Stone Angel

Handel’s Messiah

Handel’s Messiah; sung by Chamber Choir, Friday, Dec 21

Notes from Kevin

Please mark (and practice as necessary) prior to Thursday’s dress rehearsal:

The Star-Spangled Banner

1. Basses: Watch for repeated pitches. Clean up your part as much as possible and sing lightly (or omit) above the staff.
2. Soprano II: Check divisi throughout.
3. Alto I: Check divisi on last page as evident on Monday. We had some memory slips here.
4. Percussive consonants and engaging faces will go a long way!
5. Slight cresc. into the final release at the end.

Battle Hymn

1. Men should start “piano” at the beginning and strive for a connected style; avoid singing each note with the same stress. Use percussive consonants. Sing brightly with the sound in your cheekbones!
2. All: Making sure you are counting around Reh Sq 3 and know when you release! When in doubt, COUNT!
3. I’m still hearing Hal-le-lu-JJJJJAAAHHH!  Sing lighter on the final syllable on this word.
4. All: More sound at Reh Sq 7 and whenever the dynamic is “FF”
5. MEN: Review your entire part at Reh Sq 10.  This needs to be the most beautiful and powerful section of the piece!  Remember: let us LIVE to make men free!  MARK IT!
6. All: Watch at Reh Sq 11 and 12 for notable tempo changes.
7. Slight cresc. and “nuh” at the end of final release.  Don’t punch it, just place it lightly (sopranos don’t add a “nuh” but just sing an “ah” vowel to the end)

A Tribute to the Armed Services

1. Clarity, consonants, projection!  We want people to understand the words and we might need to work harder in the big TBC Worship Center.
2. The look is almost more important than the sound.  Your faces should not look boring as you sing about our armed forces and thank them for their service.  Look joyful and engaging!
3. Passages for everyone to review:
mm. 60-61
mm. 71-73
m. 76 final release
mm. 79-81
mm. 89-91
mm. 97-99 pitches (no breath!)
mm. 101-102 men, also tempo change
m. 116, note 2 for the basses
m. 117, note 1, tenors need to balance with choir
*watch eighth releases throughout

Who Are the Brave

1. All: The first vowel you sing needs to have a lot of space and resonance in it: “Who” and also the words that follow: are, the, brave.   DO NOT ROLL the [r] brrrrrrave.
2. Consonants and clarity of the words—very important!  This piece will be unfamiliar to our audience, but it speaks directly to our armed forces and all who serve.
3. Tenors – check the first pitch you sing, m. 9 (think the bass part leading into your part)
4. Women – check the first pitch you sing, m. 13 (think the bass part leading into your part)
5. Basses, sing lightly in m. 16 or omit
6. Men, lock in the pitch in m. 24 and don’t wobble.
7. Altos, need to get a better breath so you can get on top and “place” that C natural and D natural in m. 37.  Release your jaw. Get on TOP of the note, don’t reach.
8. Basses, can you be more dramatic in mm. 37-38?
9. Women: Be thinking your pitches in m. 49 before you sing them
10. All: It is still FORTE at m. 57
11.  Don’t look at your music much at all on the last page.  Look at me and project your sound and engaging faces!

My Country, ‘Tis of Thee

1. The audience will join you on the first and fourth verses.  Does your face invite others to sing along, or do you look bored? 😉
2. Don’t sing through rests, especially those eighth rests.
3. Consonants….hmm, I’ve said that before? 😉
4. Men: check m. 29 pitches
5. All: Better cresc. in m. 38 with a “v” at the release
6. m. 49, not slower, just softer, but with percussive consonants.  Oh, who has the melody?? 😉
7. Sop: be ready in m. 55 and don’t be caught buried in the music
8. ALL better cresc. in m. 62 (except sopranos—sing “mf”)
9. All watch release in m. 61
10. Bass: pitches in m. 37, especially on beat 4
11. Sop I: Let that descant “soar” a bit more in the final verse.
12. All: We seem to lose a little steam on the final page.  Keep the energy until the final release at the end!


Love you all,
Dr. Kevin Klotz
Artistic Director
Houston Choral Society

Important Reminders

Dear HCS,

Here are a few reminders:
1. Check Dr. Klotz’ email for issues to mark in your music from Monday’s rehearsal
2. No late arrivals on Thursday, please!  Be professional and ready to sing at the downbeat of 7:00pm.
3. Write a short post on your Facebook page inviting others to come to the concert. Please, everyone do this!
4. Party after the concert Friday night @ Guadalajara!
Location: Guadalajara Hacienda 9799 Katy Fwy, Houston, TX 77024
5. All Veteran’s music scores should be turned in MONDAY, Nov. 12th. No one will be available to collect them after the concert.
6.  All singers should wear a white top and all black from the waist down.  Check the weekly bulletin from Sunday.
7.  If you are turning in Will Call tickets, please use the labels that will be provided to you and legibly write down the necessary information.
8.  Directions to Tallowood and parking information attached.
9.  Thursday night ticket $ collectors are: Richard Ghanem and Tracy Bradford.  Please find them in the sanctuary if you have money or tickets to turn in.
10.  Friday night, the Box Office will open at 6:30pm.
11.  All singers will be given a program Thursday night.
Thank you and please keep rehearsing your music.  This will be a great concert!
Christmas Only concert singers do not need to come to Tallowood Thursday night.  BUT PLEASE come to the concert on Friday. :)!


Amy Ghanem
VP of Administration
Houston Choral Society
call/text: 713-825-6148

Thank you!

Dear HCS,

Thank you so much for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers. As you already know, I was feeling pretty sick over the weekend (had to go to the ER) and on Monday and Tuesday. In order to get some answers, I went in for further testing yesterday. It seems that high blood pressure is the cause of my symptoms. I am already taking steps to address that so it does not cause any additional problems down the road. I am thankful that it wasn’t anything more serious because the symptoms over the weekend were very concerning!
I am finally feeling much better and hope that I’ll continue to improve in the days ahead. I look forward to seeing you on Monday and to preparing for a great HCS concert!

Christmas Audition Results

Good evening!  I want to thank everyone who auditioned for solo parts this week. I am very pleased to announce our soloists for the HCS Christmas Concert on December 1st: 
A Christmas Flourish
Soprano – Katie Vargo-Gravesmill
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Solo – Adriene Bible
I sincerely appreciate all of the singers who auditioned. Thank you so much for your time and dedication to this organization.  I am continually amazed by the amazing vocal talent in the HCS, and I know the soloists above will represent us very well!
Thank you,
Dr. K