Archived: Notes to the Chorus 2018

Listed in Reverse Chronological Order:

December 12, 2018

Dear GVCC:

Now THAT is the kind of concert I’ve come to expect from the Green Valley Community Chorus. 😊 My friends, thank you for a truly stellar performance last night. While I feel that Monday evening’s concert was perfectly worthy, we hit some point of magic in our Tuesday show which made the afternoon truly spectacular. There were moments in Call of Wisdom that made me catch my breath. Deck the Halls in 7/8 was a HUGE success both nights (ironic for a 45 second piece to have such an impact!) Carol of the Bells was tremendously effective (especially with the new-and-improved cue which made the segue from the Carillon smooth as silk), Hallelujah Chorus and the Pinkham were dynamic and terribly exciting, and Prayer of the Children brought chills and tears. Well done, GVCC. You made it happen.

Special thanks to Betty, Brian, and the Board of Directors for being so dedicated and committed to this ensemble. There’s a lot that happens behind the scenes and I can guarantee you, this group has no stronger advocates. Ben Lebowitz and his Walden Grove kids were amazing! They were a joy to hear and made Prayer of the Children into something extra special. Thank you also to all of the section leaders—your work in the sectional rehearsals really came through. Of course, thank you to Danielle, Drew and Wendy from Valley Presbyterian for helping us to run smoothly. I suppose I’ll say thanks to Joel Pierce too for his stunning rendition of Vierne’s “Carillon” and for the boatload of organ music I had him play for this concert. Don’t tell him I said so though. 😊   Also, of course, thank you to Mary Lou for stepping into the role of pianist for the GVCC!

Thank you also for all the sweet notes, cards, cakes, bottles and assorted gifties. I’m very lucky to be enfolded in such a community.

If you’d like to help your director make an impact at his school, please know that you are welcome to share your impressions of the concert (and/or your director) with the Director of Choral Music at the University of Arizona, Dr. Miguel Felipe. 😊

It’s time for a well-deserved rest, and goodness knows you’ve earned it. Thank you all for the time, talent, energy and effort that you contributed to make this concert the grand slam that it was. We meet again on Monday, January 14th. Our concert theme will be Nostalgia. I’m already putting together an array of pieces which will hopefully evoke sighs of remembrance and most likely a few surprises as well! For now, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to each and every one!

Todd Wachsman

Director, Green Valley Community Chorus

December 10, 2018


Thank you so much for your work this morning! We’re in very fine shape. You’ll get some reminders tonight about singing everything with staccato energy, but we’re more than up for the task. It’s going to be a truly lovely concert.

I apologize to you for running over time. I’m very territorial of MY time, so I try to be respectful of others. Our schedule was a little bit derailed by Walden Grove, but I considered it important that they have time to acclimate to the space as well. Regardless, I hope you know that I value your time and will attempt to be more vigilant about safeguarding it.

That’s it! We’re ready to go. I’ll see you all tonight for SHOWTIME!


December 8, 2010

Dear GVCCers,

We’re good to go, my friends. There are some truly magnificent moments in the program (Mary Did You Know, Call of Wisdom, Hallelujah Chorus, the Pinkham) where the sound we’re making is record-worthy. I should also hasten to add that nothing sounds bad…those are just some extraordinary moments. We’re in excellent shape.

Remember what I said about engagement! The final piece of the performance equation is a committed ensemble using their faces and bodies as well as their voices to perform the music. All of our singers are human–all of our audience will be human–make certain that the human connection is a high priority on Monday!

Tenors, please look at Deck the Halls in 7/8 and check p.5, fourth system. Our speedy eighth notes there felt like they were wandering a bit. Naturally, it’s in a weird place in the tenor voice. We get around that by doing the ENTIRE line in falsetto. Intonation trumps volume…don’t worry about being loud. Keep it light and in tune and we’ll be just fine!

As I mentioned yesterday, we’ll work on the material with Walden Grove as soon as they arrive so we can scoot them back to school ASAP. Then we’ll run our stuff in performance order.

Congrats, gang. This is really going to be a stellar concert. If you haven’t  already yet, tell friends and family and people in the street about our performances. We’re doing something remarkable and definitely worth hearing…let’s pack the house!

Be well, be excellent and I’ll see you on Monday morning for our dress rehearsal at VPC!

Todd Wachsman

Artistic Director, Green Valley Community Chorus

December 4, 2018

Dearest GVCC,

We’re on the cusp, my friends! Yesterdays rehearsal was all I’d hoped it could be and even a little bit more. We got all of the choreography done for the opening and the ending (no small feat), staged Holly and the Ivy, ran through EVERYTHING with the organ, and even gave you all a sneak peek of what the Mischievous Octet has been up to! All in all, that was a really strong rehearsal and sets us up brilliantly for the concert. On Friday, we will hit some of those songs again, but we will most certainly do:

-Bogoroditse Devo

-White Winter Hymnal

-Mary Did You Know?

We will also spend some time with:

-Deck the Halls in 7/8

-Prayer of the Children

Piece that sounded absolutely freaking incredible yesterday:

-Pinkham: Christmas Cantata #3

-Call of Wisdom

-O Magnum Mysterium

Of course, it helps that much of the music we do is incredibly well written. The eminent choral conductor Dale Warland is of the opinion that if a director can choose to be a great administrator, a great teacher or a great repertoire selector, that the choir is best served by a director who knows how to pick good music. We’ve done that here! Now we just need to shape the rough edges to polish the performance. Look at the rhythms in Deck the Halls, particularly the last page. Prayer of the Children is good, but I’d like to get still more comfortable with it so that none of those rhythms ever take us by surprise.

PLUS: definitely start thinking about the texts. It is vital that we start getting some expression into the faces and bodies of our singers while we perform. Nothing cartoonish…but sincerity will read to the audience. Find a sincere place of appreciation for each piece (even the ones you don’t like!) because THAT is what we’re offering our audience. We’re a moment of respite in a crazy-busy season and we want them to feel welcome and warm. You’re actually doing very well with this already–I just want to make sure that it’s something that we can do at will.

You’re sounding amazing, GVCC! I can’t wait for next week!

Proud to be your director,


November 27, 2018

Dearest GVCC,

Thank you so much for yesterday’s excellent rehearsal! We finally nailed down the Pinkham…now it’s just a matter of remembering it! Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great choral psychology: once you’ve done a piece correctly, it’s IN your brain. It’s just a matter of reawakening the reflex. Now that we’ve done it, we can get it back. Thank you also for the Hallelujah Chorus! It’s a warhorse to be sure…and you can bet that the audience will be grinning from ear to ear while we sing it.

I am honored to announce that our soloist for Night of Silence will be Mr. Gary La Barre. We had a REALLY strong arsenal of auditioners and I thank you for your talent and passion. We’ll get a chance next week to go through the physical movement for Night of Silence and Carol of the Bells since we’ll be in Valley Presbyterian Church for our rehearsal. Also, please remember the rehearsal will start at 1:15! A slightly earlier start helps us get settled in the space. Our organist Joel Pierce will be there as well, so we’ll do everything we can to run the entire program.

I do believe I’ve solved White Winter Hymnal! I have a couple of ideas that we’ll try out on Monday. WARNING: both of them involve watching the director! We’ll work it out…the sound is very good! We just need to smooth the transitions and it’ll be good to go.

Please look over Carol of the Bells before Monday. It’s not a difficult piece, but please remember that we’ll be out in the church itself for this number. Due to this, you’ll need to be looking up at me so we can keep it all together…and that means you’ll need to look up higher than usual. It’s just like when we sang Silent Night/Night of Silence last year…but we’re going to open AND close the concert with that formation.

Again, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. I’m very happy with where we’re at: Bogoroditse Devo has some positively gorgeous sweeps in it—we just need to keep the consonants ahead of the beat. O Magnum Mysterium is reverent and beautiful—always remember that intonation trumps volume and we’ll be golden. Oh yes…also look at Deck the Halls in 7/8! We’re actually doing very well with it, but it’s one of those pieces we need to keep near the front of the brain to make sure it comes off well.

Heck, you know what I’m saying. Look at your music! It’s all important and it all makes a difference in how our concert is received. Let’s offer our best back to the community that is our home.

According to the treasurer’s report, we’re doing great on selling tickets! WE WANT TO FILL THE HOUSE. I’d love for them to have to open overflow. Invite friends, neighbors, church acquaintances, emotional support animals, babysitters, plumbers, roofers…anyone else you can think of to come! Let’s make this a real celebration of the season in Green Valley.

Be well and I’ll see you Monday!

Todd Wachsman
Artistic Director, Green Valley Community Chorus

 November 26, 2018

Hello Everyone!

Todd has provided the order that our songs will be performed during our concerts:

Carol of the Bells
CAROL Angels we have Heard on High
Deck the Halls in 7/8
Call to Wisdom
*Tamara’s Piece*
Holly and the Ivy
Bogoroditse Devo- Rachmaninoff
CAROL Jingle Bells
Hallelujah Chorus
Christmas Cantata #3
White Winter Hymnal
Mary Did You Know?
Good King Kong
O Magnum Mysterium- Lauridsen
CAROL Hark the Herald Angels Sing
*Walden Grove Selection*
Prayer of the Children
Night of Silence

Also, a reminder–the time has changed this year on our Monday evening concert to 7:00 pm.  Please keep this in mind as something to mention to long time concert attendees as you are selling your tickets.  Even though the new time is printed on all tickets, it’s probably a good idea to mention this new time when selling.   


Brian Graaf

November 22, 2018

Below is Todd’s latest note to the Chorus.  Also included here is the YouTube link to his recital of last Saturday.
The link is:

Dear GVCCers, 

Of course, this season is a time for acknowledging the things for which we are grateful. Needless to say, I am profoundly grateful for the Green Valley Community Choir. The DMA schedule is pretty rigorous, but every Monday is a chance for me to practice the  reason I decided to pursue this degree in the first place. Thank you all so much for the opportunity to work with you every week.

We’ll get going again on Monday with our full forces back in play! We’ll start with the Pinkham and White Winter Hymnal–which I know people have been working on in sectionals! We’ll also look at the Hallelujah Chorus again. I know that many people know it cold, but we need to make sure that any new people have the opportunity to experience it as well. All pieces are fair game now…please make sure that you take time to look at any music that is still giving you difficulties. If you  EVER have any questions about the music, I am only an email away!  I promise you, putting off any problem spots will only cause you more frustration when we actually get to the rehearsal. Give yourself every chance to get this music down cold and give you the confidence to perform with conviction. It’s one of our strengths as an ensemble…let’s keep it up!

I wish you a beautiful weekend with family and friends! May you recognize your gifts and those that love you and keep them close. Be well!

Todd Wachsman

Artistic Director, Green Valley Community Chorus

November 14, 2018

Hello, good friends!

We’re in good shape, we just need to make sure we hit the tough stuff every week from here on out. Please review the following:

-O Magnum Mysterium

-Call of Wisdom

-Bogoroditse Devo

-Prayer of the Children

We have several pieces which feature solos. We will do solo auditions the Monday we come back from Thanksgiving. The pieces with solos/duets/small groups are:

-Holly and the Ivy

-Night of Silence

-Deck the Halls in 7/8 (we might just make this one a soprano group effort…I’ll still hear candidates though!)

If you are interested in the solo in Night of Silence, talk to me on Monday. We’ll be sure to have several copies of the solo for anyone who would like to review it. Of course, we will review it on Monday as well.

Have a beautiful weekend, all!

Todd Wachsman

Artistic Director, Green Valley Community Chorus

November 10, 2018

Dearest GVCC,

Your progress is truly excellent. We’re really making lovely progress. We managed to finish all of Call of Wisdom and O Magnum Mysterium yesterday. Now we just need to run them from start to finish and develop our sense of the emotional arc of each work. Remember: it is not enough to sing the right notes and the right rhythms. Yes, by all means do that—but it’s the emotion and the heart behind the music that keeps audiences coming back. Find the message in the music and make its expression a priority in your performance.

We’ll start with Carol of the Bells and Deck the Halls next week, then a little Mary Did you Know—mostly just to run it and show off a little bit. We’ll then get the last few pages of Prayer of the Children, then run Call of Wisdom from start to finish. We’ll throw a little Bogoroditse in there and it’d probably be a good idea to run the Pinkham again as well. Familiarity is our friend with that piece.

If you could make time to look at the Pinkham, it would go a long way towards helping our performance gel. It’s tricky, there’s no doubt about it. But again…it only improves when we spend time with it. So spend some time! I guarantee it makes MORE sense if you do so! We’ll run it whenever we can to make sure it’s staying in your ear, but since we typically only see each other once per week, we need some additional investment to ensure its success.

On Monday, I’d like to meet with the whole octet for the extra piece we’re doing. Yesterdays preliminary exposure went gangbusters! The piece is going to be great and a huge surprise. 😊

We will hold auditions for Holly and the Ivy, Night of Silence and Deck the Halls (the little soprano riff towards the end) on the same day the Tamara is holding auditions for the solo in I Wonder as I Wander, which I believe will be the Monday after Thanksgiving. If you have any questions about these solos, please feel free to ask!

Thank you for your excellent attitudes and your sterling musicianship. I’ll see you all on Monday!

Todd Wachsman

Artistic Director, Green Valley Community Chorus

November 6, 2018

Dearest GVCC,

Beautiful work yesterday, friends. It’s just going to take some repetition, but Deck the Halls is now in hand. We just need to tighten our grip. 😊 Likewise, Mary Did You Know is really quite beautiful already and its luster will only increase with polish. Very nicely done.

Special thanks again to Tamara for keeping the ship afloat in my absence! It’s a luxury to have an assistant director and I’m duly grateful for it.

FRIDAY’S rehearsal (Yes, you read that correctly) will cover the following:

–Call of Wisdom: middle of page 9 to the end.

–O Magnum Mysterium: bottom of page 6 to the end.

-Run-through of the Pinkham (Christmas Cantata). Please look over this before rehearsal! We have now touched all parts of this except for the very end, which basically features a lot of people singing high. The flow of this piece is crucial…if we don’t have everyone on the same page, it falls apart. Let’s keep it together!

–White Winter Hymnal: I’d like to do this piece memorized. Really, there are only two sections to the whole work. After the introduction, there is:

Section A- measure 13-25

Section B- 29-44

Section A comes up three times and section B comes up twice. That’s it! We’ll this a few times, but please work towards the goal of putting the music DOWN. I’d like to do some of the tapping that we worked on yesterday as part of the actual performance, so we’ll need our hands free. It won’t be complicated, but the very act of such body percussion (or patsching) adds a unique element to the performance and to our concert.

–Prayer of the Children: page 8 to the end.

So you can see, we’ve got a lot on our plate! I’ll move things along in briskly perky fashion and we’ll get this  done!

Additionally, those that I’ve spoken to about singing in a small group, I’d like to meet after rehearsal on Friday to have a first crash-through of the piece. If you can’t make this rehearsal, please let me know ASAP. We’ve had a lot of folks away for one reason or another, but I think we’ll actually have everybody here on Friday, so I’d like to take advantage of that. If you don’t have music yet, email me at and I’ll send you a scan. You can pick up the original from Mary on Friday.

Thanks again, all! Your attitude and your work are inspiring. It’s amazing how you’ve made Mondays my favorite day of the week!

Todd Wachsman

Artistic Director, Green Valley Community Chorus

October 31, 2018


            Happy Halloween! Thank you all for Kay Jean’s brilliant sendoff! She was simply over the moon with her celebration and I’m extremely grateful to all who attended, donated, appreciated and otherwise helped in giving her a party that truly made her feel loved. The food, the entertainment, the cakes…all of it was lovely and Kay Jean was delighted. 😊

Onward and upward! As I’ve mentioned in rehearsal, the moment a piece is ready for performance is when the choir takes ownership of it. What does this mean? This means that you no longer NEED the director to guide the production of the music. By the time we get to the concert, I should just be window dressing. For several of our pieces, this necessitates a thorough understanding of the rhythm of that piece. I’m thinking particularly about:

-Deck the Halls in 7/8

-Christmas Cantata #3 (Pinkham)

-White Winter Hymnal

-Prayer of the Children

All of these are pieces where it is frankly easier to learn the music when you’re NOT staring at the score. I encourage you all to use your ears more than your eyes as you prepare this music. If you’re practicing at home, put the music down as much as you can and sing along with a recording. My father used to say that if you understand the rhythmic character of a piece of music, you know how that music must be sung. Unsurprisingly, I feel that he was exactly right! Get this music into your bones, my friends. The performance will be stronger for the work you do.

Next Monday, I will be a little late to rehearsal. I’ll be taking a massive test on Renaissance music history (so well-wishes and good thoughts are prodigiously appreciated). Tamara will run rehearsal until I arrive. I propose this order (though while I’m gone TAMARA IS QUEEN and if she wants to change it, she’s certainly within her rights to do so!)

-I Wonder as I Wander

-Mary Did You Know

-Prayer of the Children

-White Winter Hymnal

-Holly and the Ivy

-Call of Wisdom

When I arrive, we will do the third verse of the Christmas Cantata (Pinkham) and work on Deck the Halls in 7/8. If you are uncertain of how to work on music on your own, I promise you that simply listening to one of the recordings that I or the board have sent your way is a TREMENDOUS help. Imagination is a powerful tool in singing, my friends. If you get an image in your mind of what a piece is SUPPOSED to sound like before you ever open your mouth, you’re doing exactly what every musical professional does when she takes the stage. Imagination guides performance. Remember this…and give your imagination all the fuel it needs.

Lastly, here is a YouTube of Mary Did You Know for your listening pleasure:

Have a lovely week!

Todd Wachsman

Artistic Director, Green Valley Community Chorus

October 27, 2018


         Somebody flipped a switch in this choir and suddenly we’re locking into the music with alarming speed. Is this good? I don’t know…is the pope Catholic? My friends, it’s a WONDERFUL development and opens possibilities for us that weren’t an option before. Keep up the good work. Your alacrity and willingness to commit to the sound we make is already reaping remarkable rewards. I am duly and justly proud.

         Next week, we’ll start with a sectional wherein I’ll take the tenors and work with them on White Winter Hymnal and the Pinkham (Christmas Cantata #3). There’s a particular quality of sound that I’m looking for and I need about twenty minutes to clarify what I need. Tamara will take the SAB portion of the choir and guide you through Hymnal and the first sections of the Pinkham (opening chorus, verse 1, next chorus). When we all reconvene, we will look at the second verse of the Pinkham. If you have time this weekend, look at the second verse of the Pinkham on your own. If we’re all locked in on that rhythm BEFORE we meet for rehearsal, it will come together much, much faster.

         We will also do a deep dive into the O Magnum Mysterium starting from measure 38 on page 5. Once again, the altos are bringing all the beauty in the world with their glorious G# in measure 39 pitted against the shimmering chord the rest of the choir is sustaining. Ah me…we’re lucky folks indeed to get to experience music like this. Please note: the first word in the last measure on page 5 is pronounced (vee-SHEH- ra). We’ll get this section of the Lauridsen under our belts and then it’ll just be a matter of polishing all of the components into a glittering unified soundscape.

         Have a wonderful weekend! Thank you for making our rehearsals together such a delight…I am truly and awesomely humbled by the dedication of this group. I’ll see you on Monday!


October 23, 2018

Dearest GVCC,

You should know that I was particularly impressed with the progress we made on the O Magnum Mysterium yesterday. When we started working on it, we had the expected bumps and rough spots, but as we progressed further into the piece, the choir started listening to itself more ardently, more thoughtfully. By the time we finished the end of the opening sections, the choir was moving as a unit through the close harmonies and exhibited a strong sense of internal balance. Do you know how hard that is to achieve? If you don’t…ignore what I’m saying…keep doing what you’re doing. For those of you who have been singing for a while, you know that it can be extraordinarily tricky to achieve that sense of internal awareness while still singing with energy, pulse and direction. We still have the rest of the piece to learn, but you’ve made a truly fabulous start!

Friday, we’ll start with Bogoroditse and get the rest of the Church Slovanic under our belts. In fact, here’s a recording for you to follow along and get a sense of the work:

We’ll also spend a good chunk of time learning the “oo” section of White Winter Hymnal, the B section of Mary Did You Know and the first section of the Pinkham Christmas Cantata. It’s going to be a big day! Come with your singers freshly polished, cause we’re going to give them a workout!

Incidentally, here are two recordings of White Winter Hymnal:

This is the one we’re doing:

This is by the group Pentatonix. Mind you, we’re NOT doing the elaborate choreography they’re doing. Plus, if you’ll notice, the video doesn’t match up with the audio. If you’re anything like me, this will drive you a little crazy…but they’re fun to listen to anyway. 😊


October 20, 2018

Dearest GVCC,

Thank you for another excellent rehearsal on Friday! We’re making fine progress and I can’t tell you how pleased I am that we’ve retained a goodly portion of our refinement from last year. There’s always a period of adjustment every year, but fortunately we had last year’s performances as a template for our sound this time around and it’s letting us start stronger than we did last year. Keep up the good work!

Next week, we will sing through all of the Carols for the concert. The Carols are pieces that we sing WITH the audience. I will turn around and conduct hugely so that they can all see and participate. We’ll sing the Carols in SATB (all four voice parts). We won’t spend a lot of time on these, but I want to let you know the quality of sound I’m looking for on them. Even if they are “y’all sing” pieces, we still want to sing them WELL. The Choir is the cake…the audience is icing, capeesh? We will also hold a sectional rehearsal on the O Magnum Mysterium. This is one of the harder pieces in our repertoire, so we’re going to be dedicating some serious time to it. You can help in this endeavor by listening to recordings of the piece so you can get an idea what we’re shooting for here. I’ll include what I consider to be a good quality performance with this email so you’ll have a guide.  Tamara will work with the sopranos and altos and I’ll take the tenors and basses. THIS MEANS that the Alto2s that I assigned to the first tenor part will join the tenor and bass rehearsal! Check your music and if that means you, make sure you get yourself to the correct sectional on Monday!

IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO START TALKING UP THE CONCERT! Additionally, I think we might have a powerfully packed house this time around. Our last two concerts were extremely successful and if our reputation has spread, we could be looking at an overstuffed house. Fortunately, Valley Presbyterian Church where we hold our concerts has an overflow seating area. It’s a personal mission of mine to force them to open that area for our concerts. SO…talk up the concert! Get friends and family and neighbors, your kids, your grandkids, your barista, your plumber, your accountant…anyone you can think of! This is a celebration of season and song and we want that place PACKED!

I’m also including this link to the song Prayer of the Children. Mind you, this is a slightly different arrangement than the one we’re doing, but listening to the piece will give you an idea of how those poppy rhythms are supposed to go. Once we have that in mind, the piece sings itself. Take some time to familiarize yourself with it and our rehearsals will be much smoother.

Prayer of the Children

And here’s the Lauridsen O Magnum Mysterium

Also, for those of you who like the videos where the music scrolls by on the screen, I’ll include this video of Lauridsen O Magnum Mysterium as well. I don’t like the choir as much (the soprano is way out of balance), but there’s a real advantage to watching the music scroll by in real time.

In addition, here is a link for Pinkham’s Christmas Cantata.  In the recording, a macaronic text (swapping back and forth between Latin and English.)  We will NOT be doing this!  This would only complicate things further, so we are going to stick with Pinkham’s original intent and sing the piece entirely in Latin.  We might be able to stave off a couple of panic attacks that way!

Pinkham’s Christmas Cantata–Movement III

Lastly, here is version of Call of Wisdom that is being offered to you as a more artistic interpretation to the scrolling version that I originally sent.  Both are useful for different reasons. 🙂

Call of Wisdom

Thanks again for all of your work, friends! I’ll see you on Monday for round 3!


October 15, 2018

Dear GVCC,

What an absolute delight to direct you once again! I’m telling you, the Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting is as much a degree in musicology as anything else. While I appreciate musicology, it is not what I am most passionate about. What we did TODAY is what I’m passionate about and I thank you for lending your hearts and voices to our audacious enterprise. Making music is a bold statement about what we prioritize as people and I am ecstatic to have so many talented partners on the journey.

I hope to hit the rest of the music in the program on Friday. It’s important to get an initial exposure as quickly as possible. Whether you know it or not (or LIKE it or not), your brain works on this music even when you’re not thinking about it. However, we need to make sure that it gets an initial exposure so that it can percolate. We’ll finish that exposure on Friday.

Friday will also bring us the musical ministrations of our assistant director Tamara Kahrimanis, who many of you know from the Summer Choir. Tamara will be conducting an excellent arrangement of the song “I Wonder as I Wander” by past GVCC conductor Gerald Near. We will also do a sectional rehearsal on Call of Wisdom wherein I will take the sopranos and altos and Tamara will take the tenors and basses. Right now, I feel that Call to Wisdom and O Magnum Mysterium are the most challenging pieces in our program. I will include a couple of recordings in this message to give you an idea of the result we are looking for on each of them. I encourage you to do whatever you can—sing along, speak the rhythm, play your part on the piano/banjo/pipe organ/kazoo…whatever you can do to increase your musical understanding of these pieces of music will result in a greater result when we are all together. The MORE you do on your own outside of rehearsal, the further we can go as a group IN rehearsal.

I want to change the seating arrangement slightly. As it stands I have S1, S2 and A1, A2 from front to back, then I have T1 and B1 in the front and all the T2s and B2s in the back. This is causing me to lose a lot of T2 and B2 sound. Obviously, we don’t want that. We’ll work something out so that we can put the T and B in rows from front to back, but still make sure that our taller members don’t block the view of our not-so-much-among-the-taller members.

Some links as promised above:

Here’s the Call of Wisdom:

The phrases aren’t as shaped (that rainbow we mentioned) as I’d like, but the sacred quality of the sound is perfect. Good recording.

Here’s O Magnum Mysterium:

Good recording, nice sensitivity.

Both of these also have the added benefit of featuring scrolling sheet music in the video, so you can actually sing along as they go by. A lovely feature.

Great start gang! Thank you again for your energy, musicianship and trust. Look over your music this week and I’ll see you on Friday!

In Music,

Todd Wachsman

Artistic Director, Green Valley Community Chorus

P.S. Other You Tube Videos for your Listening Pleasure:

Bogoroditse Devo–Rochmaninov 

Ave Maria, Rachmaninoff

Prayer of the Children, Kurt Bestor, Mark Hayes

Carol of the Bells, Wilhousky

Deck the Halls (in 7/8)

White Winter Hymnal, Billingsley

The Holly and the Ivy