The Acorn - Oak City Sound's Weekly Newsletter - Apr 20, 2023 - CRITICAL UPDATE

Type of post: Chorus news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Nic Cols
Status: Current
Date Posted: Thu, Apr 20 2023

1. High Notes

  • Apr 17:  Regular rehearsal last Monday evening at our regular location.
    • We had 23 singers "on the risers", including returning recent guests Mike Carney, Michael McQueen, David Kraay and Patrick O'Hannigan.
    • We had a new visitor, Bernardo Guzman, from Wake Forest.Thanks so much for joining us.
    • Thanks so much for joining us.
  • Apr 23 (Sunday): Sing National Anthem at UNC Baseball game in Chapel Hill.
    • Call time is 11:15AM. Ready to go at 11:50am.
    • We will wear the chorus jeans, brown shoes and belts, and blue checked shirt.
    • Feel free to wear or bring your name badge. It may aid in getting parked. 
    • Although the weather is hot today, current WRAL forecast is for some storms and 70s on Saturday, then 40s overnight into Sunday, and then highs Sunday being near 70. So the uniform should be comfortable. If you want a jacket, feel free to wear the black. 
    • Pick up your ticket at the table located in front of the main entrance.
    • All details at
  • Apr 24: In addition to working on the newer songs, we will run through the program for Spring Daze, which will be the same as our Springmoor performance, minus a few of the quartet songs. We won't have time for Christmas refreshers this Monday.Show order:
    • Bare Necessities
    • Ride the Chariot
    • Yesterday
    • Here Comes the Sun
    • (Quartet - 1 song)
    • Almost Like Being in Love
    • Do You Hear the People Sing?
    • Over the Rainbow
    • The Longest Time
    • (Quartet - 1 or 2 songs)
    • The Lion Sleeps Tonight
    • Sweet Caroline
    • You've Got a Friend in Me
  • Apr 29 (Saturday): Cary Spring Daze Booth AND concert. Booth will need to be manned all day. Call time for concert is 10:30. On stage from 11:30 to 12:15. We need volunteers to man the booth throughout the day.. Vern Pike will have all the details on Monday.
  • If you know of anyone who has stopped singing in the chorus who has a blue gingham shirt hanging in their closet, please contact them and help them get it back to us. Those shirts were purchased by the chorus and are no longer available for purchase. Our reserves are largely depleted and we need more for our growing chorus!

2. Carol's Korner

  • Continue working toward keeping all of your singing sounds AND THE BREATH SENSATION on top of that shelf coming forward from your cheekbones and eyes. This will help us to ring more chords, stay in sync on entrances and releases, and use less air for more beautiful, supported and free singing!
  • Please begin to incorporate all of the notes and instructions I gave you for Two Less Lonely People into your rehearsal time. We will dig into that more in the coming weeks.

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. 
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. 
9. Do Nothing!! See the April 13 Detail. 
10. Support and Add Air - See the April 13 Detail. 


 Why Bubble?

We call it a bubble, officially a lip trill. Bring your lips together, keep them loose, pull the corners of your mouth in close, and blow like a baby - brbrbrbrbrb.

Of course, a baby can’t do it. In fact, toddlers struggle with it. It can become a fun game! Add a pitch or not, just have fun.

It’s important to bring the corners of your mouth in - the closer and tighter the better, without tightening up your lips. In barbershop, loose lips DON'T sink ships - they win medals!

Try this … Make a big, wide toothy grin. Now just bring your lips together and bubble - you can't! That's a big part of the point here. Now bring the corners of your mouth back in close - closer … closer … closer …

That’s a good bubble.
If you'd like, get out that TE Tuner app and see how well you can bubble any particular pitch, and how long you can hold it steady (we talked about that in a prior buzz).

Keep in mind the 10-steps (above) to a note keeping good posture and air support.

When you finish some bubbles, slightly vertically open your lips WITHOUT widening the width of your mouth (remember "closer, closer, closer"). With your mouth ever so slightly open, maybe a finger worth, with the sides still in tight, pick a note and sing through the vowels - a e i o u - don't widen your mouth. Keep your 10-steps in mind (see why we did them?) and be sure to raise your soft pallet through the top your head! Notice how bright your tone is and that volume is not a problem. I call it singing through your nose, but your nose is closed (no air escapes your nose - pinch it closed to be sure).

Good vowels!
Now do it for some consonants - "tee", "bee", "vee", "en" … hey, sing the alphabet song, without widening your mouth. It works, doesn’t it? Maybe it's a new warm-up exercise Carol will lead us through!!

Sing that way, all the time. You'll ring more chords.

One last note. Choral music often teaches you to open your mouth very very wide - at least three fingers between your teeth. While there are places for that in on our charts, it doesn’t generally play well with the barbershop style nor that elusive ringing chord. It allows in too much noise that prevents the ring - and it only takes a couple of people to prevent it. Great for choral, not so much for barbershop. And by the way, in barbershop, we still open the mouth wide, from the back - go review Step 4 of the 10-steps.

Singing barbershop is fun, and to do it well, it's also hard.
Go for it! Start with the baby bubble - well, after the 10-steps, and then never lose the bubble.

4. Future Notes

  • 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.
  • May 29: Is Memorial Day. Chapter Cookout at Warren Fuson's house! 8801 Lakewood Dr, Raleigh NC, 27613. Spouses are certainly invited.

5. Long Range

  • 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