Monday, March 31, 2008

Riverchase Thoughts

I started a post on the Riverchase performance yesterday but didn't really finish it. For about eight hours, the post title was spelled incorrectly . . . how embarrassing. I misspelled Krispy Kreme. (i spelled it Kirspy Kreme's)

Anyway, my thoughts (as they come . . . no particular order).

1. I was impressed with the choir's energy and attitude yesterday. I didn't detect any of that early morning resentment towards me for making you come out and sing on a Sunday morning. Perhaps the joy of having Krispy Kreme donuts helped blunt the pain . . . or maybe the Krispy Kreme sugar blunted my resentment detection apparatus.

2. We sang well. We got better with each service. I like how performing our pieces three times in a row for a real audience helped our confidence. I'm reminded of how confident we felt on our pieces when we did that during our mini-recruiting trip last year. Perhaps we'll try that with people who might have a Friday available before the 4/18 concert or before Ireland. I liked that we had the opportunity to tweak the music both between services and during the service.

3. I thought Riverchase Methodist was bigger. The room holds about 800, they say. It didn't look that big. The room had a nice ring to it . . . our last chords really sounded there.

4. Music thoughts:
  • Great and Marvelous: good energy with nice moments. we performed it well but i'm beginning to tire of the work.
  • Lord's Prayer: wonderful dynamics and presence with that work. the "nnn" section really sets up a great pianissimo on "give us this day". i felt confidence with you to take the piece rather slowly at the beginning . . . I think it worked. whether it did or not, that was the moment that I felt.
  • Nunc: basses get props for their entrances (only because i was rarely pleased with their initial sounds last fall). All sections came in solidly and at appropriate dynamic. Sopranos may have been a little loud on the last note. Hey . . . the "Quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum" section was EXCELLENT. It felt like it had meter . . . a new accomplishment. Or was it the Krispy Kreme's?
  • So fahr ich: Excellent! We found that piece yesterday. It was better than it had ever been in rehearsal. The soft "sleeping" part was soft enough for the first time and I was even able to put a little "rise and fall" with dynamics there. We were able to bring Friday's improvements at the ending section of the work. That piece will continue to improve and I'm going to see if we can make it a little more percussive in the ending stretto section.
  • Whole World: a great job. problems continue for bass line on first two pages that we need to master immediately. i'm not positive that we have the final chord mastered, either. Our F# confidence was low in the baritone section and I want to really nail that chord.
5. I thought the pastor's sermon was excellent . . . I'm impressed that he built his ideas around our final piece. I was especially struck by three things . . . the image of Atlas with the world on his shoulders (and I smiled at the Atlas comment considering Sami's GPS blunder) . . . the image of the boy with the world in his hand . . . and the phrase "and with his stripes we are healed"--especially in connection with the story about the Chinese mother who wanted her son to "honor" her by asking her son to choose death for her rather than give over the names of the church members. Wow.

6. All in all, a great day. We did all those services and walked away very close to 12:00 noon.

7. Congrats to Sam and Marybeth on their concert last night. I especially loved the last piece!


Jake Richey said...

I agree that yesterday was a good day...maybe i should sleep in the practice rooms and get up at 330 in the morning more often...other than that it was lotz of fun...the energy like tripled after Krispy Kreme's for me, and then I went home and slipped into a coma for about 4 was nice...great job guys!

G said...

Yes-having more than just a virgin run at pieces really enables an ensemble to continue to work at something instead of expecting it to be perfect once and always disappointed. I thought the 3 in a row thing was really fun. We were able to build on what we'd just done and continue to improve. We didn't have to imagine "Gee, what WAS that I did 3 weeks ago that I wanted to fix?..." It was an immediate opportunity to repair and learn in the state of nerves, not just in the state of rehearsal, which is a totally different planet. It felt like a fun challenge, not a firing squad.

Anonymous said...

It was new experience for me to have three performances back to back to back. I thought it was a great way to improve on each song with out having to wait till the next time we meet in class. I personally thought So fahr was the best we had ever done it and was really dynamically in order. I could feel the emotions this time more than any other time we have done this piece. The one piece that we grew the most on over the three services was Lord's Prayer. I was somewhat nervous about this song for some reason, but my fears were happily mistaken. Over all I believe we did three great performances and I also think we made a huge stride toward Ireland and the Cork International Festival .

- Mark

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should line-up 3 church concerts in Ireland prior to the competition?

Madison said...

I thought we did wonderfully. It was an awesome experience. Personally, I thought the fruit trays were better than the Krispy Kremes, but that's me.
After our last performance, though, a girl I went to high school with came up to me and said we did amazing, and asked if we'd come back.


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Anonymous said...

I was really happy with Sunday. It felt like we got our "grove" back. I was thinking about it and we sang about 20 songs (including the hymns) over a 4 hour span. That is a lot of singing, especially starting as early as we did. And instead of getting tired and lazy as the morning progressed, we pressed on and made imporvements. All of our hardwork up until then had paid off and I was very peased. I also realized that this was just more hard work that will go into making Ireland a wonderful experience. After Brahams, I wasn't quite sure how well we'd do in Ireland, but I definitely think that we've done some excellent work and we will continue to do good work, and I know that we are gonna bring it and show them who UAB is.

Thank you Dr. Copeland for pushing us so hard, it pays off. You sometimes remind me of Coach Boone from Remeber the Titans. He pushed his team and made them so much better than anyone thought they could be. You push us and sometimes make us do things that we don't want to do, but in the end it's for the best. Despite all our differences we lay it all down when we put that uniform on and walk on that stage and we do beautiful things together as one choir. Just like the Titans did when they went out onto that field. And just like them, we're gonna kick some butt.