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Items by Lucy Hudson Stembridge

Results: 369
Title Author Date
Comment: Re: GUEST BLOG: Choral Ethics (Part 4): “Reaping What We Sow,” by Marie Grass Amenta
If we all listen to Marie, [and implement her suggestions ] then not only will the vocal-choral world be a better place, the entire world will be a better place!   You go, girl!  :) I admire your attitude of forgiveness and positive expectations, in that you agreed to audition 3 times!  I als...
Comment: Re: GUEST BLOG: Choral Ethics (Part 3): “Kindness is NOT for Wimps,” by Marie Grass Amenta
A chorus of "Amen!"s, with polyphony, melismas, and healthy chords fortissimo !! The directors I respect and will sing for are kind, as you've described. Thankfully, there are several in my metro area. They are quite successful.   Why? Most of us, who share this goal of treating singers/group ...
Comment: Re: Stick Time: Hand Me a Whip! (Music with Sacred Text)
This is an excellent set of words and meaning.   Sometimes we have to be a tad complex in order to be thorough.  Or maybe we hope the angry parent (suffering from the "snarling forces of myopia" :) or the student confused by multiple messages,  will simply get bogged down in the reading and giv...
Comment: Re: Volume Issues
Also very nice suggestions! -Lucy
Comment: Re: Volume Issues
Great practical explanations!  (Did you study with Peter Harrower?)  Your methods are so like mine...  -Lucy
Comment: Re: Youth Church Choir Rep Suggestions
I definitely affirm the last 3 suggestions.  I need to get acquainted with "Revelation".
Comment: Re: Youth Church Choir Rep Suggestions
How many do you have, and can they sing unison, two-part, 3-part or SATB ?  The following suggestions, while not particularly "praise band" repertoire, are fun, rhythmic, and meaningful.  I've never know any singer to dislike them.   "O Clap Your Hands" by Julie Knowles is a great piece - energ...
Comment: Re: The Future of Newly Composed Music is at Risk…
I'm glad this is being examined/publicized. Though I am far from a full-time composer, I have close friends who are, and I'm aware of most of the issues. Is it possible that there is now more "competition" because technology has enabled so many to write their creativity faster and clearer, and to ...
Comment: Re: Smoking
As a professional singer, voice teacher, and choral director i have occasionally worked with singers who smoke. All the points here are valid. I think a voice teacher and an ENT who works with singers would both have good input.  More than one opinion is important here.   I studied with a renowne...
Comment: Re: CJ Replay: Yes, Choral Music Can
Yes. I would also mention the life-long health benefits of singing: improved breathing healthier posture healthier sinus stress reduction deep breathing oxygenates the brain, which helps everything function better  !   Social / professional benefits are: improved diction communication ...
Comment: Re: Teachers welcome students back to school in song
Kim,  I think that is a great and positive way to begin the year. I just dashed off a ditty for you.  I will message you my email. Lucy              
Comment: Re: SSAA or SSA piece that will WOW audience
"Hold On" by Clifton Noble.  Search it on YouTube.  If you get the honor Choir, fast forward and listen.  It is worth it. Calmer, bt inspired and inspiring: "Balm in Gilead" by Jackson Berkey   Best Wishes, Lucy 
Comment: Re: Christmas Community Choir Come-togethers
Good question. I think these events are great. I have participated in some locally, [on various years] as choir singer, soloist, and conductor.  One was a basic Lessons-and-Carols format, some were community Messiah, and one was a delightful musical  - charming, funny-but-classy, and subtly mean...
Comment: Re: Music about Human Rights, specifically women
Jack, This is obviously a very necessary, great, beautifully-composed, and significant work!   Can you point us to a resource to read the lyrics, (just to scan and ponder, not to copy or use) .... or are they also under copyright? Thanks, -Lucy
Comment: Re: Music about Human Rights, specifically women
Jennifer, I am glad you and your choir(s) are doing this. I applaud Mitos' recommendation of Joan Szymko's "Malala". "Harvey MIlk; A Cantata" also sounds interesting, powerful , necessary, and appropriate for a number of settings, even if you/your committees decide not to include it here.  I ...
Comment: Re: Ad Hoc Choir Rep
Gavin, How much rehearsal time will you have with them ... prior to the observed one?  I think that makes a significant difference.  Dr. Norman Raybon has said that with the simpler music, you have opportunity to teach higher musicianship. Does "good, but not amazing" refer more to vocal ability...
Comment: Re: vocal paresis and options
Kathy, So sorry you have had these  hardships!  Sounds like your research/procedures so far have been wise/reasonable. As a singer-educator who has had similar struggles (though, thank goodness, not nearly as severe and debilitating as yours), I would recommend 2 things: 1. Get opinions from 2 ...
Comment: Re: Unpaid admissions to concerts
Debbie, People will usually do what they can afford, especially when it is for a cause they care about that concerns their children.  Current economy makes this challenging.... for them, and you/your chorus. I recommend a savvy person at one door, where all volunteers must check in, and are given...
Comment: Re: We need songs with names of states in the title
From the musical Shenandoah, I believe, (medium, square-dance marchy ) :   "Freedom ain't a state like Maine or Virginia, freedom ain't a place you float to find.  Freedom is the flame that [rest/beat] burns within ya, freedom's in the State [beat, beat] of Mind." ...freedom's in the how ya(-) t...
Comment: Re: One Hit Wonders
Dennis, I like the concept. I totally agree with "Esto les Digo" and "Add a Riff". I would add: Dede Duson's "What is a Heart?" (may be out-of-print - message me - I have a few copies.)  Incredible text,  beautiful harmonic nuance, and gentle fugue patterns. Edwin Gershefski's "Lord's Prayer...
Comment: Re: What can conductors wear for hot weather performances?
Anthony, I like the light-colored, short-sleeved shirts that Mexican men often wear for dressy occasions, such as weddings.  (I think they come in burgundy, navy, as well. )  They have tucks (tiny straight pleats sewn in, ) , and small, subtle decorative buttons.  They look businesslike, subtly...
Comment: Re: Choir and IB?
There is a high school here which has had a good Fine Arts Dept. for years - including Chorus - and it is a school where you can earn I.B. There is a woman who taught Chorus there and is a local officer in A.C.D.A.     One of it's main feeders has a great choral department; (State Teacher of t...
Comment: Re: Taking the "Christ" out of "Ubi Caritas"?
Is it possible that the organizers of your service, Maia, as well as the Choral Professionals responding here, have lost sight of the actual meaning of the song?  Durufle chose only the refrain and first stanza {Wikipediea reminds us.}   Here is some of the  text: "Simul ergo cum in unum congre...
Comment: Re: Mousy, quiet girls
  Brava, Jolyne!  I nominate you for the "Most Great Stuff with Fewest Words"  Award! (Quick suggestion first; my general response below that) This is in the "crazy-enough-to-work-really-well" 'cat'egory:  In short, I would tell them to sing like cats.    Usually they will laugh and their ...
Comment: Re: College/University Voice Faculty and Recruiting
Yes, and hopefully the college professor becomes more aware of the classroom vocal/choral issues and endeavors, and can help address them.  Students "believe" us better if our words are reinforced; they also see that there are many ways to express techniques and acheive goals.  They begin to see t...
Comment: Re: College/University Voice Faculty and Recruiting
Yes, Stephen! An MENC president [a few years ago] encouraged "Collaboration, rather than competition."  This would be helpful in many fields, but particularly high school and college vocal-Choral music. -Lucy
Comment: Re: Director on stage
Hildigunnur and Eileen make good points, and I have been in similar situations.  But what I picture, based on your description, is artistically hazardous. [As Eileen describes - especially with children, I try to stand to the side.  They are smaller, we as adults cover them up somewhat, and their...
Comment: Re: Instrumentalists teaching choir
E.L. , I would recommend coming to Atlanta and attending a class/workshop by Jeanne' Brown.  She teaches great techniques, and she is a delightful professional with a positive spirit.  She has soloed with Atlanta Symphony over the years, and still does - singing consistently lovely renditions....
Comment: Re: Teaching Italian Diction to High School Musical Theatre Students
Ken, I would suggest that, before auditions,  you have a little session focusing on the abilities of our best gifts for diction; The tongue, lips, and teeth.  (Yes, there will be jokes, but, ... you know you can smile and move right on...) Have them relax  their jaw - just slightly, not pushi...
Comment: Re: Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb - conduct solos?
Daniel, Good question.  I have worked with this wonderful piece in capacity of director, soloist, singing-coach and keyboard, and I think Lenora's suggested routine is perfect: "Have a couple of good rehearsals with them, get them started, ..."     Sometimes we are the starting wind, and our...
Comment: Re: A piece to introduce a church choir to Classical Music
Kelsey, For a Christmas-Advent Cantata, I'd suggest Bach's "For Us a Child is Born" .  Most of the melodies are simple - the accompaniment carries most of the "coloratura" (fancy stuff) and the immediately-apparent rhythmic liveliness, but the melodies are well-led by the accented beats. I rememb...
Comment: Re: Instrumentalists teaching choir
Wonderful points, Joy! If I had taken the time to think deeply about this issue right now, my words would have been quite similar.  Thank you for expressing what, quite likely, many of us know, but fail to access.   If we bring the awareness(es) you describe to our students/choristers/members, ...
Comment: Re: getting female belters to blend in SATB choir
That's great, Denise.  Sounds like you are getting good results.   I recommend that all of us who work with singers re-think the word, "soft."  I have, following Dr. Norma Raybon's lead, replaced it with "quiet" or "small" or "quietly-focused." Sometimes "soft" is associated with "fuzzy" or "a...
Comment: Re: Instrumentalists teaching choir
JoAnn, It is great that you visited this forum to ask! I agree with the suggestions for joining a quality choir (the very small, "local-church-choir" might be a wonderful ministry with much heart - I have conducted/coached a few, and still love them - but unless they have a really well-schooled di...
Comment: Re: getting female belters to blend in SATB choir
Alicia, Both Robin and Henry make good points, and I have seen these situations many places.  However, it is difficult to know for sure how your group sounds, and how those sounds are being produced.  This is really a matter for someone that you could bring in ; singing is  a "hands-on, voice-o...
Comment: Re: Hallelujah Chorus
Jim, I am not sure of the history, but I would say, "Conduct it how your heart feels it!" (It has been done so many different ways...  ) You could conduct the mezzo-pianos passages as symbol of whispered awe for shimmering aspen leaves, heartfelt intimate conversations, pipsisiwaw [ a lovely t...
Comment: Re: Help me finish a set for Spring Concert!!
It might stretch them, but if they can do the other two, they can probably handle this with some part-help/rehearsal sound files at home - whatever you use. It is worth it.  They will love this piece.  And I think it fits your description/spot well.  Might even be worth pulling in some help fr...
Comment: Re: Conference Morsel: TOO Concerned with Tuning?
I affirm Deke's perceptive words.  I also affirm Ronald's words about balance; I think many directors are in similar situations. It may vary with genre-situation; I perceive that folks will not readily accept poorly-tuned Mozart as as well as they will certain songs from Country, or Jazz, or P...
Comment: Re: GUEST BLOG: "Attaching Stories to Choral Texts," by Amanda Bumgarner
Yes.  I was also reading Tom's "Safety First" games.  I applaud the concept, and the preparatory work done on it.   It was a little tricky to picture some of the procedures. I do imagine that they would be fun and effective!  I have seen the "Trust Circle" and that it is quite effective.
Comment: Re: GUEST BLOG: "Attaching Stories to Choral Texts," by Amanda Bumgarner
Amanda, Great question.   First, are we talking about this being for our in-rehearsal singers, or audience, or both?  I'll use the word "audience" in the general sense ; "listeners"  (in rehearsal or performance.) I would say that it depends on several things: 1. Can you determine, to an ex...
Comment: Re: GUEST BLOG: "Attaching Stories to Choral Texts," by Amanda Bumgarner
Tom, When I first began reading your Choral Charisma webpage, I was applauding every prargraph, and wondering how I could shout a cyber-"Amen!" .  (While I have a Vocal-Choral degree, and much experience with that, I also took some acting, some of which was Stanislavsky-based, also Wesley Balk. ...
Comment: Re: The meaning behind "fa la la" in madrigals
I sang in a professional madrigal group as part of the Renaissance festival when it toured here.  We did "Strike It Up, Tabor".   I've not researched it, but I always thought the "the Morris were half undone 'twere not for Martin of Compton ...'Oh, well,' said jigging Al'ce" meant, "We [dancers]...
Comment: Re: GUEST BLOG: "Choral Ethics is Not an Oxymoron" by Marie Grass Amenta
Amen, again, Marie! I have mentoined that many of us fully support you, will help, and look forward to more educaton here. At first I pondered; How would this play out in a few years?   Would ACDA, like the Lawyer's Bar Association, recommend only those who proved to keep the ethics consistently...
Comment: Re: The evolution of the six original choral schools in America in the Early 20th Century
So... it is clear then, that this refers to "schools of thought", rather than actual buildings/institutions?  I realize that some "schools of thought" actually establish buildings..?  I am interested to know, Angelica, whether you choose this topic or was it assigned to you?   Was the question...
Comment: Re: The evolution of the six original choral schools in America in the Early 20th Century
Angelica, I wish I knew for sure.  There are probably many who will see your  post and respond much more astutely than I. But I do recall a professor possibly describing Lowell Mason (New England area) as one.  F. Melius Christiansen (not sure if that is the son, or the father... ?)  might be...
Comment: Re: SA or SSA literature
They will likely love Clifton Noble's "Hold On" and Jackson Berkey's "There is a Balm in Gilead".  You may have to wait for more singers in order to have enough - but these pieces will be great motivation toward sight-singing skills and recruitment. There have been discussions before with SSA sugg...
Comment: Re: Top 10 Choral Classics
Another very good observation, Phyliss.  And I really think it depends on the experience and musical ability of the choir.  Personally, I guess I was using favorites that I love, and that I have heard others  - directors and choristers - say they love as well.  My list is composed of pieces th...
Comment: Re: Top 10 Choral Classics
Good point, Toni!  Thanks.
Comment: Re: What do you make of music published on ‘copy-proof’ paper?
I used to wish that the tecnicians who develp the grey-dot paper could lend their expertise to budgets large enough for extra copies! But nowadays, I agree.  Most directors are savvy and honest.  We also lend each other copies.    I'm starting to re-think what we have done for decades, but i'v...
Comment: Re: GUEST BLOG: “New Teachers: I Love to Hear You Sing,” by Emily Hackethorn
  A wonderful director here says to his choir: Do something with that phrase...do what you want to do with it.   Personal double-star for Ms. Suzanne Walters and Ms. Emily Hackethorn! And for all that we can do toward positive reinforcement for all our students, choir members, feeding teachers...