Thursday, December 12, 2013

How important is it to warm up?

Where do I start...

Lovelies. It's been awhile. I have neglected you for over a month and I suck for it. 

Hopefully this will make you feel better.


Told you. Want to know where I am?  I am currently observing an Aikido class (I kid you not) and they just finished the goldfish warmup. They are literally moving like fish out of water on the ground and I am struggling to hold in my hyena of a laugh, complete with immaturity.
It's moments like this that make me reflect (despite my struggling to laugh hysterically) on why we do these exercises and how they are helpful to us, especially in a choir rehearsal. 
As silly as we look doing them, it is 100% necessary.

Talk to any singer who experienced not warming up before singing and ask if they felt like shit immediately afterwards. All the time. Every. Single. Time.

Take my Sunday afternoon gig at a restaurant as an example. It was a simple jazz gig that included some high vocals and rusty flute playing. I was le tired and barely got any sleep the previous day. 
If I wanted to perform this gig properly, I'd have to throw in some Tai Chi and breathing excercises. I can tell you right now, my spectators thought I was about to go Kung fu on their ass. I may have looked utterly ridiculous, but it was worth it and I sang like a champ, sort of.
Panting like a puppy is a routine I regularly use in our choir warm ups. Ask me if I care who's looking.

So, fellow vocal friends, please warm up. Your inner panting puppy will surface eventually and you can thank me later.

On another note, it's -20 in Ottawa and I can't wait to go out and play in the snow.



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The various faces of choristers Part 2

Hello my lovely lovely lovely people,

Despite my comatose state at work, I am in a fairly chipper mood. Why? Because I have the pleasure of creating another post requested by so many.

Introducing: The various faces of choristers Part 2. If you haven't seen my original post, you might as well scroll down before beginning this wonderful read.

Let's begin:

1. Stagger-breathing face. Also known as the I NEED MY ASTHMA PUMP ASAP PLZTHANX.

Stagger breathing is a technique used in ensembles to create a continuous sound with no breaks for breath. When you absolutely need to take a breath, it must be subtle to give the impression that you are NOT GASPING FOR A WONDERFUL THING CALLED AIR. Takes practice, my friends.

2. Post stagger-breathing/NEEDOXYGEN face:

Speaks for itself.

3. High and mighty face:

That moment you ace your solo. The last time you were this proud was when you had Nutella and ice cream together and it was glorious. You go for a high five/bro pump from your colleagues AND YOU GET THIS:

4. "Left hanging" face:

*shudders* WHY U DO THIS TO ME...

5. The "choirmance" face:

"Good job on that low D flat, bud". "Thanks, budson".

6. The "head bobbers". Usually surfaces when Christmas repertoire is rehearsed.

I may or may not have done this a few times (definitely did):


7. The "rejected" series of faces

When those opera stars walk in the door and you all be like:

You flash that smile of yours...

and they walk by, without even a hint of interest in you...

Resulting in:



Don't worry, you'll get your chance to take a picture and talk about how much you want to sing at the Met.

There is always a light at the end of the tunnel...

8. MORE PITCH FACE TIME (see Part 1 so you're on the same page as everyone else, fool.)

Because it has to end this way.



Comment if you want me to add other faces to the list!

Welcome our new NACO conductor!

I am so happy that this is happening. This man conducted us for Puccini's La Bohème back in 2012 and he was delightful to work with. Did I mention he is also a stone cold fox?

An Englishman who is talented,  dresses like a model and is really, really good looking? Yes please.

Here is the link to our local newspaper with the deets.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

My new besties


Saints Saëns may dance a little like this:

And for Tchaik...

Instant besties.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

With great force.

You knew I would bring out the Star Wars bits at some point. Thurr ya gurr:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The various faces of choristers

Hello lovelies,

Over the years, I've observed some pretty interesting choir faces from my fellow choristers in pictures, videos and two feet away from my seat. Until now, it dawned on me that these natural reactions I have grown accustomed to show how ridiculous we can look while singing or simply listening in rehearsal.

And what better way to demonstrate my observations than in a combination or gifs and pictures guessed it...celebrities and animals. I've searched the web for what I believe to be the closest choir faces of what I see on a weekly basis.

My definition of Choir-faces is natural reactions/expressions/motions that can range from utter disgust to absolute delight in the rehearsal hall or on the stage.

For this post, I am strictly focusing on non-verbal choir reactions. Perhaps I will save that for a future post? Me thinks so.

I thought I would start from the most delightful to absolute cringe-worthy reactions:

Let's begin.

1. The "New rep/Squee" face.

This face generally surfaces at the first rehearsal or first run-through of a piece that sends everlasting eargasms and you can't help but squee like a little girl. Even the manliest of choir men cannot avoid this pure moment of joy.

2. The "Feels" face.

I am so guilty of this face. If you haven't experienced these precious moments, you might as well say I HATE MUSIC AND EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD. I guess we can't be friends either. BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIEEEEEE.
3. The "La la land" face.
While singing, we can sometimes find ourselves in la la land daydreaming of becoming an opera star. If you see a fellow chorister looking off in the distance with stars in their eyes, they might just be imagining themselves as the next best thing. Eh, why not? A girl can dream.
4. The "bass down low" face.
Let's face it ladies, we love it when the basses drop those low notes. You might as well rip your clothes off and throw them across the room.
5. The "In a glass case of emotion" face.
This face will surface during those heavy and intensely somber pieces. Can't handle it.
Guys, it's about to get cringe worthy:
6. Those darn "Creepy smiling" faces.
Hands down to the conductors that ask their choristers to look happy while singing... WHEN THIS HAPPENS:

7. The "Bueller" face. May include drool.
The last minutes of an evening rehearsal tend to affect many this way. We've all been there.
8. The "Get it together" faces:
When those pesky sections can't get their shit together.
9. The "Oops, wrong pitch" face:
So you sing the wrong pitch. Shit happens.
Laugh it off and apologize (and get your shit together or you will be seeing a lot of #8).
10. The "I'm lost" face.
"Which bar number was it again?"
"Is this not the third system where I sing a high B flat?"
And finally...
11. The "Pitch" face. The face that inspired me to write this blog.
So what happens when your singing neighbor belts out a high note that doesn't even exist in the score?


Well lovelies, there you have it. Let me know if there are other faces I should mention!

I hope you enjoyed this post and don't forget:

See ya'll later.