2019 Festival Director's Notes
I am excited to be serving as this year’s clinician for the Choristers Guild Festival for Central Florida in March. My main goal is to share in fellowship and the love of our God through joyful music making.
General Guidelines for all pieces:
- For choral purposes, voices should be kept light and clear. Vibrato and chest voice should be avoided
- Tall, pure vowels – image of a “cave” in the mouth or thinking North/South as opposed to East/West.
- In general, breath and phrasing should follow punctuation (breathe when a comma, colon, semi-colon or period is noted). Exceptions to that will be indicated below.
- No American /r/ letter sounds.
- i.e. earth will become “uhth”
- The beauty of the sound is made through the vowels and the beauty of the text comes through the consonants. Pay attention to diction and articulation.
The Light of God’s Love:
- This piece will be sung with plenty of energy complementing the shaker and conga accompaniment.
- Pay close attention to the rests. Be careful not to hold notes out longer than the music dictates.
- Everyone should learn the optional solo section on pg. 7. Whether or not we will treat that as a solo, small group or full choir will be determined at rehearsal.
- Simple gestures may be added. TBD at rehearsal.
- Breathe only as indicated by , or ;
- Pay attention to the indicated dynamic markings which beautifully follow the melodic contour.
- Watch out for possible diphthongs on words such as “raise” at m. 21. Be sure to sing through the initial vowel sound. Note to live by: When singing a diphthong, sing on the initial vowel, and color that vowel with the final vowel just before you release the word.
- Be careful of the “no r’s” rule in words such as “Father” (m. 30) which should be sung “Fah – thah”.
The House of the Lord:
- We will take a slight ritard on the accented notes just before “A” (pick-up and 1 measure before). The same just before “C”.
- Tempo markings as written on pg. 9.
Seasonal Songs for Young Singers; Ride Through Jerusalem:
- The tonality of this piece can cause young singers to rush. Be careful to keep the tempo steady.
- We will slightly roll the “r” on the word “Jerusalem”.
- The music indicates a breath mark after every 2 measures. I would prefer to breathe after a 4 measure phrase (m. 3 – 6, breath, m. 7 – 10, breath, etc.). The exception to 4 measure phrasing is at m. 33. Breathe there as indicated in the music so that there is enough energy to carry m. 34 – 38 on one breath.
Light of Hope ; Light of Hope, Light of Peace:
- Observe dynamic markings from verse 1 through verse 3. There is a beautiful terraced dynamic indicated that befits the anticipation of the Advent Season.
- Be particularly careful to sing beautiful, tall vowels when sustaining words such as “peace”, “need”, and “see”.
Light of Hope ; Share God’s Love:
- We will express a bit of contrast from the anticipation of Advent in the prior selection to the exuberance of Epiphany. Share God‘s Love should be sung with plenty of energy and joy in the spirit of God‘s light coming into our world.
- Be sure to put ending consonants on word“s such as “take”, “light”, “Christ”, and “world”.
I look forward to meeting you all in March. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding the music by Clicking Here. Thank you in advance for the preparation that you will do with your choir.
In Christ’s Love,