Alto Rehearsal Notes


October 19, 2017


Al Hanissim

Could it be that we're getting the hang of this one?  Nothing new, other than to know that

the rabbi will be playing the clarinet.


Borukh ate

We sang this through without words.  Check for a good practice track.

Fayer, fayer

Most of the pronunciation is as written on p. 2, except for "heys," which should be sung

with a long I.  Also, "brennendike" = breh - nehn - dee - keh.

p. 6, m. 14: Add an "oy" on the second beat, as in the tenor line.

p. 7, m. 25: "stringendo" means that it will keep speeding up from this point to the end.

Puer natus est nobis

We worked the funky chords quite a bit. 

p. 6, mm. 30 - 31: Alto 2s, if it helps you to think in intervals, this is a minor 3rd.

p. 9, mm. 52 - 54: This stays loud, with no decrescendo.  That means our "puer" is subito p.

p. 12, mm. 75-76: no breath, so connect the "s" to the "no."

          mm. 77, 78 and 79: make sure that you're off on beat 4 to give the sopranos space

                        for their note.  It's the least we can do, since we get the last word.


October 12, 2017


Please turn in "Blessed Be That Maid Mary." 
We're invited to sing at the Temple Hanukah party on Dec. 17.  Stay tuned for more details. 



Al Hanissim


Pronunciation:  v' - al" = "vuh - al."


                         "heim" has a long A.


                         "zeh" does not have a long A, nor is is a schwa: it's a real "eh."


Please sing with the men on p. 6 and p. 9 - is this Alto 2s, or all Altos?


There are a couple of places where the Alto 2s need to take the tenor line:


            p. 8 (we can make the transition pretty easily if we move on P. 7. m. 71,


                    continuing to sing the E flat in m.72).


            p. 11 (likewise, an easy place to move is between m. 119 and m. 120).



Ding dong! merrily on high     


Roll your Rs and sing lots of "h" on "gloria."


There are many measures with a pattern of final 8th note followed by an 8th and quarter rest


            (m. 4, m. 8, m 16, m. 24, m. 60, m. 64, m. 84).  Don't onto the 8th note.



I'll be home for Christmas


The opening tempo will be closer to 72 than 92; John's going for dreamy. 


            He'll speed up on p. 26, m. 26. 




p. 32: We're dreamy again; be prepared to slow down around m. 92.  Cross out the a tempo in m. 98.


Work on your notes at home, particularly in the places where there are complex chords



Light One Candle


p. 4, mm. 17-18: Surprise! -  we have words.  Pronounce them.


Even though Valerie's doing valiantly, there are three spots where Alto 2s need to drop down to


            Tenor 1: 


            p. 9, m. 44 - p. 10, m. 52.


            p. 15, m. 84 - p. 17, m. 92. 


            p. 20 - whole page.


There are a lot of measures that end with a quarter rest.  Please don't sing through them:


            p. 5, m. 24;  p. 6, m. 28;  p. 7, m. 32;  p. 10, m. 52;  p. 11, mm. 56 and 60;  p. 12, m. 64; 


            p. 13, m. 68;  p 15, mm 80 and 84;  p. 16, m. 88;  p. 17, mm 92 and 96; 


            p. 18, mm 100 and 102;  p. 19, m. 108;  p, 20, mm 110 and 112. Did I catch them all?




Oseh Shalom


The editor has been very clear about breathing, so observe her markings. (N.B. means "no breath").


            Notice that the breathing doesn't always align, so if your friendly neighbor bass takes a breath      and you don't, he's not necessarily wrong.


Pronunciation: "Oseh" is a real "seh," not a long A or a schwa.


p. 5, m. 13: Alto 1s  sing one "mav" on the first three notes.  Thanks, Kay, for catching this.


p. 6, m. 18: slight ritard.


p. 8, m. 22: Add a crescendo mark if you don't have one.


p, 13: The ritard will begin in m. 37.



Puer Natus Est




Do breathe after measures 9, 13, 17 (after beat 3),  21 (after beat 3), 23, 35, 44 (after beat 3),


             48 (after beat 2), 54 (after beat 3), 70. 74.


Don't breathe between mm. 14 and 15; between mm. 17 and 21; in m. 22; between mm. 41 and 42.


p. 8, m. 44: the Alto 2 E flat needs to be stronger.


p. 9, m. 49: key change!  There's a crazy chord in m. 53 that's worth some work at home.


John suggests listening to this on to get a feel for the stacked chords.





October 5, 2017


In case you haven't found them yet, you can locate the rehearsal tracks here:
This link includes both Bridget's help with notes and Shelley's lessons on the Hebrew and Yiddish texts.



Blessed Be That  Maid Mary


pp. 24, 26 & 27: Choir I is stage right and choir II is stage left.


p. 24, last system: Long E and short A on "Eya."  "Jesus" = "Yay -zoos" (do pronounce the final s).


p. 27, first system: "assoil" means to absolve.


p. 27, last measure: Choir I needs to bring out the E.




A Carol for Chanukah


Pronunciation: "i" is pronounced "ee."


p. 4, mm. 10-14: No breath.


p. 5, m. 21 and p. 8, m. 52: Change the half note to a quarter note and quarter rest.


p. 8, m. 56- m. 57: No breath.


        mm 61ff: Please do sing this lightly, as marked.


p. 9, mm. 62 and 66: Don't punch the "a."



Hanukah Fantasy


p. 3: Did you notice that we start pianissimo? 



I'll Be Home for Christmas


We troubled poor John many times with our intonation.  Think high, all the time.


When beginning the "I'll be home" line, don't give the I a glottal start.  Not only will it sound bad,


            but it's bad for your voice.  John suggests beginning with a very slight h.


p. 25: We worked, and seemed to master, the triplets.


          m. 17: Wait for those 16th notes.


p. 32, m. 99: Alto 1s, you have the best note.  Milk it.


          mm 100-101: The chord needs our E flat, so don't be shy.


John asked us to work on this one at home.



In Dulci Jubilo


Breathe early and silently at the beginning.


Pronunciation: "jubilo" = "yoo-bee-low."


Though he didn't say anything about breathing, John seems to be conducting this in 4-measure phrases.


p. 86, m. 6, and elsewhere: The D tends to be flat. Again, think high.



O, ir kleyne likhtelekh


Breathing - and please correct me if you heard something different:


Do breathe after measures 5, 7, 9, 13, 15, 19, 23, 35, 39, 43, 45, 47, 49, 51, 55.


Don't breathe after measures 11, 17, 33, 41 (this  is a change from last week), 53.


p. 4: Our "O" should be very soft, gentle and haunting.


p. 5, m. 15: Though he didn't ask us to mark it, John conducted a diminuendo.


        m. 16:  Mark a crescendo.     m. 17: Mark a diminuendo.


p. 6, m. 27: Mark a diminuendo and ritard.


pp. 7-8: The ff beginning in m. 46 should continue all the way through m. 55.




September 28. 2017

John gave us these new pieces last week and last night:
A Boy was Born
Ding, Dong, Merrily on High
Good King Wenceslas
In Dulci Jubilo
Light One Candle
Sussex Carol
These pieces should be handed in:
May the Words of My Mouth
Nayom T'amtzenu
Set Me as a Seal
We'll rehearse at the Franco next week.


A Boy Was Born

We sang though this once.  The only instruction was to let the last "ya" float out into the Franco:

don't hold it too long.


Hanukah Fantasy

Pronunciation:  "ch" is always gutteral.

                          p. 11, m. 64: dray (long A) - zeekh - dray - dl - dry (long I)

                          p. 11, m. 66: long I on eins and svei

p. 11, m. 66: "oy" is just an eighth note.

p. 12. mm. 74ff: for now, all women sing the solo.

pp. 15-18: If you scroll down to the notes for Sept. 18 you can review the road map.

p. 15, m. 97 and p. 17, m. 107: remember to count to 4.

p. 20: Watch John for the accelerando.


Light One Candle

We sang through it; no notes.


O, ir kleyne likhtelek

The translation is at the top of p. 3.

Shelley says that there's a good recording of this piece on to help with the Yiddish.

In the meantime, here's some pronunciation:

                        "ey" is always capital A

                        "ay" is always capital I

                        "kh is always gutteral

                        "shaft" = "shahft" (p. 4, m. 12, p. 5, m.18

                        "u" is always "oo"

                        long A on "bevagt" (p. 7, m. 49)


 As a rule, breathe at the end of phrases - here are some specifics:

                        p.. 4, mm 11-12: don't breathe.

                        p. 7: breathe after mm. 41, 45 and 47;  don't breathe after m. 43.

                        p. 8: breathe  after m. 51; don't breathe  after m. 53.

p. 5, m. 13: listen to the basses for placement of the t.  We'll be in charge at m. 19.

p. 7, m. 44: Notice that the D is flat. 


Puer natus est nobis

p. 4: breathe after m. 13; don't breathe after m. 15.

p. 5, m. 22: don't breathe in the middle of the measure. 

            Take a look at the first chord: "Who does he think he is - Erik Whittaker?"

p. 6, m. 24: B double flat = A.

John asks us to work this at home.


Sussex Carol

Watch the markings for women / men / full choir.

No one seemed flummoxed by the repeats, so I won't bother to draw a road map.

p. 96, first note: Don't jump too soon to the "n" on "On" and "Then."

p. 98: Soprano 2s sing the Choir I  part. Soprano 1s sing the top line of the Choir II part.

We sing where we always sing.

p. 99, last system: John will do a pretty big rallentando.  Watch him.



September 21, 2017




Al Hanissim

We sang through this on ta.


Here are the measures where we sing a quarter note instead of a dotted 8th/16th:


p. 4, m. 28; p. 5, m. 44; p. 8, m. 76; p. 11, m. 124.  I think I caught them all.


p. 11, m. 130: Get off promptly: don't hold through that 8th note.




Ding dong! merrily on high


We ran it a couple of times; nothing new to note.



Good King Wenceslas


Pay attention to the repeated phrases.  I don't think you need me to spell them out here, do you?


Bridget encourages us to observe the dynamics (for instance, p. 66, m. 53ff) and to sing in 4 measure phrases rather than thumping the quarter notes. "Try to be beautiful." 



Hanukah Fantasy


We did a quick run-through on ta.  Pay attention to the 4/4 measures (spelled out in 9/14 notes).



In Dulci Jubilo


Observe the dynamics.


Hold the ends of the phrases for their full length (p. 83, m. 20 and m. 38; p. 89, m. 54).



It's the most wonderful time of the year!


p. 38, mm. 93 & 94: Alto 2s please sing the tenor G. Valerie is feeling understaffed in the tenor section.


p. 39: Watch the dynamics on the fa-la-las.  Keep them light.


p. 40, m. 115: Heads up: we change to 4/4 here, returning to 3/4 on p. 41, m. 125.


p. 42, m. 142: don't sing the half note; change the quarter rest to a full rest.


          m. 144: don't sing the eighth note; change the eighth rest to a quarter rest.



O, ir kleyne likhtelekh


We read through this on ta.  There are some funky harmonic moments (e.g., p. 6, m. 26). 


It probably wouldn't hurt to drill our own parts at home, so we can hold our own.



Oseh Shalom


Nothing new here but perhaps to review pronunciation (in 9/4 notes).




September 14, 2017

Al Hanissim

pp 7-11: Every time the altos divide, Alto 1s sing the big notes and Alto 2s sing the small notes.

p. 8, m. 76: Since we're singing in Hebrew, the second beat is simply a quarter note.  This happens

            in other places as well - it should be pretty obvious.


Ding dong! merrily on high

Lots of H on gloria ("glo-ho-ho-ho"). 

pp.33 & 34: We'll all save ourselves embarrassment if we practice these rhythms.


Hanukah Fantasy

First, check the pronunciation guide on p. 23.  Here are a few hints from Shelley:

            - kh is always gutteral and not a hard K

            - the ch in m. 34 is also gutteral

            - flip the r on "dreidel"

Next, practice the road map.  The most complex set of repeats is from p. 15 to p. 18:

            Sing p. 15, going back to m. 90 at the end of the first ending.  Simple enough so far.

            Sing p. 15 again, turning to the second ending on p. 16, m. 98. Keep going.  Sing mm.

                        99 to 106.  Return to m. 99, this time singing the second ending.  At the end of

                        the second ending, return to p. 15, m. 90.  At the end of m. 94, jump to p. 18, m. 108.

Now, notice the rhythms: We begin in 4/4 and switch to 3/4 on p. 12.  On p. 17, m. 107:, there's a rogue   moment of 4/4, returning to 3/4 at the top of p. 18. From m. 113 to the end we sing in 4/4.


In Dulci Jubilo

p. 82, m. 8:  "shew" = "show"

p. 83, m. 21: "Jesu" = "gee - zoo," not "yay-zoo"         m. 31:  "Princeps" = "prin -cheps"

                        m. 34: "Trahe" = "trah - hay"


Oseh Shalom

Shelley tells us that here, "Israel" means "all people."

p. 3, m. 1:   Oseh = "oh - seh," not "oh-say."               m. 3: "bim" - "beem"

            m. 5: "hu-ya-a-seh" = "hoo-yah-a-seh"            m. 6 "aleinu" = "ah-ley-noo"

p. 4, m. "v'" = "vuh"     "Yis-ra-el" = "Yees - rah- el" (not "yel")