In rehearsal on Tuesday, I asked the choir to use the method of “count-singing.” This method is predicated upon two principles: First, we want to save voices — use as little of our voices to gain the maximum benefit of learning notes and, more important, rhythm. Second, we should all desire to progress in the... Read more »

A Tale of Two Requiems

Last night I had my first rehearsal with the Northwest Choral Society of 2013. We are currently working on two Requiems — one, Requiem for the World’s Unwanted Children, is by Chicago composer and educator, Daniel Salotti. The other is Johannes Brahms’ A German Requiem. Dan Salotti’s Requiem uses texts from the Liber Usualis (the... Read more »

Gettin' Ready!

So it’s been a while since my last post. We have been working very hard preparing for our concert. We had a terrific all-day rehearsal on the 17th of November. The choir sang very well and demonstrated they know their music. After lunch, we had a clinicial, Dan Salotti, come and work on a requiem... Read more »
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Music is Joyful and it is Joyful to Sing

Tonight I had a moment of vulnerability with my choir. We had a less-than-stellar first half of a rehearsal. Sopranos’ sound was flat and thin. Altos were over singing. Basses were missing. Tenors were a little on the weak side. I was constantly assessing, “Why is this going wrong tonight?” As the night went on, the... Read more »

Artistic Director vs. Choral Director

Last night at rehearsal I felt as though we really made Music. As we are getting closer to the performance, it is good to hear that the notes are finally sticking, rhythms and text are accurate, and nuance is being remembered. There were two specific instances where the singers made the music leap off the... Read more »

Let's give it a "DO"

So this week i decided to try running all of our choral movements without stopping. This was a great idea since we are about half-way to the performance, have worked on all the music thus far, and are feeling good about the chorus’ development this year. Well, I thought it was a good idea. Actually,... Read more »
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Why I love Handel's Messiah

The Northwest Choral Society is coming along nicely in our preparation of Handel’s Messiah.  Messiah is one of my most favorite works of music.  When I ponder what is it about this piece, I realized it is the continuity of theology, harmony, and affect of the music. The theology can really be divided into three... Read more »

Melisma??? Melis-YOU!!!

So last night in rehearsal we started to move away from the da-da-da technique of singing melismas.  Melismas are long phrases of notes that are sung to one syllable of a word.  Think of the GLORIA refrain in the Christmas carol, ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH.  You sing a lot of notes on the... Read more »

And now a word from our sponsor -- OURSELVES

Last night at rehearsal we had a successful music experience.  The singers are getting the nuance and technique for bringing Handel’s Messiah alive.  Very rewarding. After the break, I had the podium to address issues of fundraising.  I started explaining that the Board was striving to keep costs down for membership and we are seeking... Read more »
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Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?

I find the dynamics of a rehearsal to be amazing.  Tuesday night I rehearsed with the NWCS and the entire rehearsal seemed under energized and lacking vitality.  Yes, the singers sang well, and I tried to feed them my energy.  But for whatever reason, we were at an impasse about communal energy.  There could be... Read more »
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    Maestro Wellman

    Maestro Wellman is a school, community, and church choir director. He is a Chicago native and on the faculty at Catherine Cook School in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood. Maestro Wellman is the Artistic Director for the Northwest Choral Society.

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