Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Our Men Were Beautiful

The men began our great rehearsal today with incredibly beautiful sounds. Many thanks to Dr. John Ray and his advice about using the "nnnn" sound as a way for the tenors to place their headvoice when singing around a D above Middle C.

The men didn't see it, but I did: the women were swooning. Or, at least, Megan G was. Actually, I swooned once or twice--it was a lovely sound. Tender, yet manly. (grin)

Now . . . if I can just find out who was singing that overtone "A".

The women--were strong. Strong when they needed to be, delicate at other times.

Our goal: get better every day. Today: success at that goal.

Finally: thanks for the warm birthday wishes. I'm not the type that enjoys that kind of attention but I do appreciate your kind words, cards, and gifts.

Until tomorrow!

On the world's stage

Photo JC
Originally uploaded by philipco.

It seems that singing on the world's stage has some unexpected benefits! I received this email a couple of days ago from French composer Jean-Christophe ROSAZ. He heard about us from the Tours festival and is interested in us singing some of his music.

I often get statement-questions like:

"I've never heard of that composer--How do you find that music?"

Well, it seems that sometimes, the music finds me. I've not played through it yet, but it looks like great stuff. Many thanks to Composer ROSAZ. His letter to me (and you):


I’m contacting you by the amiability of Le concours des choeurs de Tours (France). I’m a composer (diplômas from the CONSERVATOIRE NATIONAL SUPERIEUR DE LYON AND the ECOLE NORMALE SUPERIEURE DE MUSIQUE DE PARIS)

I’m myself a singer and very interested by the fact to work with choirs.

You will find attached my cv, a photo and a catalogue of scores (many edited in France).

I propose you many scores for choir of different formations. I could sent you by mail the first pages of some of them under word or finale. I have only 2 on cd.

I will be very happy to receive an answer from you.

Best regards

Jean-Christophe ROSAZ

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Final NY Payment

Here are the numbers. Most people owe the quad + air package price of $895. If you've paid more than 500 in, you'll owe the difference. A couple of people are making their own air arrangements. That price follows too. If you have any questions, let me know. Payment is due Monday, Feb. 6, 2006.

Quad Occupancy, Air package

Triple Occupancy, Air package

Quad Occupancy, no air

Triple occupancy, no air

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Remembering the Challenger

We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."
--Ronald Reagan

I was reminded today of the twentieth anniversary of losing the Challenger. I'm amazed that it has been that long and I'm also aware that most of my students were either not born or in diapers.

Ronald Reagan gave a beautiful tribute that evening to the crew, and quoted the first and last line of this poem:

"High Flight"

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

--John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Online Tuning Fork

Interesting concept.

Ave Maris Stella

Here is a link to the MP3.

Enjoy! Memorize!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

New Feature

I've added a new feature to the UAB Choirs Blog. I call it:

# Samantha
# John
# David
# Charles
# Erin

Yes, I know Charles posted on January 23. But his current rate of 6 per semester just won't do anymore. We've given him 6 months to lament Delia's loss, but now it's time to get busy writing!

UPATE: Charles Henry just lost a letter grade.

Don't miss it

Don't miss this Dilbert.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Competition in Tours: Before you were born

Competition in Tour
Originally uploaded by philipco.

A friend just sent me some scans of photos taken when I participated in the Ole Miss Choir. I think the year was 1989, but I'm not sure. I thought you might enjoy this shot of me (at YOUR age) and a couple of other shots on my flickr site. As far as I can tell, we sang in exactly the same place about 25 years later.
In Tour on the Square

The Power of Legacy


I got copied on a wonderful email to Dr. Jordan from Heather Batey, a former Ole Miss Concert Singer and a woman that now sings with me in my church choir. It mentions you in a very nice way, and I asked to share a portion of it with you:

You are right when you said that there will never be another experience like Concert Singers for many of us. Most of us will hold those experiences in our hearts and memories as the pinnacle of our musical achievement. But the influence and spirit of Concert Singers lives on. I saw and heard it in Philip's choir when I heard them perform at the UAB Honor Choir concert. Watching Philip conduct, I saw your legacy in his conducting style. It was strange to watch him conducting from the back, for in my mind I saw your head on his shoulders, as many of the gestures were so undeniably yours. I think that is a tribute to you as the mentor and him as your protege.

Last night I sat by one of Philip's students in Lee Scott's rehearsal and the sound coming from the soprano section was one I think you would instantly recognize. I had several nice compliments from other fine musicians in the group about how wonderful the first sopranos sounded - comments like shimmering, heavenly, and ethereal. The sound was so well suited to the subject matter and the text of the piece.

Thank you, Doc, and Mrs. J., too - for all you both have taught me not only about music, but about life. When I share with people your influence on my life, that's what I tell them. You taught me to never settle for mediocrity, and to always be the best I can be.

. . .
A quote was mentioned in a previous Lee Scott Singers rehearsal - I can't remember who said it, but it is a wonderful idea. "Unison singing expresses the soul's deep longing for harmony."

I think that Concert Singers and our other wonderful musical experiences here on earth give us a longing for the harmonies of the heavenly choir we will all someday be a part of together. Some people never know what their purpose in life is or what it is they were created for. A few of us are so lucky - we know we were put on this earth to sing - and to share that vision of heaven with those on earth.

Here was my response to Heather:

That is easily one of the nicest things anyone has said about me . . . thanks so much.

I experienced the same thing when I was in Singers . . . it changed my life in a profound way and put me on the path that I am on (and will hopefully be on for the next 30 years).

I don't doubt that my gestures were originally Doc's . . . I'm not a conscious imitator anymore but I have no doubt that comparisons are easily made! I usually tell people this: anything good that I do I got from him . . . anything not-so-good is my own inadequacy.

If there is a "spirit of Concert Singers," I would be honored if that spirit sometimes traveled with me. It was the best part of my life and remains the chief focus of my life. You are very kind to draw the comparison and I deeply appreciate it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Ave maris stella
Edvard Hagerup Grieg (1843-1907)
Choral Public Domain Library

AVE maris stella,
Dei Mater alma,
atque semper Virgo,
felix caeli porta.

Solve vincula reis,
profer lumen caecis
mala nostra pelle,
bona cuncta posce.

Vitam praesta puram,
iter para tutum:
ut videntes Iesum
semper collaetemur.

Sit laus Deo Patri,
summo Christo decus,
Spiritui Sancto,
tribus honor unus. Amen.

HAIL, O Star of the ocean,
God's own Mother blest,
ever sinless Virgin,
gate of heav'nly rest.

Break the sinners' fetters,
make our blindness day,
Chase all evils from us,
for all blessings pray.

Keep our life all spotless,
make our way secure
till we find in Jesus,
joy for evermore.

Praise to God the Father,
honor to the Son,
in the Holy Spirit,
be the glory one. Amen.

Don't miss this commercial


Don't miss this commercial. Go to the website and click "Watch Civic."

UPDATE: this site is better.

You'll love it. And, it actually has something to do with choir.

I watched part of the "how we made this commercial" part and found it very interesting.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Revised ACDA Southern Division Program, 2/23/2006

Cantate Domino
From Due motetti
Sándor Szokolay b. 1931

Kondairaren Ihauterian
Javier Busto b. 1949

Ave Maris Stella
Edward Grieg (1843-1907)

Over hill, over dale
Four Shakespeare Songs (1984)
Jaakko Mäntyjärvi b. 1963

“When I . . .”
I. When I Bring
II. When I Sing
III. When I Bring
Vytautas Miśkinis b.1954

Ever In My Life
Vytautas Miśkinis

If I Can Help Somebody
arr. Raymond Liebau b. 1937

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Choir Bonus


I don't know if you know it or not, but I "edit" the Alabama ACDA newsletter. Jessica Hall, choir director at Jeff State, wrote a beautiful and personal article for the upcoming issue that I asked to share with you. She graciously allowed me to do so:

The Choir Bonus

Over the last 18 months, my choir and I have had to deal with something I naively hoped would “never happen to us”…the sickness and death of one of our own. In October 2004, Eric, a happy-go-lucky 20-year-old tenor, was diagnosed with lymphoma, and, though he fought bravely, he died in August 2005. I remember so clearly the day he called to tell me that he was sick. His comment was that “he wouldn’t be in choir that week.” Having difficulty imagining what could possibly be more important than my rehearsal, I asked him to explain. He told me he had a tumor, it was cancer, he was in the hospital, and would I please tell the choir. BAM! Choir-life as I knew it was over.

I walked into rehearsal the next day and, rather than beginning warm-ups, I asked the choir to sit down and listen to me. I told them about Eric, specifics on his cancer, and his comments of concern and love for them. What happened next was a learning activity that could have never been planned. These 18 to 24-year old college students stopped everything in their busy lives and rallied around their friend and each other. Through tears, they came up with ways to make his hospital stays more comfortable, such as buying a mattress pad and donating their DVDs. For Eric and his family, they sent cards, wrote silly and encouraging messages, added him to every prayer chain imaginable, visited him in the hospital, and called him (from choir rehearsals!) to tell him he was missed. For each other, they told stories and made plans for “Eric Happies.” For me, they gave hugs and offered to help.

Between rounds of chemo, Eric, his head hairless and shining, made it back to a rehearsal. The choir welcomed him with open arms! He sat in his old chair, shared music with a neighbor, and sang right along with us. During one of his later trips to the hospital, the choir sent him a video message of them singing, smiling, and waving to him. When I showed it to him in the hospital, Eric, with tears running down his cheeks, commented on the “nice tone of the tenors” and how much he missed singing with them. The choir’s spring concerts were dedicated to Eric, and we all cheerfully went into the summer celebrating his marriage and hopeful for his full recovery. Eric was such an integral part of our choir, and our choir was such a part of him!

Word came just before fall classes began that he was dying. Again, the group came together to say goodbye to our friend. Though Eric died, so much of his memory still lingers in our group. We still laugh and tell stories about him. Some songs can’t be sung without mentioning him. His energy even inspired the development of a new male ensemble at our school. And those are wonderful ways for him to be with us. But that is not what impresses me most.

A choir rehearsal is a place for hard work, dedication, and focus, as well as academic and performance growth. However, unlike other academic areas, it is also a place that thrives on the social and emotional involvement of the participants. Though I sometimes get frustrated when a choir member’s inside joke finds its way into my rehearsal, I am beginning to understand the WHY of that. Yes, a choir’s goal is to learn together, work together, and make beautiful music. But a choir’s bonus is the dedication, support, laughter, and tears that come from the friendships built while making that beautiful music. My students worked hard and sang well last year…they learned to sing beautifully together. However, I think what they will remember even more about last year are the lessons of friendship, dedication, vulnerability, fear, and triumph they learned from Eric and each other.

When I came back from class today, Brittney was waiting for me in my office with a plastic bag in her hand. “Ms. Hall,” she said, “I have you a present that you are going to love! I was going through pictures the other day, I found this, and had to make a copy for you.” Before she even showed me, I knew what was in the bag. It was a framed picture of a healthy, smiling Eric. Brittney and I grinned, shared a happy memory and a hug. Then it was back to work. But that picture is sitting on my desk. Yes it is a constant reminder of Eric and the remarkable young man he was. But is also reminds me of the all-important “bonus” material we are blessed to be able to provide our students.

There is so much more than music that we can teach. Lessons we may never have planned present themselves in the classroom and rehearsal each day…lessons for our students and for us. We so carefully plan our instruction on notes, rhythm, diction, and intonation. We spend hours researching music and practicing our conducting techniques. These are essential to the overall musical success of our students! But I think it is important to remember that sometimes the unexpected lessons are the most powerful and long-lasting. And though we cannot always plan them, we should look for those learning opportunities for our students, as well.

I am thankful for Eric and the lessons of friendship, courage, and faith he taught us. I see those effects in current and former students every day. I am also thankful for Brittney for reminding me that so much more than music happens in a choir rehearsal. There is definitely a choir bonus.

Creating Music


I read this today and thought of you. Yesterday's rehearsal was splendid and motivating for this conductor. You are more than a choir, you are an instrument capable of great musicality.

This describes a bit of what I go through inside my head as I prepare to stand in front of you:
It is with himself that the artist debates as he thinks out his colors, harmonies, or characters.

What this act of meditation, which is like the labor of childbirth, strives to fix
and deliver is something which wants to be. The work which the artist bears within him is, on this plane, already a demand. But it is only a demand, one entirely inside the creator.

It is nothing he can see or imitate. In preparing himself for the execution-performance,
the artist puts himself into a state of grace, and the demand which induces it is the expression of an inner logic-the logic of a certain technical development, of a peculiarly aesthetic searching, and of a spiritual maturation.

All this comes together in
the artist, who is precisely that individual in whom it all merges. More deeply than other men, he creates himself by creating and he creates because he creates himself.

--Mikel Dufrenne, The Phenomenology of Aesthetic Experience

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Final NY payment coming soon

For the New York folks, the final payment is coming soon and it will be close to $884 based on quad occupancy of hotel room.

Don't pay yet. I'll tell you exact cost very soon.

Here was the original blog about New York.

I'm getting excited about that trip!

Taking a Triplet Picture

I thought you might be interested in why it is difficult to take a picture of 2 1/2 year old triplets:

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A few seconds later:

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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Keith writes beautiful words

I'll begin where he ended:

Discipline, professionalism, confidence and grace.
---key words that I feel describe our choir

I don't need to say much more, except this:

Go read his post before he takes it down.

Several parts moved me but I'll only include part of the post here:

What I noticed the most in our last performance was how gracious each member of the choir is. People don't often know it, but I watch them as a Behaviorist (again, term used loosely) and notice some of the small things. They always arrive on stage with poise and confidence. They sing with discipline and focus and, the best part, when the audience applauds, they lightly nod their heads and smile. The only way I can describe their manner of performing is that they are gracious and that attitude compliments the music. They allow all of the focus to be on the music and not themselves. I think that is what people pick up on. It may not be that we will go sharp or flat but that we behave in a disciplined and professional manner in balance with confidence and grace. This is what I see.

Thanks for your wonderful words, Keith. The entire post is just incredible and I'm so glad you are in the group.


Copeland wins contest

Ok, so the prize was only a book.

Parent Blogger Beats Me to the Blog

The Technorati search tool delivered an interesting blog to my attention this morning, the Possumblog.

I had actually found this blog on Friday night but didn't have time to mention it on the blog. The parent's daughter participated in the honor choir but I didn't meet them. I asked the students if any of their parent's blogged, but no one admitted to it . . . so maybe it was a Jr. High Honor Choir member parent's blog. (although another phrase leads me to believe that they were in my HS choir)

Anyway, there were several comments about the UAB Honor Choir that I enjoyed that I'll preview for you. You can read the whole post here.


We made a good impression:
Very, very nice, I must say. This was UAB's honor choir presentation, so there were kids here from all over the state. The practice for this one certainly paid off . . .
We compared very favorably to other Honor Choirs:
the last one we went to xxxxxxx was a model of inefficiency, and the hall's acoustics made everything sound like someone drowning in a convenience store restroom.
Ours had the hallmark of Dale Reynolds organizational talents, and theirs did not:
everyone was where they needed to be, and there was little of the uncharming kids'll-be-kids shenanigans.
Our ASC acoustics compare very favorably also:
the folks who designed the Jemison Hall at the Alys Stephens Center are to be commended for doing their homework. The room was lively without being harsh, and warm without muffling any of the upper or lower ranges. And the piano accompaniment didn't drown out the singers. AND the doors didn't make loud crashing sounds anytime anyone went out. AND the patrons were a bit better behaved this time . .
Our choir was complimented, and my blog was outed . . . as well as my political beliefs!
Anyway, the music was wonderful, and especially that of the hosts of the recital. Their conductor has his own blog (of course--oh, and be sure to check out his blogroll if you think all liberal arts academics are a bunch of fawning, squishy "progressives") and he was a bit tough on them in his comments, but for a rube like me, once you get to that level of talent there's no way I could pick out anything that was out of place. Y'all done good, Doc.
So what do we learn?

1. People watch every performance of ours very closely . . . and it isn't just the way we sing. It's the way we act, the way the event is organized, the way that a plan is implemented.

2. One never knows who will be in the audience and making comparisons . . . and making them publicly. The Possumblog has an average of 369 people that visit each day. That is a pretty big audience! Three times the people that follow my blog (sniff, sniff).

3. Not everyone hears the mistakes that we hear. Most don't hear the subtle slips that we make and know about. At the same time, we strive for perfection . . . because EVERYONE knows when we get it exactly right. And that moment, I promise, is one you will never forget.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Warm Words from Dan Gainey

Dan Gainey, married to the lovely Dr. Denise Gainey on our music faculty, sent me this note today:


Just wanted to take a minute and send you a complimentary note for your portion of the MLK "Reflect and Rejoice" tribute with the ASO on Sunday. The group looked fantastic, and sounded even better. The tone you set with the recorded MLK speech as they processed down the aisles set the mood for the two songs you chose and they were a perfect complement to the rest of the program. The audience must have loved it as much as I did as they applauded for the entire time it took for the choir to exit the stage.

Kudos to you and the DOM Choir!

Dan Gainey
Director of Production and Facilities
Alys Stephens Center

Thanks so much, Dan!

FYI: DOM=Department of Music

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Review: "High point" "Pristine" "Musically Mature"

How nice to read about yourself in the Birmingham paper!

Here is the quote about us:

Indeed, one of the evening's two high points came from a vocal ensemble - the pristine UAB Concert Choir. Under the direction of Philip Copeland, the group of about 30 performed two a cappella arrangements of spirituals in a crisp English church style - light on the vibrato, perfect vowels, emotionally understated.

Perfect vowels, too . . .

A little later in the article:

The other standout performance came from Stewart Goodyear, a 26-year-old Canadian pianist who lives in New York City. Like the UAB choir, Goodyear sounded much more musically mature than his years would suggest.

Isn't that wonderful?


Check out the entire review here. And thank you, Mr. Ratliff. We graciously appreciate your comments. (and here is a pdf version of the article from the newspaper.)

As you might have expected, "pristine" is my new favorite word. It's definitions, from around the internet dictionaries:
  • Completely free from dirt or contamination; "pristine mountain snow"
  • Immaculately clean and unused; "handed her his pristine white handkerchief"
  • Pure, fresh, or clean as new; unspoiled.

As far as English/British choral style, here's what I think. Many people, when they hear the absence of vibrato, think of the English choirs, who sing with very little. My philosophy of vibrato is "as an expressive device." We sing "no/little vibrato" on chords that require a straighter tone to tune the chord. We "add vibrato" on big chords, big moments, chords that are easier to tune. To be sure, the big moment in "I Can Help Somebody" has plenty of vibrato, as did the last verse of "Amazing Grace."

But hey . . . that is small stuff. I am very excited to be spoken of so highly in our huge-circulation newspaper.

Debbie Movelle pays high compliment

Didn't want you to miss this comment from Katie's mom:

In reference to our music selection at yesterday's concert:

YOU were what the audience came for. They wanted a tribute to Dr. King and YOU gave it to him. A comment from someone sitting near me ("All right, finally.") I had tears in my eyes as the recording of his passionate speech told us what he wanted to be remembered for at his funeral, POWERFUL. What a sermon! And you quietly processing in, WOW... you sang amazingly well, your selections were perfect.

And, a comment I didn't expect:
Your facial expressons mean so much, (I come with my binoculars now so I can watch your faces! heehee) Your attention to Dr Copeland and pleasant faces :)...what a choir Dr. Copeland has molded you into! I always love to hear you sing! (I can't get any solos from my personal choir member friends and family!) I don't miss any concerts if I can help it! Thank you for another special experience.

Good facial expressions? From my choir?

I confess, I find it difficult to judge faces when we are performing . . . I'm trying to be in the mold of music-maker at that particular moment in time, not the person working to build a great choir.

Thanks, Mrs. Movelle, for your warm and wonderful words. We are happy that people like you are out there in our audience.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Amazing Grace Amazing

I should have said it earlier: Great Job, Sarah, on your Solo.

Great job to Maggie, too, of course, but this was the first one for Sarah.

You both did us proud.

I thought AG had much passion and dedication and UMMMMMMPH to it. Did you?

I got many wonderful comments after the performance. A huge thank you to the choir for giving their time to a wonderful event.

Bedtime at Copeland House

Thought you might enjoy:

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What a weekend . . .

Originally uploaded by philipco.
It was quite a weekend, wasn't it? I feel like I've been slammed since last Thursday. All day Friday, all day Saturday, all day Sunday. (The picture here is of the high school honor choir on Saturday morning.)

Many thanks to the Concert Choir for the wonderful performance today. I envisioned that MLK performance months ago, and it happened today just like I wanted it to happen. The recorded speech was special, your processional was effective. To me, there was something holy about the moment . . . did any of you feel something out of the ordinary for that performance and that audience?

Would love to read your thoughts in the comment section below.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Saturday Concert Review

Thanks for a fine job today, choir.

Some thoughts on today:

1. The choir in the 2:00 pre-concert had some incredible moments. Sopranos had a sound that I've wanted but never quite got . . . we had it for a few moments today.

2. The O Magnum with the Honor choir went well; thanks for your participation in it and willingness to do it.

Our performance:

1. Cantate: Not the finest performance of the year on this one . . . Men went flat on the "jubilate deo" run and the half of the women went with them . . . and half the women did not. As much as I hate losing pitch, EVERYONE must take the new key or we have one choir singing in two keys (when we are supposed to be singing in one). Our music is dissonant enough! We don't need to add more!

Am I worried? No. We last sang that piece in November and spent about 15 minutes on it this past week.

2. Busto: Some very fine sounds! Much better on this one, and the last piece really went well. Finally, for the first time, we sang the g-major chord very well in tune (after the sopranos hold on a D). And . . . the end . . . sopranos sounded quite lovely.

A thought: at times today, I heard voices that I'm not used to hearing . . like they were singing out in the concert and hadn't been singing in the choir rehearsal. Choir, we must practice like we perform. There is no laying out in rehearsal and then singing during the concert in this choir. I've got to hear it the way that it is going to be. More on this later.

3. "When I . . . " went well. It can go better. It's just been awhile.

4. Ever in My Life. Nick felt that this one started weak; something does seem tentative about the beginning, doesn't it? Something about our pianissimo beginning sounds more tentative than effective. We'll experiment with that later.

The "Many a Star" section went very well . . perhaps the best we've sounded on that.

5. If I Can Help had good moments. I couldn't help but think about Maggie during the first verse. We've practiced it several times since we started back but Maggie hadn't been there for those run-throughs. She did great, though. I thought the performance was effective.

So what about tomorrow?

I'm excited about Amazing Grace, and I'm excited about IFICHS. We'll meet in the choir room for a little polishing and go from there. Some have asked me about concert length, and I don't know. If you want to leave after we sing, you can.

OK! Overall, not the best we've sung this year. Bad? Heavens no. Good? yes. Can be better? Absolutely. Will be better? I'm positive. Worried? What? Me Worry?

Friday, January 13, 2006

Saturday - Sunday - IN CONCERT ATTIRE!

I don't think I said it, but wear tuxedos and black dresses on Saturday and Sunday!

Time: 2:00 Saturday ASC Jemison stage
Time: 2:30 Sunday, Choir Room

Note: 6 guys will be needed to help break down the risers after we sing on Sunday. Right after we sing. Remind me to take care of this on that day, please!!

Drama on my blog?

Please, no assuming of another's name to make a blogger comment. I assume that it was a joke - I myself am the perpetrator of brazen jokes - so although I understand the attempt at humor I'm asking you please not to do that here. Also, no responding with inappropriate language on my blog . . . it will be deleted.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Chastised by an MBV

MBV chastised me for not having links to all the choir bloggers that I know about, so I give you three new ones:
The omission wasn't on purpose; I've been following their blogs for sometime now via bloglines. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Sarah Green is the Soloist - Amazing Grace

Everyone was outstanding and the choice was tough, but the solo goes to Sarah Green.

Thanks to all those who auditioned.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

What I learned today

Here are some observations from choir today:

1. We have a good command of the music we already learned; it won't be too difficult to bring it back and make it even better than it was last October.

2. I learned that the Alto 1's have a big sound if I harass them enough.

3. I appreciate it when people call me to tell me where they are when they can't be at choir. Maggie had a voicemail waiting for me after choir and I think there is a message or two waiting on the cell phone. Choir, I want you at every rehearsal. If, by chance, you can't be there . . . let me know where you are.

4. Remember the crap-crap-crap-good chords? Get past the crap and immediately to the great sound, please. Hear the note/chord before it happens.

5. Let's gather at 2:00 in the Alys Stephens Center on Saturday for a warmup. Plan on gathering in the choir room on Sunday at 2:30. We don't perform until the second half and we'll have a moment or two during the intermission to get ready. We are the second thing after the intermission, following a four minute piece.

That's all for now.

Auditions - Amazing Grace

Soloist auditions for "Amazing Grace" will be tomorrow after choir. If you are interested, show up. I'll try to get one or two other people to listen and help me select.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Celebrating MLK

Here is the Orchestra press release:

Reflect & Rejoice Set For Jan.15


Reflect & Rejoice: A Community Tribute To Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the 2nd annual concert event collaboration between the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Alys Stephens Center, will bring a wealth of musical talent to the concert stage in celebration of the national Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.
The event, scheduled for Sunday, January 15, 2006, at 3 p.m. in the Alys Stephens Center’s Jemison Concert Hall, will feature the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Leslie B. Dunner, who is currently celebrating his third season as principal conductor of the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. Stewart Goodyear, a 25-year-old pianist who has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, will join the ASO for the performance of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” The University of Alabama at Birmingham Concert Choir, directed by Dr. Philip Copeland, will also join the orchestra to sing the spiritual moving songs “If I Can Help Somebody” and “Amazing Grace.”
The special program honoring the life and legacy of Dr. King will include:
JOHNSON/arr. Smith Lift Every Voice and Sing

SUPPE Poet and Peasant Overture

ABELS Global Warming

GERSHWIN Rhapsody in Blue

HAILSTORK An American Fanfare

LIEBAU If I Can Help Somebody



The concert is sponsored by Energen Corporation. Ticket prices for the concert are $7, $15 and $25. Tickets are currently on sale at the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and Alys Stephens Center Box Offices. To purchase tickets or for additional information, contact the Alabama Symphony Orchestra Box Office at (205) 251-7727, or visit the ASO Web site at www.alabamasymphony.org.
The Alabama Symphony Orchestra acknowledges the major support provided by the Jefferson County Commission through the Jefferson County Community Arts Fund administered by the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham.
The Alabama Symphony Orchestra has entertained audiences for more than 70 years, playing a variety of classical and popular musical compositions and hosting performances by some of the finest international guest artists in the world. The 54 talented musicians of the ASO bring to life some of the world’s most treasured musical masterpieces and introduce listeners to exciting new works and composers, performing more than 100 concerts for more than 100,000 persons annually.

OK . . . one more

The proud father offers another meal time movie:

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Another Christmas Video

Because I'm a proud father . . .

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Women's Chorale begins

Women's Chorale started today and I'm quite proud to be the director of this group. They are sharp women - a diversity of majors - with wonderful singing talents.

For those women, here is the link to Toni's blog that I found that was the source of the story today.

As I said, it was pretty funny. Here is my "outing" of Toni and her blog.

Here is one way I'm notified of what happens in blogs (PubSub)and here is another (Google blog search). So watch out . . . if you want to express some displeasure towards me . . . pick a code name!

It's going to be a GREAT semester for UAB Choirs.

excuse memo

If your name is missing from this, let me know ASAP:


To: UAB Faculty

From: Dr. Philip L. Copeland
Director of Choral Activities

Date: January 10, 2006

Subject: UAB Concert Choir performance

The UAB Concert Choir will be representing the university at the Southern Regional Convention of the American Choral Directors Association on Thursday, February 23 in Charleston, West Virginia. They will leave on Wednesday morning, February 22 and return late on Friday, February 24.

Please give them consideration towards making up any work that they may miss and don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions.


Philip L. Copeland
Director of Choral Activities

UAB Concert Choir, Spring 2006

Lauren Askew
Kristina Banks
Luke Boone
Deidra Brown
David Berg
Chris Carter
James Desta
Anthony Concepcion
Lauren Davidson
Wes Edgar
Sean Fleishman
Meredith Foster
Andrew Granlund
Meghan Granlund
Amanda Grenaway
Maggie Hendricks
Charles Henry
Rachel Hicks
Jonathan Hood
John Howard
Carlee Jackson
Chris Josof
Keith Kendrick
Katie Krauss
Jason Leger
Evan Long
Maggie Malone
Katie Movelle
Thomas Nelson
Jessica O’Leary
Samantha Pace
Erin Pair
Clay Rector
Chris Reid
Jacquelyn Roche
Holly Sawardecker
Martin Schulz
Whitney Sims
Lindsey Wooley Tuller
Mary Beth Verchot
Patrick Williams

I Miss Jessie

Isn't this a great picture of three special people?

I found it on Jessie's blog . . . read on . . . I miss Jessie. I was reminded of her today when this picture appeared in my bloglines account. It seems my "name finder" finally picked up this mention from November 13th.

Why am I mentioned, you ask? It seems I am the MVP of web surfing, among other things:
My mother watches "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" religiously. Thank God for Tivo because our tv is ALWAYS on the Gameshow Network. Yesterday she made it public who she wanted on her "Phone a Friend" list if she ever went on the show. Who you ask? My choir director from UAB-Dr. Copeland. Why Copedog? Well, he is like the MVP of web surfing. If he were in high school, he would have the highest average in current events. He's a pretty cool guy. I miss being in his choir. Choir is freakin awesome-but that will be explained in another post because if I started writing about choir now, I wouldn't be finished until tomorrow morning.
Thanks for the compliment, Jessie! And, great blog.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

So Why Didn't I Blog Over Christmas?

Several of you wondered why I didn't blog over the Christmas break. This video helps you figure out one of the reasons:

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On the 13th Day of Christmas

On the thirteenth day of Christmas, January 7, the Copeland's finally took down the rest of their Christmas decorations.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Meet Sheena Phillips

Sheena is the composer of the Amazing Grace we will sing on the MLK concert on Sunday. She sent me the piece back in September after I put out a request on ChoralTalk, an email list for choral directors. I really appreciated her generosity and I like her music very much.

I emailed her and told her how much I liked and she sent me several other choral works to peruse. Isn't it great to discover new composers and new music?

There is so much wonderful choral music in this world and much of it never gets heard. We are taking the opportunity this year to introduce the southern ACDA choral directors to some other music that they haven't heard before--it is what good choirs do at conventions like the upcoming Southern Regional ACDA Convention.

I'm fortunate to have an incredible choir that can do this incredible music. More thoughts on repertoire at a later date.


I've got to tell you, it was fabulous to be back in choir on Thursday.

I was reminded of the enormous potential in the group--your ability challenges me to do my best. I am grateful to have the opportunity.

I hope you didn't miss the emphasis I made on a couple of points:

1. Much of music is about emotion--you must feel it in yourself if you want to convey it to your audience. We must challenge ourselves to become emotionally involved in our music, the words, the tension, the release. Sometimes the text helps us--asking forgiveness, being grateful. Are you brave enough to risk becoming emotional with the music you make?

2. Don't miss the opportunity that is before you in this choir. Some will--I see it in their faces. Others, however, know that this is a special time in their lives and they embrace it. I see that, too. Delia knew how special it was; I bet she feels the same way now.

One day soon . . you will be gone from UAB. Perhaps you will realize how special it was to be in a choir like you are in now--and you will be glad you were in it. I wonder . . .