This page is dedicated as a student resource for the IUSD Elementary Honor Chorus 2018. You will find all the requirements, rules, dates, and all other important detail regarding IUSD Elementary Honor Chorus 2018 right on this page. You will be able to listen to complete songs and part tracks here later.
Rehearsal #5- 3/7/18
Dear Honor Chorus Families,
We did it! We have finished, roughly, our Honor Chorus songs! We have sung every song to the very end this evening!
Ms. Agboola and Mr. Chicas joined us to sing, while Mr. McEligot came to play the piano for us again. Thank you!
Mr. Chicas led us on a breathing exercise and followed with several three-part warm-ups. We learned to move our voices up and down by half-step.
Many singers turned in their T-shirt designs.
Ms. Lee reviewed "Akatonbo." Everyone sang verses 1 and 2 beautifully. It is time to memorize the Japanese lyrics. We went on to learn the third verse with piano playing. Eventually, it is to be sung "a cappella", without piano. After the key change, verse 4, measure 40, was easy to sing. It has the same intervals as verse 3. The added ending has a couple of 4/4 measures, measures 54, 57, and 58. If you need the Japanese pronunciation, please listen to this recording by one of last year's Honor Chorus singer, Nanami: http://www.kafm.net/1718/HC18/Akatonbo.Nanami.m4a
We continued with "Ave verum corpus" by reviewing the first page. Remember to start with "sotto voce." Ms. Lee talked about full value whole note at measure 18. We start very softly in measure 22 in unison. We take quiet breaths between measures 22 and 29. Everyone did a great job to measure 29 that ens on a half note. After rehearsing with pitches, we added words to measures 30-37. Part 1 needs to make the first half note in measure 37 into a dotted quarter note, to allow time to breath. Part 2 and 3 need to hold for full value of a half note. We continued by singing "Loo" to the end of the song. We are almost ready for the double string quartet come to join us next Tuesday. Even the string players are practicing with this recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXjn6srhAlY
All the music teachers put 27 T-shirt designs on the floor for singers to view them. Row by row, we all had a chance to see each design up close. Teachers showed the designs again by holding each one up high before singers. Everyone was allowed to vote for three designs. Then we narrowed that down to just one. The winning design was drawn by Sreenidhi. Good job and congratulations!
Ms. Larsen directed everyone to sing "Rhythm of Life" from the beginning to the end. We knew the beginning very well. Ms. Larsen started to work from the back. We secured each part from page 14 to the end. Part 3 singers need to know whether you sing "A" or "D." Next, we worked on "Doo-bis" on page 11. Both part 1 and 2 were getting much better at the sixteenth notes. Circle I through K were getting stronger. Part 2 singers were doing much better this evening. At Circle F, some singers need to find the new key (D) and sing in unison. Circle G and H still need more clear diction. And don't forget the repeat! We ran out of time to sing the whole song again. We will add body movements to this song next time! It would be great if you know it by memory.
Here are the practice tracks for "Rhythm of Life":
We did not have time to rehearse the Honors Concert finale, "This Music of Life", this evening. Please listen to it, preview the pages. We will definitely learn it next week. Be sure to count all the whole rest measures:http://www.kafm.net/1718/HC18/ThisMusicofLife.mp3
If you would like to audition for be a piano accompanist for us, please come early, at 6:00 pm, on Tuesday, 3/7/18. Be prepared to play the first part of the song(s) that you want to play, such as:
"Akatonbo"-- Measures 1 to 12
"Ave verum corpus"-- Measures 1 to 10
"Rhythm of Life"-- Primo, Measures 1 to 20, Ms. Lee will play Secondo with you
Finally, this week's extra credit work is to research a little about "Akatonbo", then write 50, or less, of your own words regarding this Japanese folk song.
Keep on singing and see you next Tuesday, 3/7/18.
Rehearsal #4- 2/28/18
Hello Honor Chorus Families,
Thank you for coming for another great rehearsal. Mrs. Comestro, Mrs. Lodin, and Mr. Chicas joined us this evening, while Mr. McEligot came and stayed to play on the piano again. Thank you for all your support.
After moments of stretching and breathing exercises, Ms. Lee led a three part harmony exercise with scale singing. She brought treats for everyone and explained the extra credits rules again. Twenty singers would receive more treats at the end of the rehearsal this evening, for being on time to every rehearsal and have done every extra credit work.
Ms. Lee found an Austrian website regarding "Baden bei Wien", the place where Mozart wrote "Ave verum corpus." "Baden" means bath or spa in German. We saw the church, St. Stephan, on the internet. That town has a Beethoven Street! Here is a link to that site: http://www.badenonline.at/virtueller_Rundgang/tour_BADEN.html
We reviewed "Ave verum corpus" in three parts. Ms. Lee talked about the double string quartet that would accompany us on the stage at Segerstrom. We also need ONE piano player to play this song with us as well. If you are interested in playing the piano part, that piano score is attached to this email. Then we continued to learn through measure 29 with Latin. You may want to practice your part with this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXjn6srhAlY
Before singing "Rhythm of Life", Ms. Lee talked about T-shirt design. If you are interested in designing our shirt, please create an original artwork. You can draw, sketch, paint, or use computer graphics. But your artwork has to be an original! Your artwork is due next Wednesday, 3/7/18. Singers will vote for one to be the winner.
Ms. Larsen started "Rhythm of Life" with part 2 on page 9. After several tries, the intonation was much more secure. We continued on and learned the whole song! Yeah! Some of the sections still need more clear singing. From time to time, we hear some Part 2 singers sing Part 1's music one octave lower. Ms. Larsen will make practice tracks for this song to help those singers who are still "searching" their pitches. Please work on this song and start to memorize it. There will be body movements add to this song. Here is a link for "Rhythm of Life": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEo1yeqfBbg
We ran out of time to practice "Akatonbo" this evening. Please review your part for verse one and two. We will work on verse 3 and 4 next week. Here is a link of "Akatonbo" performed by one of last year's Honor Chorus singers, Nanami: http://www.kafm.net/1718/HC18/Akatonbo.Nanami.m4a
Each singer received an "Honor Chorus Letter" that mentioned concert tickets, performance day meal, concert recording, etc. Please read it carefully and let us know if you have any questions and/or comments. Singers also received a copy of "The Music of Life" that was composed and arranged by IUSD music teachers. It will be our finale at Segerstrom. We will look into that song next week as well.
If you like to be our accompanist in the Honors Concert at Segerstrom, please contact Ms. Lee this week. We need three pianists. There will have a piano audition in two weeks on 3/13/18.
This week's extra credit work: Find and write down or type the section letters for each and every "key change" in "Rhythm of Life." Hint: there are more than three key changes and the first one is at "Circle C."
As a reminder, T-shirt artwork is due next Wednesday, 3/7/18, while piano accompanists audition is on Tuesday, 3/13/18. Good luck everyone and keep on singing!
Rehearsal #3- 2/20/18
Good morning Honor Chorus Families,
Since I got home late about 11:30 pm from a rehearsal with Pacific Symphony Orchestra and Pacific Chorale, I now have time and energy to write to you.
We had a terrific rehearsal last night. Ten singers were absent for various reasons. One of our parents, Mr. McEligot, offered his talent, time, and effort to be our rehearsal accompanist. He came early and played along with us, by parts or by piano score. Thank you, Mr. McEligot! We are grateful to have such wonderful support!
Ms. Larsen led the warm-up exercises. The half-step exercise of "Mary Had A Little Lamb" was done in three parts and fast!
Ms. Lee talked about the sign-in sheet numbers and initials. Most of the singers have turned in their forms. Everything is notated on the sign-in sheet, so singers could check for information. She also mentioned that many singers had turned in their extra credit work. But since we did not have assigned seating yet, she would return the extra credit sheets by next week.
We sang "Ave verum corpus" first. There should be NO breath between measures 4 and 5. Measure 7 starts with a dotted half note for everyone. Please hold that note for three beats. Measure 9 is pronounced as "Veer-gi." Part 1 needs to sing the syncopation in measure 13 clearly in rhythm and change measure 14 beat 3 into an eighth note with an eighth rest, for breathing purpose. We finished up to measure 18 in three-part harmony with lyrics. Please look over your part between measures 22 and 29 for the next rehearsal. Here is the link for that song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXjn6srhAlY
If you are an accomplished pianist, CM level 5 or higher, you may want to consider to be our piano accompanist. The piano score for "Ave verum corpus" is attached with this email. For the other songs, you already have the built-in piano part. We are looking for three pianists to help with our three songs for our performance. "Rhythm of Life" requires two pianists to play. Ms. Lee will be one of them.
Ms. Larsen started "Rhythm of Life" by reviewing everything we did from last week. Our sections "A, B, C" sounded good and only needed to remember the "ts" for those ending consonants. Sections "D" and "E" were clear in three parts. Section "F" should start even softer, because everyone sings in unison here. We slow section "G" down for the enunciation and pitches. Sections "H, I, J, K" require clear intonation. Ms. Larsen reminded part 1 singers to use modified vowels to sing Section "K." Some of the singers need to go over their pitches in Section "K" carefully. We went over Section "L" in three parts like a layer cake, one layer at a time. Finally, we sight read through Sections "M, N, O." Part 3 singers may sing "E, E, E" at the end of Section "O." However, majority of part 3 singers did the G# on the first try. We are almost at the end of the song. Maybe next time. Watch and listen to this performance, or you may want to sing with it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEo1yeqfBbg
Ms. Lee organized singers by height and moved singers around to create a semi-permanent seating assignment. We may need to adjust that mildly next time.
The last song, "Akatonbo", was sung beautifully in unison with lyrics up to measure 12. When the "round" portion started, we somehow lost control. Ms. Lee asked everyone to read the lyrics together with the correct rhythm. We were then divided into three parts to sing the same melody by "Loo", "Da" and "Bum", as a round. After several tries with these exercises and partial lyrics, we finally did the three-part round with Japanese, correctly and beautifully! For next week, please look over your part between measures 31 and 38.
Ms. Lee talked about our field trip a little. We will know more about whether we are going to the Japanese Garden in the Japan American Cultural Center or the Japan American National Museum later.
Here is this week's extra credit questions: In 50 words, or less, write about Mozart's "Ave verum corpus" with your own words, not the "copy and paste" style from internet.
Thank you for reading. Keep on singing!
Rehearsal #2- 2/14/18
Dear Honor Chorus families,
We had another great rehearsal this evening! Thank you to those who helped to set up chairs. Everyone receive a lollipop for coming to rehearsal on Valentine's Day. Ms. Agboola, Mr. Chicas, Mrs. Comestro all came to support the rehearsal this evening and sang with us. Thank you!
Ms. Larsen started the warm-ups to get all voices sound together with clear diction. Singers sang "Mary Had a Little Lamb" by half steps! She also led singers in a five-note pattern in descending mode all the way down to a low E flat.
We started our first song, "Ave verum corpus", with three-part harmony and Latin for four measures. Ms. Lee asked everyone to get their pencils out to connect measures 3 through 6, put a breath mark at the end of measure 6, and connect measures 7 through 10. The whole note in measure 10 will be shortened to 3 1/2 counts for singers to manage their breaths. We continued sight-reading to measure 18. Ms. Lee reminded everyone that "U" must be pronounced as "ooh" and "I" must be pronounced as "ee" in Latin.
Next up was "Rhythm of Life." Ms. Larsen reviewed what we did last week. We start with unison from section A through the end of section C, including the key change for section C. Two-part singing starts at section D and three-part singing starts at section E. Ms. Larsen explained how long the quarter notes should be, or how short the eighth notes should be, at the end of each sentence. The consonant "t" for "feet" and "beat" should go on the following rest in the next measure. We practiced sections G and H slowly for the diction. After everyone has a good handle on the lyrics, we also read through sections I, J, and K! Ms. Larsen showed everyone how the layers of sound was built from section I through K.
The last song for the evening was "Akatonbo." Everyone remembered the melody and sang beautifully on "Loo". After singing some pentatonic scales, Ms. Lee played a recording of the Japanese lyrics read by one of the Honor Chorus students. With the "Romaji" on the page, we sang the first verse with no problem. The last thing we did was to sing the second verse in a round, a cappella. We started with part 1 first in the round as the score indicated. To have fun, we changed the score by having part 3 sing first!
This week's extra credit question is as followed:
Can you name all the cities that was used in "Rhythm of Life"? Hint: read the lyrics carefully!
Please mark your calendar that next week's rehearsal is on Tuesday, 2/20/18, due to the Brywood PTA meeting on Wednesday. Enjoy a lovely long weekend and keep on singing!
Rehearsal #1- 2/7/18
Dear Honor Chorus Families,
Wow! You sounded great this evening! Thank you for those who came early and helped to line up our chairs.
Singers had a chance to look up their names to find their personal number and received their music folder. There are four songs, translation of two songs, rules, and a pencil in each folder. Please use them often at home and bring them to each and every rehearsal.
Right at 6:30 pm, we started with some breathing exercises and followed by voice warm-ups. Our three parts are pretty balanced, even though a couple of singers believe that they were placed in the wrong parts.
Ms. Lee showed a photo of the Segerstrom Concert Hall stage and talked about the three songs for this year's Honors Concert. We are looking for pianists to be our accompanists. If you are interested, please let Ms. Lee know.
"Akatonbo" was our very first song to sing. Ms. Lee led the group with a quick discussion about what was on the page. After a short Q & A, we all hummed the main melody together from measures 5 to 12. Ms. Lee talked about the pentatonic scale being used in this song. Once everyone was more familiar with the melody, we broke into three parts for a three-part canon. With Ms. Larsen's assistance, we sounded pretty good for up to measure 30, the end of the canon section. Ms. Lee wants everyone to learn the main melody well before we add lyrics to it for next rehearsal.
Ms. Larsen explained the nature of "Rhythm of Life" by sharing a recording of it. With lots of text and 16th notes, she said we would sing fast, but clearly. Ms. Larsen told everyone to follow the music like a road map that charts the course. She suggested everyone listen and practice with this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEo1yeqfBbg
We spent the last portion of the rehearsal on "Ave verum corpus." Ms. Lee talked a little about the church Mozart worked in and showed a photo of St. Stephen's church in Vienna, Austria, that was considered as "Mozart's Church."
Here is the extra credit question: Can you list the measure numbers of the beginning for each verse in "Akatonbo"? Hint: check for the main melody and see how it is being used! Please email your answer to Ms. Lee or write it down on a piece of paper and turn the answer in by next rehearsal.
It is never too early to prepare your black outfit for the Honors Concert. If you have any questions, please ask. We are very glad that you are a member of this year's Honor Chorus and could hardly wait to see you again and to make great music together!
If you have any questions and/or comments, please contact me at anytime. Enjoy a beautiful week and keep on singing!
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