Monday, December 06, 2004

A Glorious Gloria and A Couple of Bad Starts

It was a great concert.

Even though we didn't sing to our potential with our three solo works. My quick review:

Sing We Now: Rehearsed the least, came off the best.
Ave Maria: Bad start, but the work never really came together in rehearsal either. It had moments of beauty at times but I don't think we arrived at the place we needed to be with it.
Have Yourself: Another bad start--similar thoughts about not finding the piece in rehearsal before performing it.

Lessons from the concert:
1. Passing the Pitch is a crucial part of our preparation. We will take more time from this point forward.
2. The work we put into the Gloria paid off in huge dividends. There were outstanding moments and the REX was magical and fulfilling.
3. I wasn't too surprised at our performance--the time we put into the Gloria and when we rehearsed it each day ate into our energy and normal preparation. We've had an extremely active semester that has included more singing than I've done since arriving at UAB. Overall the semester has been a huge success.

We will recover from a not-our-best performance on Saturday.
  • We will remember that we must prepare for every success and experience it first in the rehearsal before we can expect it in performance.
  • We will remember that the things that prohibited us from arriving at 1:00 ready to sing also contributed to our effort during the concert.
  • We will remember that great performances aren't a given, even from talented and hard-working students.
A few other thoughts:

1. Mortimer Jordan was simply outstanding, especially on the Whitacre. They proved that execution and confidence and risk and talent can result in something quite remarkable. The students from there were just incredible . . . but remember, the credit goes to their teacher for the superb preparation. And not just for that performance, but for the last six years. All of the UAB students that are MJ graduates are rightly proud of their school.

2. All of the high schools did an incredible job. Amanda Klimko's Hewitt-Trussville choir and Ken Berg's JCCHS Honors Chorus along with the previously mentioned MJ gave us an extremely strong showing for UAB's Christmas at the Alys. I was proud of every choir's contribution and glad that I had invited these groups.

I'm sure I'll blog more later . . . but that is the quick review. Any comments from others?


Chris R. said...

I think the problem with passing the pitch is this: the girls aren't loud enough when passing it. This is nothing against Erin, she's doing what she's supposed to. But I do know that last year, when Nick played the pitch, it was passed among the guys first, who tend to be louder. In response, we usually started on the right pitch. Maybe instead of giving the pitch to the girls around her, she should give the pitch to the tenors behind her. Just a thought.

Oh, and MJHS rocks!

Nick said...

Hey...I have heard from people that there was a feeling of disappointment from the choir about Sunday...honestly I wish I was there because I am sure it was still a wonderful concert, but anyhow...I tend to agree with Chris...perhaps giving Charles or some other bass the pitch pipe would help because the pitch is passed down the choir and everyone can hear better...having someone in the second row as opposed to the fourth could have been on factor...I just hope you all realize that every great choir has an off day and it sounds like the GLORIA was amazing so just learn from the mistakes and youll get better because of this...I remember once getting a pitch that was a third lower than normal and the choir had to start over things got so lie...ironically the next concert was one of the best that year...anyhow I am still proud of the work you guys do...and you are shooting for perfection so you guys rock and I look forward to hearing you sometime in the spring...peace

Josh N said...

I think our bad starts had something to do with the fact that the pitch wasn't passed. I know it never made it to the basses because we could barely hear it in the tenor section. I also think the distance between us and Dr. Copeland was a problem b/c some of us were shaking our heads "no" that we didn't have the pitch and he couldn't see us. On the bright side, I think the fact that we recovered and didn't freak out shows what kind of group we have. A lot of choirs would have never recovered from a start like that. Anyway, just thought I'd throw my two cents in. I love singing with you guys and consider my self blessed to be a part of the group.

Oh, MJHS was awesome!!

Katie Mo said...

Hello everyone!

compared to my day today, our concert was fantastic. with that said, i would like you all to know that i feel like hammered sh!t.

i offered the people that came to hear me sing a refund. i was ashamed of us, blah blah. I had a lot of trouble finding my pitch, not only because, well, i couldn't find it in rehearsal, but I always heard several pitches being hummed! I don't know if we emphasized enough that you pass the pitch you hear and DO NOT CHANGE IT.
i was very disappointed with us, and I disagree, Dr Copeland, that Sing We Now was our best work. but that might just be because i couldn't remember any of the words once we started.
Another thing about our concert was that i HATED being so far away from you. I know it wasn't changeable but it's really hard to feel the same when you're the size of a chihuahua from where we are standing.
and that's enough from me.

Clayton said...

Did anyone sense any anger from the above comment? It will all be ok! We are a phenominal choir. We were just out of our usual element. I think the more we sing in different formations, the more prepared we will be for situations like Sunday night. Lets live, learn and move on!

As for MJHS... Thats my choir. 'nough said.
P.S. 1/4 of UAB chamber choir members were a part of the MJ chamber choir. I think that MJ alumni should be proud. I will list us all: Lauren Stephens, Waylon Hinkle, Andrew Granlund, Meghan Granlund,and Clayton Rector. Chris Reid is also an MJ Alumni but he was a band nerd, not a choir geek.

God Bless our choir!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey this is Keith posting. Just wanted to say how sorry I am about the choking spell I had in the middle of the UAB Women’s Choir performance. I don’t know what happened and I feel really bad about it. I just stopped breathing and couldn’t get it back. I hope I didn’t ruin the DVD that was being made or make us look bad. Again, I am very sorry.

Katie Mo said...

Dr Copeland! the strangest thing just happened! i was listening to water night because it makes me feel calm and you know the part where we sing "forward... forward..." well a train passed by and blew its whistle in tune with our chord and for the exact length that we held it. it was kinda creepy!

also, Clay, I didn't mean to sound angry. it's mostly anger at myself. sorry.

Francesca said...

Hello. I, too, was pretty disappointed in our performance but i talked to multiple people (one of whom is hyper-critical) and none of them seemed aware of our missteps. So i guess it just proves what i always try to convince myself before i have to sing publicly: the audience is just impressed that we're standing there singing. most of them are not super-educated, musically speaking, and are more than likely not familiar with the songs, so it's cool. There's this statistic that more people are afraid of public speaking than death. that probably holds true with public singing too. with regards to that, jerry seinfeld has a little bit about how that means that at a funeral people would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy. think about that.

JessieSue said...

Not only did I not like the fact that Dr. Copeland was in the dark very far away from us, but also because we were looking down at him. I felt like everyone in the audience was looking at my eyelids. It wasn't cool.

As far as passing the pitch, on the last piece I got one pitch when everyone was clapping, then when Dr. Copeland made Erin blow it again I got a totally different pitch from the first one. I don't know what happened, but I was really scared! I'm just happy that we all ended up together and didn't lose it. I am very thankful that I am a part of this choir. I'm looking forward to next semester. I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!