at our regular location at our regular time. Song set
    • Desperado
    • Honesty
    • It's a Hanukkah Song in a Major Key
    • We Need a Little Christmas
    • Two Less Lonely People in the World
    • Here Comes the Sun
    • You've Got a Friend in Me
    • Ride the Chariot
    • And be ready for other repertoire songs, as the spirit moves! Stay flexible.
  • Apr 23 (Sunday): Sing National Anthem at UNC Baseball game in Chapel Hill. Call time is Noon. Perform at 12:45pm.
  • Apr 24: Regular Monday meeting at our regular time at our regular place: Searstone Retirement Community.

2. Carol's Korner

  • Please work on the new intro for Caro of the Bells. (COTB)
  • You were starting to implement some great and essential changes on Monday! Keep placing all of your singing elements above that resonant plane around your upper gum ridge: pitch, vowels, consonants, AND replenishing the air.
  • As you get better at bringing all elements to that resonant and focused space, we can begin to use singable consonants to our advantage!
  • Practice some of the phrases that have lots of singable consonants (M, N. L, NG, etc.) using extended consonants so you can feel and hear the vibrant sounds you can make when they are in the right place.
  • Have a great week! See you next Monday!

3. Ben's Buzz

10 Steps to a Note
  1. Do Nothing!!
    Literally, don't do anything. You just took a breath and it's easy to allow your vocal folds to close - but don't do it! Keep the first 8 steps intact! Take a second to be sure all 8 steps are in good shape.
  2. Support and Add Air
    Do it in that order, first use the abs to provide good support, then push the air from way down below. The air flows up through the trachea and the vocal folds start vibrating - and there's your note, after all these steps! At the end of singing, the tone stops, then the air stops, and only then can you drop the support - well after the note is gone.

    The 1-2-3 of step 10 happens in milliseconds, but it's critical that they happen in that order!

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. 
6. Open Your Throat. 
See Feb 22 Detail. 
7. Open the Vocal Folds. 
See Mar 30 Detail. 
8. Take a Singer's Breath - See the April 7 Detail. 


4. Future Notes

  • Apr 29 (Saturday): Cary Spring Daze Booth AND concert. Booth will need to be manned all day. Call time for concert is 11:00. On stage from 11:30 to 12:15. We need volunteers to man the booth throughout the day. How about you?
  • May 8 (Monday): 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.

5. Long Range

  • Monday May 29: Is Memorial Day. Searstone is not available to us. Make suggestions on what would be fun to do.
  • June 5: 7:15pm: Concert at Searstone! Please show up at 6:30. 
  • Oct 22, a Sunday afternoon. Oak City Sound in concert at Preston Pointe in Morrisville.
6. Champagne Room
  • Sometimes humor is good medicine, as Vern will enthusiastically state.
  • From a study by Prof. Helmut Gorlingheim at The University of Eastern Vermont: It is unquestioned that climate change affects human health, but it remains challenging to accurately estimate the scale and impact of many climate-sensitive situations. However, scientific advances allow us to attribute an extension in the vocal range of men who were formerly singing in the baritone and lead ranges of at least 3.7 notes. This means baris will be able to sing as the high Ab above Middle C, and leads will reach an octave above Middle C 

    Tenors, of course, whose part already reached into the women's alto section, now will be competing with Soprano I, with some of the most affected now able to sing the hardest arias formerly the providence of the most temperamental divas. 

    All of this change in the throat can be attributed to human-induced global warming. Men's choruses need help to accurately determine the risks and scale of these health threats.

    In the short- to medium-term, the impacts of climate change to singing will be determined mainly by the ability of music arrangers to write for the altered male voice, with the speed of change determined by their resilience to the current rate of climate change and the extent and pace of adaptation. 

    In the longer-term, the effects will probably transform (for good or bad) men's choral singing forever.