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rehearsal notes

Alto rehearsal notes as of November 12.


2019 Fall Alto 1, Alto 2 Rehearsal Notes

As of Nov. 12, 2019


1. Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal

Sept. 24

– “Hark” is “hahk,” “harps” is “hahps.” No internal “Rs.”

– M1 – 4: No breath until “shore.”

– M4 – 8: No breath until “roar.”

– M4, 8, 16: Off on beat 2.

– Observe break marks in “Hallelujah.”

– M25 – 32: CynS, Amy, SusanA, sing upper A2 notes until M32. All alto 2’s sing lower notes.

Oct. 1

– Rhythmic and lyrical.

– Breaths: Measures 26, 28, 30.

– M32: Make 1/2 note a quarter note.

– M32- 40: All A1’s. M33, no breath. M34, breath  after “saintly.” M36, “rest” is quarter note, quarter rest. No breath after “singing” or “saintly.” Hold “blest” for full count, “st” on first beat of M41.

– M41: Alto 2 split: Anne, Angela, Judy. A1 split, same as M25.

– M45 – 48: A1’s, it might be helpful to mark the beats.

Oct. 8

– M49: Heavy and rhythmic.

– M54: Breath before “Glory.”


2. Maria walks amid the thorn

Nov. 12

– Long, soft, creamy British vowels.

– M19: Quiet.

– M24: Lean on “years.”

– M29: Wait for rests.

– M30, M71: Check syllables.

– M68: Stress on “pass,” back off on “ing.”

– M73: Breath before beat 2.  Wait for Jane before “Lo.” Don’t close on “Lo,” keep high.

– M77: Wait for rest.

– M92: Wait for rest.


3. The holly and the ivy

Nov. 12

– M6: No breath.

– M10: Breath after “wood.”

– M15: Breath after “sun.”

– M17: “The” is a B, careful. Don’t stress the word.

– M22: “Choir” is “cwah.”

– M30 and M34: No breaths.

– M39 and M46: Breaths.

– M56: Breath.

– M60: No breath.

– M65: Observe accents but don’t jack hammer them. 🙂

– M70: Super quiet.

– M91: K on “bark.”

– M97: Back off on low G# of “gall.”

– M99: Soft.  

– M100:  Practice E to G to C. 

– M104: Don’t sound gloomy here.

– M106: Wait for cutoff after “sun.”

– M114: Unison “E.” 

– M 117: Note Altos on “A” (Above sops).

– M119: No vibrato.


4. Winter Solstice – I. at midnight…

Sept. 24

– M12 – 14: Listen to E’s in accompaniment to hear the E entrance.

– M20: Note unison entrance.

– M22: Note altos split.

– M66 – 73: No breath. Stagger.

– M70: “The” is “thee.”

– M83: Be ready for “there are.”

Oct. 1

– Watch diphthongs. Put less stress on intro words, i.e. “at,” “a”
– Note dynamics.

– M14: “At midnight” is “At MIDnawt.”

– M23: “Last” – change to half note, quarter rest.
– M68: Crescendo on “flags.” Stagger breath.

– M71: “Apricot” is “Ah-preh-cot.”

– M73: Pitched D on wind

– M74: “Clear” is “cleah.”

– M83: “Pray” is 1/8 note, 1/8 rest. Come in!

October 29

– M38: “T” of “night” on downbeat.

– M57, 58: High A-natural.

– M67: Accent “string,” not “A” in prior measure (same throughout score).

– M98: Strong “K” and rolled “R” in “crawl.”

– M102: “To-oo” the second “oo” is a quarter note, don’t rush.

– M107-113: Stagger breathing.

– M113: Watch, don’t rush, pace slows. 

– M116. Closed “M” (as throughout score).


5. Winter Solstice – II. These nights pass slowly…

October 29

– Might be helpful to note when we have unison with other parts.

– M12, 17: Etc… note key changes.

– M19: “Co” is “cooh.”

Nov. 5

– Mark the key changes.

– M11: “-mon” is “mohn.”

– M11 – 12: The A-flat in M11 is an A-natural in M12.

– M12: Breath after “earth.”

Nov. 12

– M17: Soft.

– M19: Caw-coons.

– M20: Practice G-D-G-E (all flats).

– M23: Lean in. Stronger.

– M25: Breath after “sleeping.”

– M30-31: No breath.

– M33: Wait for hold on rest!

– M43: Off, don’t hold on.


6. An Advent Carol

Sept. 24

– All A-flats need to be higher.

– M11 – 13: “Watchmen” is “watchmin,” “night” is “nawt,” “cry” is “craw,” “deferred” is “deh- ferred.”

– M17: “Word” is “wahd.”

– M20: “One” is “wahn.”

– M20 – 22: No breath until after “wise.” “z” of wise on rest (beat 3).

– M23-26: No breath until after “rise.” Change “rise” to quarter note, quarter rest, “z” of rise on new rest (beat 2).

– M27, 28: Don’t breathe at comma. “Back” is eighth note, eighth rest.

– M30 – 34: Very quiet. No breath.

– M42: Super quiet.

– M44: Wait for the rest. “Then” is on the beat.

– M45: Watch the repeated C, B-flat.

Oct. 15

– All  A-flats should be higher.

– M12: Breath after “cry.”

– M28: Caution on the low note. Stress “look.” Vocal “K” on back.

– M31: “Count” is cawnt. No breath 33-34.

– M34. Unison A-flat, keep pitch up.

– M40: All altos and Sop2.

– M42: Get “th” of “then” out of the way. No scope. Super quiet.

– M44: Note time change to 3/4 timing. Three even beats in measure, don’t come in early.  

– M46: Note octive E, watch pitch. “My” is “mah.”

– M48: “way” is “weh” with “ee” on release.

October 29

– M28: More “k.”

– M34, 42: Very quiet unison.

Nov. 5

– M4-17: Might help to write in the words, or make sure you sing the soprano line.

– Practice the tune. More challenging than it looks.

Nov. 12

– M5: Higher low “E.”

– M12: Note breath.


7. El Noi de la Mare

Sept. 24

– Keep it light. Might help to note unison starting notes.

– M17, 18: Watch the repeated Cs.

– M18: Breath after “Mare?”

Oct. 1

– Scott went through the pronunciation. If you were absent, see Liz, Cyn or another member.

– Flip “Rs” once.

Oct. 8

– Pronounce “noi” like “boy.”

– M14: Keep C high. Breath.

– M45: Breath.

– M51: No breath.

– M53: Breath.

– M55: “Amb” the “b” is silent.

– M65: Change to half note, quarter rest.

– M77: Note we jump to bottom line.

Nov. 12

– M6: Close on the “m.”

– Unless otherwise noted, only accent (fp) the accented words.

– M25: Crescendo, decrescendo.

– M26: Higher on the “G.”

– M29: Hold note until sopranos end measure.

– M34: Mark sudden mp!

– M35: “-gues” is a hard “g.”

– M45: Lean on “-ri-,” breath after “-a.”

– M48: Stress “-fan” syllable.

– M54: “Li” is “lee,” keep pitch high.

– M79-86: Do fp accent for each note. 

– M88-89: Very quiet.

– M103: Hold “mm” for 7 measures. Don’t come back in if drop out.


8. Berakhot

Oct. 8

– Please mark measure numbers.

– Hum is a long sound. Stagger breathing.

– M16: A2 on bottom. 

– M17 etc.: Observe dynamics. “sim” = same on similar phrases. Breath between phrases.

– M31: Breath.

– M38: Fade to nothing.

Oct. 15

– We went over the text to M64.

– M38: Ending “E” is same note as entrance is M46. Note the instrumental at the top of page 4.

– Breaths in measures 49, 51, 53. 55, 58, 63.

– M63: Cut off quarter tie.

Nov. 12

– M68: No breath until rest. Super soft.

– M70: No breath until end.


9.1. A Ceremony of Carols – I. Procession

Oct. 1

– Smooth.

– P1, M1: “Hodie” is “oh-dee-eh.” Make C# very sharp.

– M5: All altos, Sops2 on lower notes. 

– M6: “Deo” is “deh-o.”

Nov. 5

– M1: “Senza misura” means “Follow Jane!”

– Breath only at the breath marks.

– M6: Breath after “Deo. “le” of “al-le” is “leh,” not “lay.”

– M7: Pulse second A on “lu.” Keep C# high, keep final A high, don’t let it drop at cut off.


9.2. A Ceremony of Carols – 2. Wolcum Yole!

Oct. 15

– Long “o” in “wolcum.” “Cum” same as “bOOk.” “cuhm.”

– M19: “Sall” is “sahl.”

– M21: and throughout, accents, hit and back off.

– M32: Sing out.

– M35: “Yole” and “Wol” are the same note.

– M38: Put “m” of “cum” on beat 2

– M40: Vocal “K” sound on “Can” – sound important.

– NOTE octave C’s in M43 and 47.

– M43, 47, 54:  Off on beat 2. Keep pitch up.

– M56: pppp. Super quiet.

– M62: “Are” is “ah.”

– M68: Sing “good” in the right place.

– M70:  No vibrato.

– Breaths: M73, 75.

– M77: note ffz. Hit, back off. Then crescendo. 

– M80: Cutf off 1/8 note.

– M81: Accents. 

Nov. 5

– M38, 54: Cut off the eight note.


9.3. A Ceremony of Carols – 3. There is no Rose

Oct. 15

– Watch carefully for all releases.

– M4: Care with C note. No vibrato.

– M5: No breath.

– M6: Check E natural.

– M12:  C to B- flat, don’t slip to B-natural. Higher b-flats throughout. 

– M14: Higher G.

– M16: Don’t push or overachieve on triplets. Quiet energy. Super quiet.

– M21: Higher E flat. 

– M23: mf.

– M26: Note unison D-flat.

– M28: Blend with Sop2 on the A-flat, they take the lead. Back off. mp. Breath.

– M31: No breath.

– M39: Watch E-natural.

– M46: Breath after “-mus.”

– PRACTICE M43 and 48

October 29

– M3: Don’t slam “there.”

– M4: “Vertu” is “veh-too.”

– M6: “Jesu” is “Gee-zoo.”

– M10,11: Please mark those two rests so not to enter in early.

– M28: MP. Breath.

– M33: “Gau” is “gah.”

Nov. 5

– M5: No vibrato.

– M11: Super quiet.

– M13: No breath.


9.4. A Ceremony of Carols – 4a. That yongë child – solo

9.5. A Ceremony of Carols – 4b. Balulalow – solo


9.6. A Ceremony of Carols – 5. As dew in Aprille

Oct. 1

– “I sing” is “Ah sing.” Make it mf instead of f.

– “Makeles” is “may-kal-less.”

– M9: super quiet.

– M12: off on quarter note. Use more air when singing “he” on the E-flat.

– M15: “moder” is “maw da.”

– M16: “Was” – change tied half note to quarter note, quarter rest with “s” on rest. “Dew” is “deooo.”

– M25: “bour” is “boweh.”
– M30: “Flour” is “flah.”

– M40: No breath.

– M48: “Goddes” is “Gawds.” 

Oct. 8

– M10, 11, 12: Stress and back off.     

– M25: “Bour” is “bah”


9.7. A Ceremony of Carols – 6. This little Babe

Oct. 8

– No diphthongs and no inner R’s.  

– “Wise” is “wahs.”

– M10: No breath.

– M12: ShaKe.

– M14: No breath.

– M53: Breath.

– M55: “Pight” is “piet.”

– M61: “Guard” is “gawd.”

– Generally, all “ah” sound in words.

– M64: “Joy” is “joe.”

– “Boy” is “bah.”

Nov. 5

– Don’t get frantic.

– Focus on cut offs.

– Round tones. Fierce but not pushed.

– M21: “Fight” is “fahts.”

– M24: Strong cut off on “shield” with voiced “d.”

– M29 – 33: No breath.

– M32: “Warrior” is “warriah.”

– M33: Lighter on unison “E.”

– M47-48: Note A-flat to A-natural.

– M53: Breath after “fight.”

– M61 – 73: No breath.


9.8. A Ceremony of Carols – 7. Interlude


9.9. A Ceremony of Carols – 8. In Freezing Winter Night

Sept. 24

– Very quiet where marked, no vibrato, note accents, back off on other notes to achieve accent.

– In general, reduce volume. ff = mf.

– All A-flats need to be higher. Tune to center of note.

– “Behold” is “bih-hold.”

– M13: Even softer.

– M18: A bit more volume. Gentle.

– M1: Reduce volume.

Oct. 1

– M26: “Stable” is  “steh-ble.”

– M29: Change “state” to 1/4 note 1/4 rest.

– M31: Breath after “pomp.”

– M33: “T” on beat 3.

– M35: Breath after “poor.”

– M36: “LIV” not “live.”

– M37: Delete quarter tie on “wear.”

– M40: Breath after “heaven”

– M41-42: No breath.

October 29

– M17: Breath after “bed.”

– M22: Breath after “shroud.”

– M26” Fp on “sta” of “stable.”

– M43 to end: Breath between phrases.


9.10. A Ceremony of Carols – 9. Spring Carol – solo


9.11. A Ceremony of Carols – 10. Deo Gracias

Sept. 24

– “Deo” is “deh-oh.” Note accent over “deh” of “deo.”

– M9: “ibounden” is “a-boon-den.”

– In general, reduce dotted quarter notes at end of phrases to quarter note, add eighth rest, put end of word on the added eighth rest. Example, M12: Reduce “bond” to quarter note, eighth rest, put “d” of “bond” on the rest.

– In general, eighth notes at end of phrases are short. Example, M32, “book.”

– M14: “Winter” should be “wintah.” No internal Rs.

– M26: Accent on “an.”

– M28: “tok” is “took,” “k” on beat 2.

– M40: “Ne” is “neh.”

– M45: “had-de” is “had-deh.”

– M49: “heve-ne quene” is “hev-neh queen.”

– M51: “Time” is “tahm,”

– M53: “ta-ke” is “ta-kah.”

– M54: “Moun” is “mun.”

Oct. 8

– “Deo” is “DEH / O.” Don’t sing “day.”

– M7: Change to quarter note, 1/4 rest, same as in all “gracias” (change to 1/4 (last) note).

– M14: Just one “winter.” Don’t sing an “S.”

– M16: Crescendo.


9.12. A Ceremony of Carols – 11. Recession


10. In the Glow of the Moon

Sept. 24

– Dotted half notes are six beats: don’t lose count.

– M72: Breath before “a tune.”

– M73: “Tune” is “tee-oon.”

– M80: Super quiet.

– Should sound like a dream.

Oct. 1

– M51, 52: It is “THEE earth.” Earth is “eahth.”

– M53: “tune” is “teooon.”

– M59: “sigh” is “sawh.”

– M61: “With a kiss” – start “with” with “ooo” so as to not squeak the “wih.”

– M61: D-flat needs to be higher.

– M66: A1, hold the B-flat out full count, end with “sh.” Watch Jane, may be held.
Oct. 8

– Practice entry notes throughout piece.

– “Glow” is “glaw.” 

– M54, 55, 61, 62: Listen for D-flats in other parts. Practice the entrances.

– M62, 63: Listen for G- flats. Practice.

– “Whisper” is “hwispah”

– This section gets quiet.

– M65, 66: A1s, hold on until we are cut off. There’s a hold over the note. Blend.

– M75, 77: Quick catch breath. No breath M76.

– M79: “P” on “deep”full count. Look ahead to M80, Alto lines split. A2s, move to lower line with D-natural.

Nov. 5

– Practice!

– Look over the changing patterns. Example: M36 and on, compare to M50 and on.

– M49: A2 – Work on entry.

– M67: Very soft, breathy.

[- M74-80: No breath.] < incorrect

– Correction…. keep breathing at M75 after “loud” and M77 after “ness.”

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