Loving the snowflakes falling on this page once again. Merry Christmas!
While me and my group were in a week-long Palawan getaway , Brenda, my sister (and Ruthie’s mom) grabbed the opportunity to have me accompany Ruthie on the piano. The piano was untuned and a bit out of shape but still playable. Saturday night, while I was practicing the worship songs with Sir Claud for the next day (guest pianist me), Brenda asked Ruthie if she would like to sing in the worship service. Surprisingly, she readily agreed. She has become a “big girl” indeed.
So after the songleading rehearsal, I practiced Ruthie. While we were at it, she was joined by her baby sister, Tricia, who easily carried the song as well. So there they were, learning the flow and modulations I prescribed for them. Then a funny thing happened. At the end of the song, Tricia accidentally hit the final note two steps higher; and sounded as if she did it on purpose, singing second voice. We were delighted; but I wondered if she could repeat it the next day; let alone really sing with her big sister.
Sunday morning, I had to rush a power point presentation for a song as there was none for the one new hymn to be introduced by the song leader. I hurried to the sanctuary afterwards because the service was about to start. That was a special Sunday. I will be accompanying the Quezon folks; and Ruthie too. Right after the congregational singing, Ruthie finally sang Be Glorified.
I’m not so sure if you can access this video from a friend’s FB account but here it is anyway. I said finally because she has been singing this song since she was about two years old. And it is just now that she sang it in church service, I think. Click the image to watch the ‘Baby Ruthie’ video 🙂
I love you, Ruthie 🙂 I promise, I will be teaching you more songs to sing. Well, Tricia did not join her sister that morning, overwhelmed by the crowd. Nonetheless, I’m pretty sure she would grow as good a singer as her Ate Ruthie.
Ellaine, one of our companions also rendered a heartwarming song as well: No Greater Love, right before the sermon by Pastor Jezer. That was a very special Sunday indeed.
And as I have mentioned in the previous post, after lunch, we went to Marirong, a distant island via the open sea, for a missions trip.
From the way they sing their (vertical) vowels, to how they “team up” with their mentor, to the facial expressions (open masque) and body language (and alignment), the BYU Singers have got what it takes to be excellent chorale singers.
*See how they pronounce some words like “angels” “sing” etc. Those are what vertical vowels are.
I enjoyed every moment of this video. And one viewing wasn’t enough for me. Look how awesome a choir gets when they master the proper choral singing techniques. One of my choirs is almost there 🙂
Last night, my EBC Salmo Chorale sang a full length concert entitled “THE GREAT DIVIDE” (an evangelistic concert) at the Greenhills Christian Fellowship (GCF-East). Praise the Lord for souls saved. And for the gift of music.
See more images in this album HERE. Images by Miss Rochelle Marie Ocampo.
Can you mimic the tone of a single note pressed anywhere the entire length of the keyboard?
Can you easily replay a passage played on the piano?
Are you sensitive enough to hear nuances on melodies and sing them easily?
Sadly, some persons, even those in the chorus find these things difficult. So very few are the individuals with the innate ear/talent to easily pass the tests.
If you are one of them, you are blessed. If you’re not, you need to give double effort. A less-endowed but diligent learner can also pass the tests. But as I said, they need to give more.
If you consistently fail the ear tests, that’s another matter.
Interest, a.k.a. dedication, a.k.a. devotion, is a very important barometer if a choir/group is on its way to excellence.
Do you, as members look forward to the rehearsals?
Do you study on your own?
Do you carry your song sheets with you?
*Sometimes it’s ironic to see people eagerly join the choir, but always give excuses they cannot come to practice. What it meant is, their choir responsibility gets pushed to the least of their priorities. They can easily forego of the rehearsals. They go to all kinds of places and occasions and if it conflicts with the choir, guess what gets booted out of the schedule.
*It’s refreshing to see singers really make time for the sessions, and hardly absent themselves. You can also see them all focused on the tasks at hand. Some others are distracted and bored but they are not. You see them thirst for the routines and the learning.
Are you the kind of learner who is excited to try something new? Or are you the type who frowns at changes and difficult routines? Losers (sorry, no pun intended) are the ones who find themselves silently or loudly complaining about every little hard thing sent their way. Winners are the ones who look at the task and with focused resolve deliver.
Sometimes success over challenges lies on the attitude.
In short, be teachable. Accept tasks. Focus on the tasks. Deliver smoothly.
Individuals as we are, we developed unique ways of using our voices whether it be in speaking or in singing. We have different accents, didn’t we? And some of us speak/sing in modulated voice and still some of us do nasally. Some have high pitched voices, and vice versa.
In the chorus, it is given that we have different vocal ranges. But speaking of unity, we need to learn a united process in singing. And it is always with a full-throated ease. Sing vowels the same way, always vertically, never ever horizontally, unless the song asks for it, e.g. in singing tribal songs, ethnic pieces and the like.
If a choir is to be photographed, everyone should be captured with the same facial movements, the same mouth opening, the same jaw drop, the same facial expression, etc. Nobody should be deviating from the group goal.
I have always tried to go the extra mile. Aside from the usual drill a choir director goes through, from time to time, I create mp3 vocal guides. Sadly, very few people subscribe to them. Very few actually download those mp3s. And the result is predictable: very few actually deliver excellence. Summation: lackluster group performance. Why? Because there are people who would rather idle or play around. Until judgment day. I mean they realize how foolishly they stashed away all the help they can get too late in the day. Well, some of them awakes a day or two before judgment day, and cram their way to the performance.
Having a great choir is never incidental. A good choir is composed of good members. Who are these good people? They are the ones who give a great deal of their focused ANALYSIS, THOUGHT and EFFORT. If every singer can honestly say they carry these ideals in a preparation, the result will be astounding. The result will be rewarding. The result will be encouraging to go on and improve the singing craft.
Happy anniversary, EDSA!
A choir with a refreshing image and cool performances, here singing a medley of Bee Gees selections. Just having some good time singing. Fresh.
For expression and interpretation, FTW!
Last November 2009, I was favored to reorganize and direct a chorale at Mitsubishi Pamcor Philippines. The previous group had disbanded way way back (about ten years ago I was told) and for this year’s main events, the admin decided to reorganize the choir. My best friend Ramil (a Tenor in this chorale) introduced me to the group’s organizers and voila! a new choir for me. 🙂
After about a week’s rehearsals, the choir sang the National Anthem “Lupang Hinirang” at PACCI’s First Philippine Automotive Summit held at the Hotel Intercontinental at Makati City.
Last 10 December 2009, they again graced the company’s celebration of its 500,000th unit at the Makati Shangrila Hotel with no less than the former President Fidel V. Ramos among the Guests of Honor.
They got to greet FVR at the hotel’s lobby and the charming leader even lingered and exchanged pleasantries with the ladies and men of this chorale. Before he captivated all the guests inside the event center, the choir had the first chance to be mesmerized by his wit and humor; right there at the lobby.
Their third was on their in-house event honoring a roomful of loyal employees who have stayed with the company for decades. The choir also got to sing a well-loved Filipino Christmas Carol to the delight of the audience.
So there, my latest choir, a beautiful group of people that is the MMPC! 🙂
If you want to head/return to the MMPC’s official site, click here.