Agenda for Wednesday, July 13

Choir,

Oh, boy – I missed singing with you!  Looking forward to this rehearsal and preparing for our first services 9 days later on the 22nd.

Note that this Wednesday, July 13th, you are invited to participate in the first music committee meeting at 6pm.  This is optional – see the agenda below for more detail.  If we don’t see you at 6, we hope to sing with you at 7!

Look for your name in bold and a link to a full description of the role on the website. Thank you to the 7+ participative leaders in this rehearsal!

Here’s the agenda for Wednesday night, June 29th:

— OPTIONAL Music Committee meeting —

  • 6:00 – 6:10 – Review mission and music committee role.  Discuss and adjust as necessary.
  • 6:10 – 6:20 – Agree on our approach to allocating solos/duets etc.  Does the director decide?  Does the group decide?  Is there an audition?  Etc.
  • 6:20 – 6:40 – Map out what we’d like to sing for high holidays, for Shabbat services this fall
  • 6:40 – 6:50 – Open forum to discuss musical issues.  Possible topics: how we learn music, expectations for learning your part, suggestions for improving rehearsals…
  • 6:50 – 6:55 – Agree on next meeting time & place

— NORMAL Rehearsal —

  • 6:50 – 7:00:  Gather & schmooze without disrupting the end of the music committee meeting.  😉
  • 7:00 – 7:10:  Focusing exercise.  Hinei Ma Tov.  Together in a circle, then in a 2-part round, then with eyes closed.  For listening to each other.  James.
  • 7:10 – 7:30:  Vocal warmup & brief group voice lesson.  James.
  • 7:30 – 7:45: Review Oseh Shalom in large group.  Goals – prepare to sing for services, beautiful delivery, without sheet music.  Director: James.  Congregational advocate: Leslie.
  • 7:45 – 8:00: Review Shalom Rav (Klepper).  Goals – unified unison, confident harmonies, great vowels & pitch.  Director: James.  Congregational advocate: Dionne.
  • 8:00 – 8:10: Business.  First services: date, time, dress.  Brief review of outcomes of first music committee meeting – Shirley.
  • 8:10 – 8:30: Taubman Hashkivenu. Goals – we should be able to sing this one through nicely now.  Please review all your notes & words so we can work on making it beautiful.  Director: James.  Congregational advocate: Sarah Kim.  Soloist (for today): Nancy.
  • 8:30 – 8:55: Review selected Shabbat liturgy.  Mi Shebeirach (Friedman), Ein Keiloheinu (140).  Goal – strengthen our signing to better enhance the Jewish experience for the congregation.  Director: James.  Congregational advocate: Dionne.
  • 8:55 – 9:00: Oseh Shalom in a circle.  Closing prayer.  James.

Please learn all the notes and words to Oseh Shalom and Hashkivenu so we can really polish them up and move on to our next pieces.

Shalom!
James

No rehearsal 7/6.

Dear Choir,

Hello from sunny Florida!  My family and I are on vacation here this week, so there will be no rehearsal this Wednesday, 7/6.  The next rehearsal is Wednesday 7/13 at 7pm.

Two important announcements:

  1. First music committee meeting will be 7/13 at 6pm in the sanctuary.
    We’ll meet an hour before rehearsal to consider what we need to focus on for the coming months.
  2. First time we sing at services will be Friday night 7/22!
    Mark your calendars, and please plan to attend.  We’ll meet early (maybe 6:45?) in Unger Hall to warm up.  Tentatively, we’ll plan to sing Oseh Shalom, Shalom Rav (Klepper), Mi Shebeirach (Friedman), and Ein Keiloheinu.  Cantor has confirmed that she would like us to participate that service, but we haven’t confirmed the pieces yet.

Now that we have our first services scheduled, you may wish to review your words and notes for the pieces above.  Wouldn’t it be great to enhance everyone’s experience so much that we attracted some new congregants to come sing with us?

And when you’re singing in the shower/car/supermarket, remember to take good deep breaths, relax the shoulders, open the back of the throat, make beautiful resonant vowels, and drive each vowel into the next to create a musical line.

Looking forward to singing with you not this week but next week!

Shalom,
James

Agenda for Wednesday, June 29 7-9pm

Dear Choir,

Note that some of you now have roles on the agenda!!!  Look for your name in bold and a link to a full description of the role on the website.

As a reminder, we’re now rehearsing on Wednesdays from 7:00 – 9:00 pm.Here’s the agenda for Wednesday night, June 29th:

  • 6:50 – 7:00:  Gather & schmooze
  • 7:00 – 7:10:  Focusing exercise – walking meditation to Ma Tovu/Dear Friends.  James.
  • 7:10 – 7:30:  Vocal warmup & brief group voice lesson.  James.
  • 7:30 – 7:45: Review Oseh Shalom in large group.  Goals – prepare to sing for services, beautiful delivery, without sheet music.  Director: James.  Congregational advocate: Steve.
  • 7:45 – 8:00: Review Shalom Rav (Klepper).  Goals – unified unison, confident harmonies, great vowels & pitch.  Director: James.  Congregational advocate: Leslie.
  • 8:00 – 8:05: Business.  Discuss objectives and process for first music committee meeting – Shirley.  Discuss membership chair role – James/Barbara Block.
  • 8:05 – 8:10: Shmooze break.
  • 8:10 – 8:25: Taubman Hashkivenu. Goals – able to sing through it & keep it together.  Director: James.  Congregational advocate: Sarah Kim.
  • 8:25 – 8:40: Work on Richards R’tzei through the first page of harmony.  James.
  • 8:40 – 8:55: Review selected Shabbat liturgy.  Mi Shebeirach (Friedman), Ein Keiloheinu (140).  Goal – strengthen our signing to better enhance the Jewish experience for the congregation.  Director: James.  Congregational advocate: Dionne.
  • 8:55 – 9:00: Oseh Shalom in a circle.  Closing prayer.  James.

When you’re singing in the shower/car/office, remember to take good deep breaths, relax the shoulders, open the back of the throat, make beautiful resonant vowels, and drive each vowel into the next to create a musical line.

We’ll practice all of those techniques this Wednesday evening – can’t wait to see you there!

Shalom!
James

Update

Choir,

Another GREAT rehearsal last night!  Thank you all for a magical, educational, and exciting evening of Jewish music.

A few updates/reminders:

  1. Please continue to educate your friends about fun how choir is, how it enriches your Jewish and musical life, and how good we sound after only 3 rehearsals!
  2. Please note that our next rehearsal is Wednesday 6/29 7-9 pm as scheduled.
  3. There will be no rehearsal the week of July 4th.  Our normal rehearsal would have been on Wednesday July 6th, but I’m going to be out of town.  Hopefully soon you’ll email me telling me you’d like to try being an assistant director.  Don’t worry – I’ll help/train you.  Then rehearsals can go on even when I’m on vacation.  😉
  4. Please listen to the learning tracks and learn all the notes & words to your part.  That way we can do the more fun stuff when we’re all together.  Next time, we should be able to get “off the page” with Oseh Shalom, and do some more subtle work with Hashkivenu.
  5. Send me an email if you’re interested in trying one of our leadership opportunities.  Thank you to those who have already volunteered!

See you next Wednesday 6/29 at 7pm with all your friends and with more notes & words under our belts…

Shalom!

 

 

Agenda for Wednesday June 22, 7-9 pm

Dear Choir!

We’ve moved!  Same wonderful place (the Temple sanctuary), same beloved repertoire, same beautiful people (and more every time), but…

ALL NEW DAY & TIME!

We’ll now be rehearsing on Wednesdays from 7:00 – 9:00 pm.
From now on.
Tell all your friends (especially basses)!

Our agenda for Wednesday night, June 22 follows, and boy, you won’t want to miss it.

  • 6:50 – 7:00:  Gather & schmooze
  • 7:00 – 7:10:  Focusing exercise: Dodi Li Kabbalah Kirtan.  (Words: Dodi li va’ani lo. Haro’eh bashoshanim. Translation: My beloved is mine and I am his,
    The shepherd [grazing his flock] among the lilies.)
  • 7:10 – 7:30:  Vocal warmup & brief group voice lesson.  James.
  • 7:30 – 7:50: Review Oseh Shalom in large group.  Goals – intuitive and precise synchronization, tall and open vowels, magical delivery.  James.
  • 7:50 – 8:00: “Business” – rehearsal schedule, parts tracks, first services.  Discuss leadership opportunities: music committee, music librarian, focus leader, logistics maven…  James.
  • 8:00 – 8:10:  Schmooze break, if wanted.
  • 8:10 – 8:30: Taubman Hashkivenu. Goals – able to sing through it & keep it together.  James.
  • 8:30 – 8:45: Work on Richards R’tzei through the first page of harmony.  James.
  • 8:45 – 8:55: Review selected Shabbat liturgy.  Shalom Rav (Klepper) (#58), Mi Shebeirach (Friedman), Ein Keiloheinu (140).  Goal – strengthen our signing to better enhance the Jewish experience for the congregation.  James.
  • 8:55 – 9:00: Oseh Shalom in a circle.  Closing prayer.  James.

We’ll have our regular dose of positive, prepared, participatory fun.  We’ll  remember our commitment to respect each other’s volunteer time by starting and ending on time.  If you get a chance, sing in the car, or in the shower, or wherever you like.  Loosen up those chords!

Shalom!
James

Agenda for Sunday June 12, noon – 2pm

Choir,

We had a lovely first rehearsal last Sunday!  Thanks to those who were able to make it.  We missed all of you who weren’t, and look forward to seeing you soon.

The next rehearsal is scheduled for this coming Sunday, June 12, from noon to 2pm in the sanctuary.  Expect a lot more fun, learning, schmoozing and “enhanced Jewish experience”!

During our “business” segment, we discussed moving the rehearsal time.  It has become clear to me that

  1. Sunday afternoons are not a great time.  Really breaks up the day.  Even the people who showed up weren’t crazy about the time.
  2. No matter what we choose, we’re going to leave someone out.  Since every one of us is important, we’re going to leave someone important out.  Sad, but true.

So, we’ll discuss it one more time this Sunday, but I find it very likely that we’ll change the standing rehearsal time to Wednesday evenings.  Probably later this month… Stay tuned…

Here’s the agenda for Sunday June 12:

  • 11:50 – Noon:  Gather & schmooze
  • Noon – 12:10:  Focusing exercise Hinei Ma Tov.  James.
  • 12:10 – 12:35:  Vocal warmup & brief group voice lesson.  James.
  • 12:35 – 1:00: Review Oseh Shalom in large group.  James.
  • 1:00 – 1:05: “Business” – rehearsal schedule, parts tracks, first services.  James.
  • 1:05 – 1:10:  Schmooze break
  • 1:10 – 1:30: Learn four parts to Taubman Hashkivenu in large group at least to measure 24.  James.
  • 1:30 – 1:50: Work on Richards R’tzei (4 parts).  James.
  • 1:40 – 1:50: Review Haleluyah briefly.  James.
  • 1:50 – 2:00: Closing song.  James.

One of our core rehearsal principles is “Planned”.  (The three are Positive, Planned and Participatory.)  We can practice respecting each others time by starting right at noon.  Let’s plan to schmooze before and after (and at the built-in schmooze break), but start & end on time.

I’ll do my best to get more learning tracks posted in the coming days.

Shalom!
James

 

 

Agenda for June 5

Choir,

So excited about our first rehearsal!  Again, the logistics are Sunday June 5, noon to 2pm.  Here’s the plan…

  • 11:50 – Noon:  Gather & schmooze
  • Noon – 12:10:  Focusing exercise Hinei Ma Tov.  James.
  • 12:10 – 12:35:  Vocal warmup & brief group voice lesson.  James.
  • 12:35 – 1:00: Learn Oseh Shalom in large group.  James.
  • 1:00 – 1:05: “Business” – rehearsal schedule, parts tracks, first services.  James.
  • 1:05 – 1:10:  Schmooze break
  • 1:10 – 1:30: Learn four parts to Taubman Hashkivenu in large group at least to measure 24.  James.
  • 1:30 – 1:50: Learn first two pages of Or/Oshrat Haleluya in large group.  James.
  • 1:50 – 2:00: Closing song.  James.

Also, check out the new Learning Tracks section.  If these work well for people, I’ll do more of them.

Possible next new pieces:

  • Mi Sheberach, Debbie Friedman, 4 parts
  • R’tzei, Stephen Richards, 4 parts
  • Avinu Malkeinu
  • All the torah processional music
  • More Friday Night Live music

Shalom!

James

 

First rehearsal June 5th

Choir,

So excited about our first rehearsal!  Now, I know that a number of us won’t be able to make it (conflict with Sisterhood Annual Luncheon).  No worries!  This is a volunteer choir, so we’ll all miss a rehearsal from time to time.  Just pick up with the next rehearsal.

All the rehearsals are intended to be enjoyable, spiritual, musical, educational, community Jewish experiences.  There won’t be anything especially special in the first rehearsal that won’t be repeated.

To those who have repertoire ideas:

1) Would you like to start up our “Music Committee”?  The Music Committee would guide the selection and provision of all our music.  The guiding principle would be selecting music that beautifies the service for the congregation.  Either the committee or I will work with Rabbi and Cantor to make sure anything we pick is in alignment with the grand scheme of things.

2) Post your ideas to our new “music ideas” page.  Just copy & paste YouTube links, and give the music committee something to think about!!  This will help us collect ideas all in one place, and for posterity.  (Also might become a great resource for great Jewish music, eh?)

In the next week or so, I’ll post an agenda for our first rehearsal.  But generally, I’m thinking the overall flow of each rehearsal will be:

  • Gather & schmooze
  • Focusing exercise (niggun, silence, chanting…) led by a different choir member each week
  • Vocal warmup & brief group voice lesson
  • Work on polishing old pieces and learning new ones
  • “Business”: any performances, announcements, etc.
  • More work on choir pieces & strengthening our ability to support the congregation on standard liturgical pieces
  • Closing song

Can’t wait!  Until then, Shalom, y’all!

— James

 

Summer rehearsal schedule

Choir,

The results are in – thanks to all who voted!  When the time came to decide on a schedule for the summer, it was a tie between Sunday noon – 2 and Wednesday 7-9.  I’ve never done a “daytime choir” before, but let’s try it out.  Sundays noon – 2 pm it is!

I’m open to changing in the fall if we find that’s better for everyone, or if the kids choir starts up again at the same time.

So, the schedule will be, all from noon to 2pm:

June 5, June 12, June 26
July 10, July 17, July 24, July 31

It’s every Sunday, except for Father’s Day (June 17) and the day before July 4th (July 3rd).

Let’s see how this goes, then schedule August and beyond.

I’ve been working on selecting music for us to start out with, and it’s very exciting!  I’ve got an amazing beautiful yet simple 4-part Oseh Shalom.  Maybe the Taubman Haskivenu and/or Rom’mu.  We may want to start on Avinu Malkenu.  There’s a rocking Halleluyah based on an Israeli folk tune, but that may be for the fall.  I’ll make sure to sync up with Cantor when she returns to make sure we fit into her plans.

As I alluded to in the invitation, and in the vision, there are abundant opportunities for leadership.  Over the course of the next few months, we will find that we will need many leaders to help us be successful.  Here are some of the roles I’m thinking of – see if any spark something for you:

  • Assistant directors
  • Soloists/duets/trios…
  • Section Leaders
  • Rehearsal Hosts (help keep us on task, on time, on mission – like a master of ceremonies)
  • Logistics Mavens (help keep us organized: coordinate times, dates, outfits, transportation, microphones and sound system availability, any setup needed, etc.)
  • Coaches: rhythm, artistry, presentation (for one song or rehearsal segment, sit in the congregation and give us feedback and coaching)
  • Congregational Advocates (for one song or rehearsal segment, listen and watch what we’re doing from the congregation’s point of view – coach us on what the congregation would want us to improve next)
  • Communications and Outreach: write and coordinate communications for The Menorah, for Temple announcements, JCC, wider community
  • [New role 5/24/11] Music committee chair/members.

Thoughts on the roles?  Suggestions for pieces you’d like to sing?  Add a comment below!!

 

 

Welcome! Please sign up and vote!

Choir,

I’m so excited to start singing with you!  But before we start harmonizing, two points of business:

1) Please make sure you’ve signed up for the email list to the right –>

2) Please vote for a rehearsal time.  Vote for any times that would usually work for you. We are a volunteer choir, so will all miss sometimes.  🙂

[polldaddy poll=5021658]

Our first rehearsal will be the first week of June.  I’ll post details here and send out email notifications to let people know for sure when & where!

Shalom!

— James