As promised here are more notes.. please add them to your score.
These details, along with the breathing/phrasing notes from last week, bring our performance to another level. I was very impressed with how well you marked and observed the breath/phrasing this past Sunday. Thank you.
The notes below are about entrances, page turns, warnings to look ahead, feeling the pulse, shortening certain notes, confidence, etc. (preventive medicine sort of stuff). There are also notes about significant changes in volume (aka. “dynamics”). These dynamic markings are in your score. Here is what they mean:
pp = very soft / p = soft / mp = med-soft / mf = med-loud / f= loud / ff= very loud / fff = give it all you got – “dim.” (diminuendo) means get softer, and “cresc.” (crescendo) means get louder
That said, Please Note: Dynamics are relative! (ex. ..how loud is loud? .. how soft is soft? … how fast or slow do we change volume?, etc.) The only way to really know is to WATCH ME!!
The notes about dynamics are really just a warning that a dynamic change is coming up!! I will take it from there! WATCH ME !! .. WATCH ME for these changes and please don’t be glued to your score. I will show you the important changes with my gestures. You’ll know what to do.
I am very excited about this weekend. Those of you who have been through this experience know what a thrill it will be. We will add nuance and musicality and do wonderfully creative things with this music. Lets remember we are telling the Christmas story. And if you need more motivation, 3 different people at 3 different times in the past 2 weeks told me that they are moved to tears, each and every year, at our cantata performance. Folks, we feed souls with our good work. What a wonderful gift we have to give.
Regards as always,
A GREAT LIGHT
Men p3 #26 Tempo picks up for your entrance
p.5 #45 .. internalize the tempo for entr. at #56
p.5 #56 .. entrance .. be on time! pickup note (“The”) to strong beat “Peo”
p.7 #76 -> dont drage the dotted quarters (each gets a beat)
p.7-8 – page turn from p. 7 – 8 (look ahead turn pg. early)
#104 – Look ahead across pg. 8-9 to rhythm at #104
#111 – get softer at #111 thru #117 (mf-mp-p) = (med.loud to med.soft to soft)
#125 – be aware of tune change (keep looking ahead) also mf (med.loud)
#141 – at F (loud)
#167 “dim” means get softer .. end mp (med.soft)
Careful of breathing – long phrases
Start song (mp) .. makes a contrast to next dynamic change at #21
Ladies – page turn 15-16 look ahead .. youre missing those notes at #19 (look ahead)
p.16 #21 Louder (mf) .. on “Oh Little”
p.17 #35-36 diminuendo (get softer) – #36 (mp)
p.19 #54 – crescendo (get louder) on pg turn to (f) at #56
p.21 #73 – gets slower and softer to end (p) .. watch me
All IS WELL
Feel 1 & start soft (p)
p.35 #41-42 (crescendo – get louder to f)
p.36 #49 (dim = get softer) down to p
p.37 #59 F (loud)
p.38 #75-78 – cresc. (get louder)
p.38 #85 – (f) and are ya still feelin “1”? .. of course you are!
p.39 #92 & #94 .. I want to “hear” those rests
p.39-40 #95 – cresc. thru #97 (to ff)
p.40 #102-105 .. shhhhhh!!!! its soft (p)
SING WE NOW OF CHRISTMAS
Feel Quick Tempo from Accompaniment
Everyone — listen up .. make the eight notes short! so we can keep it moving
Also, All (including me) #14-15, #19-20 is longer than i think
Ladies p.43 entrance — BE READY for your notes & be on time (and mp)
p.43 Men – cresc. #39-40
p.43 All #41 .. strong, resolute (mf)
p.44-45 #56+ – (f) Strong Long quarter notes (and melody is now twice as long)
p.46 #83- 86 .. cresc. little by little to (ff) at 3/4 bar ** Right into strong “This, This Is Christ the King”
p.48 #100 (dim) start getting softer lso we end up (mp) at #108
WELCOME TO OUR WORLD
p.49 – FEEL “1”
Ladies, Start (p) soft
p.50 – Men Entrance at #21 .. (mp) med. soft
p.51 #24 – Careful !!! on word “But” its an eighth note pickup to “long”
p.52 – still (mp) light .. airy .. this is a “Cradle Song” we’re singing to a baby .. lets be gentle
p.53 – that said, #47 is a strong, firm (mf) entrance in 4 parts (PLEASE PLEASE Do not slow down)
p.55 #71-73 (dim to p)
p.56 #76 to end is soft (p)
WERE YOU THERE
FEEL what? .. Thats right.. FEEL “1” (long…. short, short / long…. short, short, etc)
PLEASE NOTE GRADUAL VOLUME CHANGEs:
p.56 & 57 = are soft,
p.57-59, are louder through the Glorias
p.60-61 is louder still .. UNTIL #73
p.61-62 – then things come back down gradually to end (mf,mp,p)
GLORY TO THE NEWBORN KING
FANFARE TIME!!! – Accent Syncopations (make this JAZZ)
p.64 – Guess your note at the key change #13 – dont back off
p.64 – LOOK AHEAD to #17 – Lean into Rhythm (Glo-ry-Be)
p.65 – shorten notes.. dancing .. stay in quick tempo
p.65 – #33 (News of) .. Please Dont Slow Down when you go into 4 parts
p.66-67 – 2 tunes here – one light and dancy, the other strong and bold
p.69-70 – Be ready for the page turn, Obviously, big & bold “Hark the Herald” But Dont Drag
p.72 – BE READY FOR QUICK SONG CHANGE at #110 (feel “1”) (f)
p.74 #142 – BE READY FOR THIS CHANGE back to FANFARE!!
#142 – #150 .. Save Some Gas for ENDING!!!!!!
HAVE YOU SEEN THE BABY
1) TAP YOUR FEET – FEEL THE BEAT IN YOUR BODY
2) ACCENT THE SYNCOPATIONS!!!
3) TAP YOUR FEET
4) ALL (esp. MEN) – remember the repeat at #16 .. back to beginning
5) ALL 2nd time through, jump from bottom p.3 to bottom of p.5
6) Pgs.7-8 – should be memorized!! (basses 4x, Alto 3x, Sops 2x, tenors once
7) ALL TOGETHER at #31 .. This is Critical
8) Oh, Did I Mention? TAP YOUR FEET!!!! & ACCENT SYNCOPATIONS
This is a cradle song .. “tranquillo” .. be gentle, be maternal, be light
The 1/16th notes are ornaments to the words that follow. (ex. who-laid, with-anthems, the-son, who-angels)
… in these examples (who, with, the, who) are just light decorations to the word that follows
Watch me CLOSELY .. this song is full of slight tempo changes, and swells of volume changes…watch me ill cue you for those changes.
p.8 Sopranos – be ready ahead of time and “go for it” at #54-55
p.8 All – Lets end (p) soft
In the end.. this is a lullaby ..
I think it would be helpful if you Highlight each of the dynamic changes (pp. p. mp. mf, f) in this score. They change a lot, as to vary the repeating melody.
P.6 Everyone Look Ahead, be ready for #48 O Holy Night
I think the instruments give us the real flavor of a dance, and its in 6/8 which bounces (123,456) lets let it dance