Hallelujah! Bring Your Music

Hi Gang

This is a reminder for all Cantata vets to bring your copies of Hallelujah Chorus tomorrow. Jim has some extras for the newcomers.

Also at – http://hornellchoirs.org  i’ve posted

1) Practice parts for Hallelujah Chorus 

2) Recording of the “Wake, Awake” .. Bach Chorale 

Finally .. if you are interested in learning something about Brahms Requiem .. there are a variety of recordings discussing Brahms Requiem here



Nominate a charity; other information

Dear Singers,

I’m sending you this email to save time Sunday evening, and also to remind you to send me any suggestions you have for our designated charity this year. I have a couple other items as well.

We donate the proceeds of the free-will offering taken up during the performance to one local charity each year. The chorus selects this charity. We have a rule that the charity that received last year’s donation is not eligible this year. We donated the money to the Hornell Humane Society last year.

The other charities that were on last year’s ballot were: Aim Independent Living Center, Food Bank of the Southern Tier, Pro Action Champ Program, St. Ann’s Academy (Hornell), Southern Tier Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Turning Point (Hornell).

I need nominations for this year’s charity. I have only one nomination so far, and that is for the Community Meals Program (I may not have the correct name, but I’ll get this before Sunday). Please send me your nominations. I need to have them by Saturday, this Saturday, November 15th. I’ll prepare ballots, and we’ll vote Sunday evening. We need to know the charity for the program, which is already in the early stages of preparation. You may make a brief (very brief – one minute tops) “pitch” for your charity Sunday evening. I’ll accept nominations Sunday evening, but these will not be printed on the ballot, so they will be “write-in’s.

Next, please put your Cantata music, everything, into a black folder of some sort. If you don’t have a music folder, a black paper folder will do. We need to not only sound great for the performance, we need to look great. Mark will let us know in what order we will sing the various pieces.

I’m going to circulate the singer list once more Sunday evening. I did not give clear directions last Sunday. You need to see if your name is correctly spelled and how you want to have it, and to check that your voice part (S, A, T, or B) is listed correctly. And then you need to put a check mark or X next to your name. I need to have positive feedback that everything is correct. The list copies that I’ll circulate this Sunday have “X” before the names of those who put check marks on last Sunday’s copies. If there is no “X” before your name, you need to put one there, or a check mark, or something. If you have decided not to sing, please get back to me by email to let me know.


Testing Testing .. Do you read me?

Hi Gang

This is a test message.. hope you got it

Also .. those who have sung with us before … dig out your copies of Hallelujah Chorus :)  Those of you who are new, we’ll get you a copy.. may not get to this tonight, but please get it ready and bring to rehearsals.

And remember …


See ya in  a few hours..


Repost-Reminder – Hornell Christmas Cantata – Rehearsal Announcement and Information

Dear Singers and Musicians:

 Students are back in school, migrating geese have been heard, the NFL is back, and Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas aren’t far behind, so that means that


 Performance Date: 7 December 2014 (7:00 PM, St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church, Hornell)

 Music Pickup, Listen Through, and First Rehearsal: 19 October 2014, United Presbyterian Church, Hornell

 Rehearsal Times: 6:30-8:30 PM Sunday, beginningOctober 19th

Please participate in this year’s Community Christmas Cantata, and please spread the word. Our email list has some invalid addresses, and we want to make sure that we reach everyone who sang with us last year and as many other singers as possible. Please post the attached announcement in your church, at work, or any other visible place. Make as many copies as you need. We’re not sending a letter to area churches this year. Instead, we’re relying on you to publicize the Cantata by posting the announcement and placing the information in your bulletins and/or newsletters.

Here are the rehearsal details. Our first meeting is Sunday, 19 October. You can purchase scores starting at 5:30 PM. We will have the music playing, and there will be a regular rehearsal, 6:30-8:30 with our very own worry-early music director, Mark Smith. Music pick-up and rehearsals will be at The United Presbyterian Church, 150 Main Street in Hornell (use the Church Street entrance). All subsequent rehearsals (except for the one on Saturday, 6 December) will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 PM, also at The United Presbyterian Church.

The cost of the music is $15. We hope to have practice CD’s available at a modest additional cost. The music price includes a little extra to pay for orchestration and expenses, such as shipping costs.

Mark Smith looked high and low, and he found a wonderful cantata titled “Were You There On That Christmas Night?” by Lloyd Larson, one of America’s leading composers of sacred music. Along with this cantata we will fill out our program with three additional pieces; namely,

“Christmas Pipes,” arranged by John Leavitt, “What Child” by Paul W. Lohman, and a surprise, yet to be determined. That’s Mark’s way of keeping options open, and keeping us on the edge of our seats. And yes, we will also perform the “Hallelujah Chorus” from “Messiah.” (Dig out your copy, if you have one!)

If you’re not sure about participating in this year’s Cantata, let me make some points that might help you decide to make the commitment. First, our chorus is open to inexperienced singers. We don’t have auditions. All we ask is that you are serious about your participation by attending rehearsals and by practicing a little bit on your own. Mark is not only a wonderful director; he is a great choral teacher. Second, this is a short commitment – eight weeks. I sing in my church choir, in the Cantata chorus, and in Orpheus. I love to sing in choral groups, but that wasn’t always the case. I started singing as an adult when Jackie Walker (the first Cantata director) asked me to commit to eight weeks of singing in the Cantata. That got me hooked, and maybe you’ll get hooked too. Even if you don’t, it’s just eight weeks, with one rehearsal a week. Third, we don’t have age limits. If you’re a senior, and you’re worried about standing on risers for the performance, we can make sure that you stand on the floor, or that you sit. If you’re a young person, we welcome you as long as you are a serious, full participant. Rehearsals are both fun and hard work (the two really can be compatible!). Discipline is required, because Mark has a lot of ground to cover each time we meet. Fourth, this is an opportunity to join with friends and strangers (who won’t be strangers after you sing with them) to present a gift to the community, a very precious gift at a time when the true meaning of Christmas is needed more than ever. Fifth (and I’ll stop with five, even though I could keep going), we have an amazing director – Mark Smith – who really makes the hard work of rehearsing a joy and the highlight of the week for many of us.

Join Us – Please!

Please make the commitment to attend all of the rehearsals. We know that jobs, travel, illness, and other events in your life may force you to miss one or two rehearsals. However, please remember that the morale of the group and the enjoyment of the process are directly linked to optimum attendance. Our performance in St. Ann’s is the highlight and culmination of our efforts, but the fellowship and enjoyment of participating in the cantata is rooted in the rehearsals. So please give this your most serious consideration.

On behalf of the Hornell Community Choir, best wishes! We look forward to having you singing with us this year!

Jim Varner

flyer announcement–2014

Proceeds from Cantata offering

Dear Singers,

Ann Fitzpatrick, the Cantata Treasurer, reports that the amount of the Cantata offering was $1,500 (rounded off by $5).  She gave a check for $1,500 to the Hornell Area Humane Society, so it has the funds.  Mark and I will try to arrange a “check presentation” with a picture in the hopes that we can get a story in the newspaper.  The amount of the offering was not a record, but it was pretty good, considering the state of the local economy.


Further Information on Memorial Gifts for Mark’s Sister

Dear Singers,

Mark sent me an email thanking us for our thoughts and prayers.  He also included information on two places the family has suggested for donations, if anyone wishes to make a donation in memory of his sister.  Here is that information:

Memorials may be made to
Good Shephard Hospice Center
St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital




Information and Christmas Greetings

Some of you might want to make a donation in memory of Mark’s sister.  We do not have specific wishes from Mark or his family.  However, thanks to Barbara Stephens, I can give you the name of the hospice that cared for her, and the link to their Web site.  It is Good Shepherd Hospice in Port Jefferson, NY.  Here is the link to their Web site for donations http://goodshepherdhospice.chsli.org/donate.php

In the absence of specific wishes from Mark or his family, you could also make a donation to a charity of your choice in memory of his sister, Marilynn Jacoby, and Mark will receive notice of your gift.

Mark’s address is 7675 State Route 21, Hornell, NY 14843.

Merry Christmas from Linda and me!