Category Archives: Member News

Congratulations

Dear HCS,

Congratulations on an excellent performance last night! You sang with beauty of tone, precision, musicality, and attention to the text. You truly brought these songs to life, and your faces showed “Christmas!” What a great audience we had, too!

There were so many incredible musical moments last night; there are too many to list here! The O magnum mysterium was so beautiful! At the reception, I heard so many wonderful comments about our performance of this challenging a cappella motet. You achieved everything we were striving for on this piece, and more! I have to also mention that the Gloria and Christmas Flourish were glorious, fantastic, inspiring, dramatic, and powerful; these works really reflected the artistry and great skill of the Houston Choral Society. You did an amazing job on these challenging works and on the entire concert!

Thank you for your hard work in putting together a fabulous and fun concert program! It was truly an honor to make music with you. I hope you all have a Happy Advent and a Merry Christmas, my friends!

Love,
Kevin

Dr. Kevin Klotz
Artistic Director
Houston Choral Society

Notes from Kevin

Singers:
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!

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HARD WORK! 🙂

Love you all,
Kevin
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!
Love,
Kevin

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

Week of October 28

Dear HCS, 

This Week

  1. PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!
  2. Sectionals start at 7PM
  3. Rehearsal for concert #3: A Glorious Christmas begins 7:30PM.
  4. Rehearsal for concert #2: A Salute to Our Veterans begins at 8:35PM
  5. SCORE MARKINGS MUST BE IN BY 10/29!!
  6. Veteran’s Concert Attire change!  Details below.
  7. Auditions for Christmas concert solos Oct 29. Details below 
  8. Rehearsal Agenda below
  9. Ways to volunteer below
  10. HCS Bylaws need member review and ratification
  11. Link to Ticket Sales and flyer for BOTH Concerts below.
  12. Movie Night – Bohemian Rhapsody!  Details coming soon – possible dates Nov. 17th or Nov. 18th!  
  13. CHAMBER CHOIR: scores and solos info

——

Member’s Corner: http://www.houstonchoral.org/member-corner/

Login: members

Password: HCS2010

——

Rehearsal Agenda for Monday:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pF0IOFNWE-Ije8-t9ixR38NqIHaU6A88gFQhMp8HgLo/edit?usp=sharing

Rehearsal Resources

DIRECTOR’S SCORE MARKINGS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE! Please get them in ASAP!  

http://www.houstonchoral.org/scanned-score-markings/ 

Veteran’s Concert sound files link: 

http://www.houstonchoral.org/member-corner/rehearsal-music-files/a-salute-to-our-veterans/

Christmas Concert sound files link:

http://www.houstonchoral.org/member-corner/rehearsal-music-files/a-glorious-christmas/

Katey Barnes (Soprano) has provided voice part tracks for all voices for the major Christmas pieces.  Please make use of the resources.  Thank you, Katey!

PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!

********

Solo auditions for “A Glorious Christmas”, Dec. 1st, concert will be held on October 29 before rehearsal. 
 
Available Solos
Christmas Flourish – soprano in “Stille Nacht” section
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – any voice
 
For the auditions, please prepare the entire solo(s) of your choosing. See the sound file link on Member’s Corner for performance recordings of these entire works. 

*****Veteran’s Concert Attire change!*****


The artistic team has decided to make a modification to the concert attire for A Salute To Our Veterans ONLY. Please carefully review the attached description of the changes for ALL male and female performers.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1q9K6COq0Ui6ZXSk_yX5jjeyAwl_NNWmN?usp=sharing

Questions?  Contact Gayle Evans Ivy: gayleevansivy@gmail.com 

EXTRA REHEARSAL – OCT. 27TH

Thank you to everyone who came Saturday!  You all worked so hard and your efforts will be rewarded by 2 great concerts!

HCS Chamber Choir

See Katie Green for your scores Monday night!

Auditions for solos in “Handel’s Messiah” will be held 11/12, 6:30PM. Check Member’s Corner -> Chamber Choir for more information.

Get Involved

Spread the word about our Veteran’s concert.  The flyer for this concert is attached.

Sell tickets! 🎟These are EASY concerts to sell. 

Here’s the link for buying tickets online:  https://hcs.yapsody.com/

Ticket 💲due 11/5!  

Share 📲 our concert ticket sales link on social media!

Box Office non-singer volunteers are needed for our next concerts.  Contact Lori Seelhoff at altoadmin@houstonchoral.org or Audra to find out more at vpperformance@hosutonchoral,org. 

Our next production call for A Salute To Our Veterans  & A Glorious Christmas is Tuesday night, 10/30/18.  Contact Audra if you would like to get on the call.  All are welcome and we have fun!

Facebook Giving Tuesday is Nov 27th!  HCS is participating and we need your help to spread the word.  Your friends and family are proud of what you with HCS and want to support you.  Shareable link coming soon! 

Movie Concert Silent Auction Planning Committee – Our 1st meeting was a success.  Next meeting is Saturday, 11/3 at 12:30pm at the Backyard Grill – 9453 Jones Rd, Houston, TX 77065

HCS BYLAWS ARE CHANGING

On 10/22/18, the members present at rehearsal were notified that our organization’s bylaws have been updated.  An email went out to ALL current members with the final draft including details of the changes.  

Please make every effort to refer back to this email and review this important document.  A meeting to discuss the changes and ratify the new bylaws will take place on 11/5/18 at rehearsal. 

Please contact me if you need the information resent.

Section Administrators and Directors & Other Important Contacts

If you are running late or need to miss rehearsal, please contact your Section Administrators and Directors.

Section Directors

sopranodirector@houstonchoral.org – Beth F.  & Marguerite L.

altodirector@houstonchoral.org – Riley O. & Lauren R.

tenordirector@houstonchoral.org – Taylor B. & Doug C.

bassdirector@houstonchoral.org – George E. & John R. 

Section Administrators

sopranoadmin@houstonchoral.org – Penny Nelson

altoadmin@houstonchoral.org -Lori Seelhoff

tenoradmin@houstonchoral.org – Sean Eary

bassadmin@houstonchoral.org – Bob Romero

Fun Stuff – Member Fellowship Night – Movie Night!

A Movie Night is being planned to gang up and go see Bohemian Rhapsody.  A movie about the rock band Queen. We are looking at an evening show for Nov. 17th or an evening show for Nov. 18th 

If you have a date and time preference, let me know.

Evite link coming soon! 

******

See you tomorrow! 

PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE!

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

Weekly Bulletin

Dear HCS,
This Week

Sectionals for Christmas Concert starts at 7PM
Rehearsal for concert #3: A Glorious Christmas begins 7:30PM.
Rehearsal for concert #2: A Salute to Our Veterans begins at 8:30PM
We will be rehearsing for both concerts every week!  
SCORE MARKINGS!
EXTRA REHEARSAL OCT 27TH – 9AM – 12PM
Veteran’s Concert Attire change!  Details below.
Auditions for Christmas concert solos Oct 29. Details below
If you are only singing in 1 of the next concerts, email your Section Admin asap!
Rehearsal Agenda below
Ways to volunteer below
Link to Ticket Sales and flyer for Veterans Concert below.
Movie Night – Bohemian Rhapsody!  Details coming soon – possible dates Nov. 17th or Nov. 18th!  
CHAMBER CHOIR: scores and solos info
——
Member’s Corner: http://www.houstonchoral.org/member-corner/
Login: members
Password: HCS2010
——
Rehearsal Agenda for Monday:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1pF0IOFNWE-Ije8-t9ixR38NqIHaU6A88gFQhMp8HgLo/edit?usp=sharing

Rehearsal Resources

DIRECTOR’S SCORE MARKINGS ARE AVAILABLE ONLINE! Please get them in ASAP!  
http://www.houstonchoral.org/scanned-score-markings/

Veteran’s Concert sound files link:
http://www.houstonchoral.org/member-corner/rehearsal-music-files/a-salute-to-our-veterans/

Christmas Concert sound files link:
http://www.houstonchoral.org/member-corner/rehearsal-music-files/a-glorious-christmas/

Katey Barnes (Soprano) has provided voice part tracks for all voices for the major Christmas pieces.  Please make use of the resources. Thank you, Katey!

********
Solo auditions for “A Glorious Christmas”, Dec. 1st, concert will be held on October 29 before rehearsal.

Available Solos
Christmas Flourish – soprano in “Stille Nacht” section
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas – any voice

For the auditions, please prepare the entire solo(s) of your choosing. See the sound fle link on Member’s Corner for performance recordings of these entire works.

*****Veteran’s Concert Attire change!*****

The artistic team has decided to make a modification to the concert attire for A Salute To Our Veterans ONLY. Please carefully review the attached description of the changes for ALL male and female performers.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1q9K6COq0Ui6ZXSk_yX5jjeyAwl_NNWmN?usp=sharing

Questions?  Contact Gayle Evans Ivy: gayleevansivy@gmail.com

EXTRA REHEARSAL – ATTENDANCE WILL COUNT! – OCT. 27TH – 9AM -12PM
Mark your calendars for this special rehearsal.  We will be rehearsing both concerts!

HCS Chamber Choir
Pick up your scores Monday night!

Auditions for solos in “Handel’s Messiah” will be held 11/12, 6:30PM. Check Member’s Corner -> Chamber Choir for more information.

Get Involved

Spread the word about our Veteran’s concert.  The flyer for this concert is attached and prints are available at the rehearsal sign-in desk.

Sell tickets! 🎟These are EASY concerts to sell.
Here’s the link for buying tickets online:  https://hcs.yapsody.com/
Thank you to ALL members who sold tickets for A Poet Sings.  

Share 📲 our concert ticket sales link on social media!

Box Office non-singer volunteers are needed for our next concerts.  Contact Lori Seelhoff at altoadmin@houstonchoral.org or Audra to find out more at vpperformance@hosutonchoral,org.

Our next production call for A Salute To Our Veterans is Tuesday night, 10/23/18.  Contact Audra if you would like to get on the call. All are welcome and we have fun!

Facebook Giving Tuesday is Nov 27th!  HCS is participating and we need your help to spread the word.  Your friends and family are proud of what you with HCS and want to support you.  Shareable link coming soon!

Thank you to all who volunteered at Foundry’s Judy Dierker Holiday Market.  

Movie Concert Silent Auction Planning Committee – 1st meeting, Saturday, 10/27 at 12:30pm at the Backyard Grill – 9453 Jones Rd, Houston, TX 77065

Section Administrators and Directors & Other Important Contacts
If you are running late or need to miss rehearsal, please contact your Section Administrators and Directors.

Section Directors
sopranodirector@houstonchoral.org – Beth F.  & Marguerite L.
altodirector@houstonchoral.org – Riley O. & Lauren R.
tenordirector@houstonchoral.org – Taylor B. & Doug C.
bassdirector@houstonchoral.org – George E. & John R.

Section Administrators
sopranoadmin@houstonchoral.org – Penny Nelson
altoadmin@houstonchoral.org -Lori Seelhoff
tenoradmin@houstonchoral.org – Sean Eary
bassadmin@houstonchoral.org – Bob Romero

Fun Stuff – Member Fellowship Night – Movie Night!

A Movie Night is being planned to gang up and go see Bohemian Rhapsody.  A movie about the rock band Queen. We are looking at an evening show for Nov. 17th or an evening show for Nov. 18th

If you have a date and time preference, let me know.

Evite link coming soon!

******
See you tomorrow!

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1q9K6COq0Ui6ZXSk_yX5jjeyAwl_NNWmN?usp=sharing


Amy Ghanem
VP of Administration
Houston Choral Society
vpadmin@houstonchoral.org
call/text: 713-825-6148

Tickets

Don’t forget to be encouraging everyone you know to buy tickets to our concerts!  Rehearsals don’t always sound beautiful in the first couple  weeks, but you KNOW they always come together and sound absolutely AMAZING!  Don’t wait until the last minute when you can see it all coming together to start talking about the concert and selling tickets.  By that time, your friends may have made other plans.

Also, don’t forget that for veterans and active duty military, this concert is FREE.

Bookmark this link and forward to your friends and family:

https://hcs.yapsody.com