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Re: [KWChoir] Pennsic 41 :-)

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  • Elizabeth Dowling
    Whatever happens, I really really hope that next year will be better for my family than the last two, and that I will actually be able to attend rehearsals and
    Message 1 of 18 , Aug 22, 2011
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      Whatever happens, I really really hope that next year will be better for
      my family than the last two, and that I will actually be able to attend
      rehearsals and perform. I've missed everybody.

      Asking questions is a great idea: polling past members might help to
      find out how many are also fighters, etc., and when the best time to
      schedule rehearsals is.

      Heat is a factor, but so is waking up, etc. A&S used to be close to most
      camps; now that former parking areas have become camping areas and
      Pennsic is very spread out, A&S is not always close, which not only
      affects early rehearsals, but also late in the afternoon as returning to
      camp to make dinner. I know that I "hang out" in the A&S area, but I
      have trouble getting a bus "home." But the problem can be as bad in the
      morning. (Again, my family needs to ride; this wouldn't affect those who
      don't mind long walks morning or night.)

      People usually know whether or not they know material; extra rehearsals
      are always helpful for those who are lost or don't read music, but
      rehearsals also help people listen and blend, add ornaments, sing in
      tune. If a part is lost, then sectionals do help. If people have other
      places they need to be, then I guess they could skip a rehearsal or so,
      but if there are only 3 rehearsals it might be difficult to do. Some
      people can't sing for hours on end, and you want to exercise amateur
      voices gently, especially in the heat.

      I wouldn't lower the bar (although if a piece is nice, it doesn't matter
      if it is simple). It's nice to have some challenges. People come from
      all over the Known World; it is nice to look forward to a challenge at
      Pennsic, although I haven't had much luck with recruiting people in the
      past because some are more afraid of pieces that are difficult to sing
      than being hit hard with rattan sticks. Speaking of which, how about
      some Antiphonal pieces? The group is large enough. If too many high
      parts, then pick music that goes with that.

      This is just my own take... and take it with a grain of salt, because,
      it depends of my family's health if I can attend Pennsic at all. I was
      very grateful for the other music courses such as conducting (because it
      gave me an opportunity to see a few people).
      Love to everybody,
      Elizabeth of Gwyntarian

      Dave wrote:
      >
      > Great! This was a fun year, thanks LADY Erlandr!
      >
      > So, with a bit more headstart than 2 years ago, I want to open a
      > handful of discussions about Pennsic 41 and some of the concerns and
      > suggestions I've heard recently. Bear in mind these are just
      > discussions for now, but please feel free to chime in.
      >
      > 1st topic - rehearsal schedule. Some ideas that have been floated:
      >
      > - do a festival-like schedule where we condense all of the prep into 2
      > or 3 intense prep days
      >
      > - move rehearsals to the morning to escape the heat and a few
      > conflicts - Bardic Collegium for one (but maybe conflict more with
      > battles and deal with less-warmed up voices)
      >
      > - Should the rehearsal commitment be more or less? (i.e. better
      > prepared? Or lower the bar both in amount of pieces learned and how
      > well learned?)
      >
      > Ok - that should open a few cans of worms :-) Ready? discuss!
      >
      > Robyn
      >
      > --- In KWChoir@yahoogroups.com <mailto:KWChoir%40yahoogroups.com>,
      > Maria Eskinazi <daggett42@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > Please keep discussion going. We read it and we honestly do talk
      > about rehearsal schedules and the possibilities of doing something
      > different.
      > > SO, now that we are HOME from war and getting life back in order...
      > I should make a few announcements...
      > > First - THANK YOU to each and every one of you who participated in
      > the choir this year. Even if you came to sing but couldn't keep it
      > going for this year - THANK YOU.
      > > This year really made me feel wonderful about music again and I
      > thank you for it.
      > > So I would like to announce that next year's choir will be
      > directed by Master Robyn Solarus once again and we are HAPPY to have
      > him back in the director's chair. As a treat, he will have a guest
      > director for one piece, the lovely Soprano Section leader Eliane from
      > Northshield.
      > > It is the Choir's hopes and dreams to be able to host more
      > workshops and musical classes next year at war and if you're
      > interested in something - LET US KNOW.. and we will make every attempt
      > at putting it together.
      > > So, now it's all left to organize for next year.
      > > Thank you Robyn for volunteering!
      > >
      > > In service
      > > LADY Erlandr Nordenskald
      > > :)
      > >
      > > Love is enternal
      > > G. Scott Eskinazi 1967-2009
      > >
      > >
      >
      >
    • Steven Mansfield
      I would much prefer the 2-hours a day as we ve been doing. Too much longer in a session and my voice would probably start to give out. I wouldn t cry
      Message 2 of 18 , Aug 22, 2011
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        I would much prefer the 2-hours a day as we've been doing.  Too much longer in a session and my voice would probably start to give out.  I wouldn't cry particularly much were we to move to morning.  Not *too* early, but before it gets sinfully hot.  Too cool would be bad on people's voices, too hot and, well, we're all so low energy it can be hard to focus.  As for "warmed up voices", I think a better focus on warmups at the start of rehearsal would be beneficial.  To compare the last two years, I felt my voice was more ready to rehearse with your warmups two years ago than this year.

        I personally like the "aggressive" song list.  The challenge is in and of itself rewarding.  So long as we've seen the past two years that we limit the really challenging stuff to one or two pieces, then the song list size may be tricky, but we've shown the past two years it's doable.  I'd say the only hiccup that way this year was the songs which weren't available in advance at all (the madrigal and Bird).  I kind of wish we'd just decreed from the outset that Ave Verum Corpus had just been stated from the outset as "in."  A good chunk of the choir didn't rehearse it until it had already been worked on for 2 or 3 days by the rest of us.

        On Mon, Aug 22, 2011 at 11:49 AM, Dave <dsrubin2004@...> wrote:
         

        Great! This was a fun year, thanks LADY Erlandr!

        So, with a bit more headstart than 2 years ago, I want to open a handful of discussions about Pennsic 41 and some of the concerns and suggestions I've heard recently. Bear in mind these are just discussions for now, but please feel free to chime in. 

        1st topic - rehearsal schedule. Some ideas that have been floated:

        - do a festival-like schedule where we condense all of the prep into 2 or 3 intense prep days

        - move rehearsals to the morning to escape the heat and a few conflicts - Bardic Collegium for one (but maybe conflict more with battles and deal with less-warmed up voices)

        - Should the rehearsal commitment be more or less? (i.e. better prepared? Or lower the bar both in amount of pieces learned and how well learned?)

        Ok - that should open a few cans of worms :-) Ready? discuss!

        Robyn

        --- In KWChoir@yahoogroups.com, Maria Eskinazi <daggett42@...> wrote:
        >
        > Please keep discussion going. We read it and we honestly do talk about rehearsal schedules and the possibilities of doing something different.  
        >    SO, now that we are HOME from war and getting life back in order... I should make a few announcements...
        > First - THANK YOU to each and every one of you who participated in the choir this year.  Even if you came to sing but couldn&#39;t keep it going for this year - THANK YOU.
        >    This year really made me feel wonderful about music again and I thank you for it.
        >   So I would like to announce that next year&#39;s choir will be directed by Master Robyn Solarus once again and we are HAPPY to have him back in the director&#39;s chair.  As a treat, he will have a guest director for one piece, the lovely Soprano Section leader Eliane from Northshield.  
        >       It is the Choir&#39;s hopes and dreams to be able to host more workshops and musical classes next year at war and if you&#39;re interested in something - LET US KNOW.. and we will make every attempt at putting it together.
        >    So, now it&#39;s all left to organize for next year.  
        > Thank you Robyn for volunteering!
        >
        > In service
        > LADY Erlandr Nordenskald
        > :)
        >
        > Love is enternal
        > G. Scott Eskinazi 1967-2009
        >
        >




        --
        Steve Mansfield
        425-829-8729 (Cell)
        425-298-7614 (Google Voice)

      • Olivia
        I had forgotten how great it is to sing with a group. Thank you to everyone reminding me how much enjoyment comes from a great group of singers! To the topic
        Message 3 of 18 , Aug 25, 2011
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          I had forgotten how great it is to sing with a group. Thank you to everyone reminding me how much enjoyment comes from a great group of singers!

          To the topic of rehearsals, I agree with what previous posts have said that condensing rehearsals could be very taxing on a voice that is not trained for that kind of use. With schedule, I personally am very flexible. My only concern with early rehearsals is that an untrained voice that is not warm could be seriously damaged.

          On another note, I think if it's possible to have the mp3's with the words *and* music, it would also make rehearsals run more smoothly as there would be no question of what words go where.

          -Olivia


          --- In KWChoir@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" <dsrubin2004@...> wrote:
          >
          > Great! This was a fun year, thanks LADY Erlandr!
          >
          > So, with a bit more headstart than 2 years ago, I want to open a handful of discussions about Pennsic 41 and some of the concerns and suggestions I've heard recently. Bear in mind these are just discussions for now, but please feel free to chime in.
          >
          > 1st topic - rehearsal schedule. Some ideas that have been floated:
          >
          > - do a festival-like schedule where we condense all of the prep into 2 or 3 intense prep days
          >
          > - move rehearsals to the morning to escape the heat and a few conflicts - Bardic Collegium for one (but maybe conflict more with battles and deal with less-warmed up voices)
          >
          > - Should the rehearsal commitment be more or less? (i.e. better prepared? Or lower the bar both in amount of pieces learned and how well learned?)
          >
          > Ok - that should open a few cans of worms :-) Ready? discuss!
          >
          > Robyn
        • Susan Stoltze
          I agree with Olivia.  I actually found this year s schedule to work best for me - late enough to begin cooling down, ending early enough to hie myself and
          Message 4 of 18 , Aug 25, 2011
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            I agree with Olivia.  I actually found this year's schedule to work best for me - late enough to begin cooling down, ending early enough to hie myself and Seathan back to camp for supper.  I also agree that practicing more than 2 hours will strain voices - professionally trained or not.  The music and words on an mp3 would be invaluable.
             
            Dumb question - has there ever been rehearsals scheduled for early evening?
             
            - Susanna Merrybegot
             

            --- On Thu, 8/25/11, Olivia <olivia.deborough@...> wrote:

            From: Olivia <olivia.deborough@...>
            Subject: [KWChoir] Re: Pennsic 41 :-)
            To: KWChoir@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Thursday, August 25, 2011, 8:26 PM

             
            I had forgotten how great it is to sing with a group. Thank you to everyone reminding me how much enjoyment comes from a great group of singers!

            To the topic of rehearsals, I agree with what previous posts have said that condensing rehearsals could be very taxing on a voice that is not trained for that kind of use. With schedule, I personally am very flexible. My only concern with early rehearsals is that an untrained voice that is not warm could be seriously damaged.

            On another note, I think if it's possible to have the mp3's with the words *and* music, it would also make rehearsals run more smoothly as there would be no question of what words go where.

            -Olivia

            --- In KWChoir@yahoogroups.com, "Dave" <dsrubin2004@...> wrote:
            >
            > Great! This was a fun year, thanks LADY Erlandr!
            >
            > So, with a bit more headstart than 2 years ago, I want to open a handful of discussions about Pennsic 41 and some of the concerns and suggestions I've heard recently. Bear in mind these are just discussions for now, but please feel free to chime in.
            >
            > 1st topic - rehearsal schedule. Some ideas that have been floated:
            >
            > - do a festival-like schedule where we condense all of the prep into 2 or 3 intense prep days
            >
            > - move rehearsals to the morning to escape the heat and a few conflicts - Bardic Collegium for one (but maybe conflict more with battles and deal with less-warmed up voices)
            >
            > - Should the rehearsal commitment be more or less? (i.e. better prepared? Or lower the bar both in amount of pieces learned and how well learned?)
            >
            > Ok - that should open a few cans of worms :-) Ready? discuss!
            >
            > Robyn

          • Margrett Norwoode
            I agree that having the words on the music files makes things much easier for me. The files that Master Robyn did last year helped me do more prePennsic prep.
            Message 5 of 18 , Aug 25, 2011
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              I agree that having the words on the music files makes things much easier for me. The files that Master Robyn did last year helped me do more prePennsic prep. I don't do as well with just midis, and do even worse when the midis are computer tones as opposed to piano tones. Without words, it is very hard for me to burn new songs to my brain's hard drive.

              Margrett



              From: Olivia <olivia.deborough@...>
              To: KWChoir@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Thu, August 25, 2011 8:26:34 PM
              Subject: [KWChoir] Re: Pennsic 41 :-)

               

              I had forgotten how great it is to sing with a group. Thank you to everyone reminding me how much enjoyment comes from a great group of singers!

              To the topic of rehearsals, I agree with what previous posts have said that condensing rehearsals could be very taxing on a voice that is not trained for that kind of use. With schedule, I personally am very flexible. My only concern with early rehearsals is that an untrained voice that is not warm could be seriously damaged.

              On another note, I think if it's possible to have the mp3's with the words *and* music, it would also make rehearsals run more smoothly as there would be no question of what words go where.

              -Olivia


            • annoney@aol.com
              Using NoteWothy, I can insert lyrics so you can see when to sing what words as the music plays. Some people learn to read music watching the note change
              Message 6 of 18 , Aug 26, 2011
              Using NoteWothy, I can insert lyrics so you can see when to sing what words as the music plays.  Some people learn to read music watching the note change color as it plays.  Did I mention that there is a free player you can download?  http://www.noteworthysoftware.com/composer/download.htm
               
              I am enclosing 2 files, one is all parts same volume and the other has the alto louder than the others.  Try it out. I have instructions on how to download the viewer written for non-computer users.
               
              Theresa
            • Jo-Ann
              My iPad won t let me download the file, but I bet my computer will. Ultimately the director has the final word and is gracious enough to ask for input from the
              Message 7 of 18 , Aug 26, 2011
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                My iPad won't let me download the file, but I bet my computer will.

                Ultimately the director has the final word and is gracious enough to
                ask for input from the membership, so thank you very much. Please do
                not worry about taxing voices with long or early rehearsals as proper
                warmups prevent wear. I'm sure the director will guide us on vocal
                management.

                My suggestions is holding fewer rehearsals, varying the time of day
                rehearsals are offered, and if the director or someone else is willing
                to take upon themselves the enormous task of providing the choir with
                mp3s with notes, words and a pronunciation guide in advance, that will
                solve a myriad of problems.

                I was unable to participate in the choir this year due to my son's
                fight schedule. Hopefully a different schedule will ensure my ability
                to join you fine folks in future Pennsic KWC's.

                One more suggestion, which I hope isn't offensive to some, is that an
                electronic keyboard be used in the early rehearsals for efficient note
                learning. It provides the support and allows multiple parts to be
                played at the same time. If vendors can use their phones to call in
                our charges, certainly we can bend the rule in honor of comfort for our
                singers who don't have the ability to read music well at sight.

                Humbly submitted,
                Siiri Toivosdottir
                Jo-Ann Sheffer
                Director of Music
                Detroit Country Day Junior School
                -----Original Message-----
                From: annoney <annoney@...>
                To: KWChoir <KWChoir@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Fri, Aug 26, 2011 8:47 am
                Subject: [KWChoir] Re: Pennsic 41 :-) [2 Attachments]

                  [Attachment(s) from annoney@...
                included below]
                Using NoteWothy, I can insert lyrics so you can see when to sing what
                words as the music plays.  Some people learn to read music watching the
                note change color as it plays.  Did I mention that there is a free
                player you can download? 
                http://www.noteworthysoftware.com/composer/download.htm
                 
                I am enclosing 2 files, one is all parts same volume and the other has
                the alto louder than the others.  Try it out. I have instructions on
                how to download the viewer written for non-computer users.
                 
                Theresa
              • Susan Kell
                Not so dumb to me! I suspect the performance pavillion would not be available in early evening, due to preparations for later performances, but perhaps there
                Message 8 of 18 , Aug 26, 2011
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                  Not so dumb to me! I suspect the performance pavillion would not be available in early evening, due to preparations for later performances, but perhaps there is another location that could be used? If enough schedules permit, early evenings could be considered.
                  -- Ygraine, who would *love* to sing with the choir, but has waaaay too many hats already!
                   
                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: KWChoir@yahoogroups.com [mailto:KWChoir@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Susan Stoltze
                  Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2011 11:28 PM
                  To: KWChoir@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [KWChoir] Re: Pennsic 41 :-)


                   (snip) 
                  Dumb question - has there ever been rehearsals scheduled for early evening?
                   
                  - Susanna Merrybegot
                   
                   

                • Karen Kasper
                  Ygraine has pinpointed the issue with having rehearsals in the evening for such a large group - pretty much every other large venue (the amphitheatre and the
                  Message 9 of 18 , Aug 26, 2011
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                    Ygraine has pinpointed the issue with having rehearsals in the evening for such a large group - pretty much every other large venue (the amphitheatre and the barn come to mind) is already booked for other things, like performances, courts, or dancing, every evening from the middle Saturday onward.  I doubt if even the bigger royal camps have enough sheltered space (including seating) for the full choir, which ranges in size from 40-70 people. 

                    Years ago we had rehearsals in a largish Grim's tent on the battlefield, but it was not an experience I'd care to repeat. There was a lot of dust, noise and distractions, not to mention they only gave us haybales for "chairs!"

                    Keep the suggestions coming, though, folks!

                    Arianna of Wynthrope
                     


                    From: Susan Kell <susan@...>
                    To: KWChoir@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Friday, August 26, 2011 11:36 AM
                    Subject: RE: [KWChoir] Re: Pennsic 41 :-)

                     
                    
                    Not so dumb to me! I suspect the performance pavillion would not be available in early evening, due to preparations for later performances, but perhaps there is another location that could be used? If enough schedules permit, early evenings could be considered.
                    -- Ygraine, who would *love* to sing with the choir, but has waaaay too many hats already!
                     
                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: KWChoir@yahoogroups.com [mailto:KWChoir@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Susan Stoltze
                    Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2011 11:28 PM
                    To: KWChoir@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [KWChoir] Re: Pennsic 41 :-)

                     (snip) 
                    Dumb question - has there ever been rehearsals scheduled for early evening?
                     
                    - Susanna Merrybegot
                     
                     


                  • Michelle Faid
                    Actually, in my experience, the absolutely rigid times are necessary. The *two *of nine times that we changed time for the recording and the evening sing at
                    Message 10 of 18 , Aug 26, 2011
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                      Actually, in my experience, the absolutely rigid times are necessary. The two of nine times that we changed time for the recording and the evening sing at the food court were both disastrous; no one had an internal clock for it, people mislaid the information of when it was, stragglers came in for an entire hour to the recording, thinking it was X time instead of Y. Maybe it would be very different if all the rehearsals were at staggered times, but in my experience, the only hope we had of a mostly full rehearsal was the same time every day.

                      A keyboard for some note learning is not a bad idea, but I would use it as it has been used, judiciously. The bulk of note learning is right there to be had in the learning tracks, which are so very helpful. Ideally, in my hope and wish, we'd all utilize the teaching tool right there.

                      There are some who believe rehearsals are the time to learn the material from scratch, and some who believe that they're the time to have it in mind to practice with a group. I'm very much in the latter camp. The more scratch learning we have to do on the spot, the less time we have to clean it up and really work on dynamics and blending.


                      "We create gravity to give weight to things
                      Then things fall and things break
                      And gravity sings."



                      On Fri, Aug 26, 2011 at 12:09 PM, Karen Kasper <arianna_wyn@...> wrote:
                       

                      Ygraine has pinpointed the issue with having rehearsals in the evening for such a large group - pretty much every other large venue (the amphitheatre and the barn come to mind) is already booked for other things, like performances, courts, or dancing, every evening from the middle Saturday onward.  I doubt if even the bigger royal camps have enough sheltered space (including seating) for the full choir, which ranges in size from 40-70 people. 

                      Years ago we had rehearsals in a largish Grim's tent on the battlefield, but it was not an experience I'd care to repeat. There was a lot of dust, noise and distractions, not to mention they only gave us haybales for "chairs!"

                      Keep the suggestions coming, though, folks!

                      Arianna of Wynthrope
                       


                      From: Susan Kell <susan@...>
                      To: KWChoir@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Friday, August 26, 2011 11:36 AM
                      Subject: RE: [KWChoir] Re: Pennsic 41 :-)

                       
                      
                      Not so dumb to me! I suspect the performance pavillion would not be available in early evening, due to preparations for later performances, but perhaps there is another location that could be used? If enough schedules permit, early evenings could be considered.
                      -- Ygraine, who would *love* to sing with the choir, but has waaaay too many hats already!
                       
                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: KWChoir@yahoogroups.com [mailto:KWChoir@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Susan Stoltze
                      Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2011 11:28 PM
                      To: KWChoir@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [KWChoir] Re: Pennsic 41 :-)

                       (snip) 
                      Dumb question - has there ever been rehearsals scheduled for early evening?
                       
                      - Susanna Merrybegot
                       
                       



                    • Rose
                      Greetings! I was hoping to particpate this year, but was unable to commit to all the scheduled rehersals. There s also no affordable internet where I live.
                      Message 11 of 18 , Aug 30, 2011
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                        Greetings!

                        I was hoping to particpate this year, but was unable to commit to all the scheduled rehersals. There's also no affordable internet where I live. It is either dail-up or satelite. I digress.

                        It would be great if the music were up very early in the year. Folks like me would have more time to find a family member willing to let us take over their computers that way.

                        Having the music earlier would also mean that local chorals would be able to have bi-weekly or monthly practices before hand to be familiar with the music.

                        Just my two cents...and really hoping to get to participate for Pennsic 42.

                        Elizabeth Thorne (Rose)
                      • Jo-Ann
                        Agreed. If it is possible to post music resources earlier, then music learning would be accomplished in fewer rehearsals. Those who were unable to prepare or
                        Message 12 of 18 , Aug 30, 2011
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                          Agreed.  If it is possible to post music resources earlier, then music learning would be accomplished in fewer rehearsals.  Those who were unable to prepare or joined late in the game would benefit from the preparedness of others, and the focus would be more on blending.  Fewer folks dropping out, larger choir, bonus.

                          That makes 4 cents for me....

                          Siiri




                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: Rose <thorneskeep1@...>
                          To: KWChoir <KWChoir@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Tue, Aug 30, 2011 8:18 pm
                          Subject: [KWChoir] Re: Pennsic 41 :-)

                           
                          Greetings!

                          I was hoping to particpate this year, but was unable to commit to all the scheduled rehersals. There's also no affordable internet where I live. It is either dail-up or satelite. I digress.

                          It would be great if the music were up very early in the year. Folks like me would have more time to find a family member willing to let us take over their computers that way.

                          Having the music earlier would also mean that local chorals would be able to have bi-weekly or monthly practices before hand to be familiar with the music.

                          Just my two cents...and really hoping to get to participate for Pennsic 42.

                          Elizabeth Thorne (Rose)

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