Choir Practice #1

It went pretty well. On the volume thing, I pretty much had to range from pianissimo to barely breathing. Barely breathing is kind of a problem if you have to hit d below the staff, but it’s a small church, and there are two other basses. Well, really a low baritone and a bass. So maybe I’ll crank up the breath support and the volume enough to hit those below the staff notes, instead of leaving the poor guy to do it alone.

Like I said, it went pretty well. Well. Pretty well, but not without a few bumps.

The music is all cobbled together from different sources So you’ll be singing and flip the page, and the rest has been taken from another source (same chant, same arrangement), but written in a different key. Of course, you have to stay on the same tone, so you have to do a mental “Okay, this G I’m singing is now F” thing that threw me a few times, especially since you have to flip back back and forth, so you have to do the mental re-adjust in the opposite direction, and so on. Like the guy said, “Here’s where I have an advantage because I can’t read music.” Then, there were the xeroxed music sheets that at the bottom, had the bass clefs cut off, but it’s chant, so it’s pretty easy to guess from what came before what note you’re supposed to be singing.

It’s chant, so there’s no set rhythm, of course. What turned out to be hardest, since most of the music we rehearsed was unknown to me and I was singing it cold, was trying to read the music AND read the words AND watch the director to know WHEN to sing the words.

But it went pretty well.

We did none of the Presanctified Liturgy music, nearly all of which is foreign to me since we didn’t sing Presanctified Liturgy at St Michael’s (that was George’s territory), so I will not be singing tonight. There’s another rehearsal Saturday. Maybe I’ll see if I can borrow some music, so I can run through it.

Oh, and I finally got to ask the question I’ve wanted to for quite a while. Several times, the choir alternates languages in the Great Ektenia, and we did the same, but we did Greek, Arabic, and Slavonic. They, er we here now, I guess, do the same thing, but with two additional languages. I wanted to know what they were.

Romanian and Swahili. Swahili. How cool is that? It’s because we have a Swahili speaking family in the parish. Still, I think it’s really cool.


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