Keep Singing and Carry on!

Two videos [instructional and performance] attached ~

How well do you know your singer’s voice?

How do you know if each singer is really prepared for their upcoming performance?

Andrew Webb-Mitchell has created a process by which the performance will be guaranteed its greatest possible success . . .

the submission of MP3s – for each and every piece in the repertoire.

Yes! This can add an inordinate amount of time to the schedule especially for the staff that is assessing the submissions. The singers must also commit to personal practice time before submitting recordings in the hopes of scoring an 85 out of a scale of 100 on each piece.

Listening to these submissions helps the music staff understand the strengths and weaknesses of each singer as well as hear how the voice is developing. This aids in rehearsal planning, making the rehearsal more efficient for all.

If the singer does not receive a score of at least 85, the singer is not allowed to perform the piece on the concert. This ensures the performance will be presented at the highest level possible.

Five categories are graded on a scale of 1 – 5:

  • Melody (includes correct notes and rhythm)
  • Intonation
  • Diction
  • Breathing/Phrasing
  • Musicality (pleasing voice, dynamics, articulation, nuance, etc).

At least two staff members must review each submission. The average grade in each category are added together to arrive at the final grade.

Obviously, the more advanced ensembles produce the highest scores. If a score is not 85 or higher, the singers will continue to re-submit the piece. They receive specific feedback concerning the areas that need improvement. This is all conducted online.

In order to advance from chorus to chorus, a singer must submit between three and eight songs depending on the level of the singer and choir. Choristers are ranked first to last depending on the total average grade from the first to the most recent submission.

We have a few choristers that have submitted over fifty pieces. For every ten pieces a chorister scores a 90 or above, a gold star is given to be worn on the navy blue blazer which is sported at every rehearsal and performance.

Our repertoire covers periods of music from Renaissance to present day in the original language. Examples are: all movements of Vivaldi’s Gloria, Monteverdi’s O Domine Christe, Scarlatti’s O cessate di piagarmi, Beethoven’s Merkenstein, Perosi’s Ave Maris Stella, and all movements of William Byrd’s Mass for Three Voices.

All choirs are named for British composers but to reach the highest standing, one is awarded a place in Elgar Choir. Each singer in Elgar will have submitted more than forty MP3s with a grade of 85 or higher, but the singer must also have passed the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music’s level five theory which is offered at the centre by Andrew Webb-Mitchell, and assisted by other staff.

When a chorister is promoted to this level, the school will hold a small ceremony at the beginning of class. The bust of Elgar is placed on a pedestal. The singer is announced then comes forward during robust applause from fellow choristers. She or he is presented with a polished Elgar coin and given a star to add to the navy blue blazer. It is a revered and meaningful moment in the choral centre and endless praise is given to the singer. A great day of rejoicing for all!

This my comrades, is how choirs are invited to sing with the Israel Philharmonic Symphony, the Russian National Orchestra and for Princess Anne.

Keep Singing and Carry On!

To view our video “How to submit and MP3” created by choristers Erin and Lily please right click to highlight the link, then click “Go to https://v.qq.com/x/page/p05529mrhoo.html ” to view. If an advertisement appears, simply click on the “x” in the upper right corner of the screen. https://v.qq.com/x/page/p05529mrhoo.html

Photo Below: Constanze and I, our two laptops, and scores all function much better while scoring MP3s with natural light, plants and an open window to connect to the outside world.

ZCCC.Sunshine.and.Plants.

Rehearsal Video: Britton, Elgar Combined Choirs with select members from Parry Choir and Parry + Choirs perform A Brief History of Choral Music at Central Conservatory in Beijing, November, 2017. The choir was invited to perform for the Tenth Annual International Chamber Music Festival. Portions of the concert were televised on Central Chinese Television Network. Works included compositions of Byrd, Monteverdi, Purcell, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Goodall and many more.

Britton, Elgar Combined Choirs with select members from Parry Choir and Parry + Choirs perform A Brief History of Choral Music at Central Conservatory in Beijing, November, 2017. The choir was invited to perform for the Tenth Annual International Chamber Music Festival. Portions of the concert were televised on Central Chinese Television Network. Works included compositions of Byrd, Monteverdi, Purcell, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Goodall and many more.

 

Lynn Swanson

Executive Artistic Director Milwaukee Children's Choir

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Lynn Swanson

Executive Artistic Director Milwaukee Children's Choir

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