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Items by Carl Smith

Results: 43
Title Author Date
Comment: Re: Curriculum for class of 50, 5th/6th graders in General Music?
Trevor- I sense your frustration at the huge classes assigned to you. ASAP: find out as much as you can about the program last year. What was the program last year? Who assigned the large classes to you? What facilities and teaching materials and instruments do you have? What are their [whomever "t...
Comment: Re: What to do with 4 weeks and no concerts left in high school?
Find a retirement facility and prepare a short performance for them- the audience will be welcoming, they will show their appreciation to your students. Involve the singers in selecting a program- perhaps even include an old song that the audience maight know...like a community sing with the choir. ...
Comment: Re: Community Choir questions
Fellow Conductors of community chourses:   I read with great interest your comments on Christina's posting of questions for community chorus conductors. I need help with a problem I face each Monday evening's rehearsal: lack of consistent attendance, no funds, no corporate support, no "'non-prof...
Comment: Re: Critical Thinking in the Choral Rehearsal
What is your definition of the term "critical thinking skills in the choral rehearsal?"   Carl Smith
Comment: Re: Major works for Community Chorus
Ken- How 'bout The Vivaldi Gloria?  Sunday afternoon I'll conduct the  Sun City Singers a community chorus in the Vivaldi. For some singers in this non-auditioned chorus, it's a major step up the ladder. For others, it's a challenge to perform. For all of us it will be a delight to perform! ...
Comment: Re: What is the most perfect piece of choral music ever composed? Opinions, please.
Julia,   Your question is intriguing and creative- I'll respond with two pieces that never fail to move me profoundly.   The first is William Byrd's "Ave Verum Corpus;" the second is Monteverdi's madrigal "Filli Cara e Amata" (technically NOT a choral piece, but so moving and beautiful!)...
Comment: Re: Best Shakespeare texts set to music
Consider performing Sir David Willcocks' The Glories of Shakespeare,  published by Oxford. Excellent SSA settings of "Who is Sylvia?", "Under the Greenwood Tree," "Fear No More the Heat O' the Sun," and "It was a Lover and His Lass."   Also- consider Tony-Hewitt-Jones setting of "Full Fatho...
Comment: Re: Closer
Jared- your selection for an encore is highly correlated with your concert program, especially the final number. Do you want to close with a number that might bring the audience to their feet, cheering and applauding? OR do you want to close with a number that might be contemplative and quiet? ...
Comment: Re: Community Choir Liability Insurance
Daniel:   Your queston is timely for me- I conduct a small community chorus, and I had not thought about carrying liability insurance.   We do have one alto who is sight-impaired, and the thought her slipping off the stage in the church parish hall, where we rehearse and perform, is fright...
Comment: Re: Middle School General Music Curriculum
Arielle-   Are you an active member of NAfME (formerly MENC)?  If so, you may already be receiving In Tune, published by NAfME.   It's targeted to middle school general music, and features articles and lesson plans suitable for middle school students. If I were teaching middle school g...
Comment: Re: Stick Time: Conducting Study 6
No, Scott, today's Conducting Study does NOT support that idea (inhabit a role so completely that it becomes a part of them). Timothy does have gestures that elicit a correct response (e.g., hand up to indicate a decrescendo), but singing along with the chorus , to me, is not conducting- it i...
Concert: Sun City Singers El Paso, Texas Spring Concert
Sun City Singers, a community chorus in El Paso, Texas, performs its Spring 2012 Concert, Sunday, May 13, 3:00 PM MDT, at St. Alban's Episcopal Church Parish Hall, 1810 Elm, El Paso. The concert concludes the third season of the chorus. Theme of concert is "Remembering, Wandering, and Dreaming," a...
Comment: Re: Beginning level church choir
Hi Stacy-   I conduct a very small church choir, too. I have found these two anthologies very useful:        The New Oxford Easy Anthem Book (2002). Oxford University Press.             Music for the Church Year: Augsburg Easy Choirbook (2003). Volumes One and Two. Min...
Concert: Sun City Singers, El Paso, Texas Concert
Sun City Singers, beginning its third year as a non-auditioned community chorus, sings in concert Sunday afternoon, December 11, 3:00 PM, at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, 1810 Elm, in central El Paso. The concert is free.   For more information, phone (915) 261-3963. Carl Smith, Artistic ...
Comment: Re: after Laudate nomen Domini, TYE
OOps! Typo... The Byrd mass I cited incorrectly is really the Mass for Five Voices.
Comment: Re: after Laudate nomen Domini, TYE
Tallis- If Ye Love Me, Keep my Commandments; Byrd- Mass for Four Voices; Byrd: Mass for Three Voices; Byrd- Mass for Four Voices; and The Oxford Book of Tudor Anthems- it's got 34 anthems! And all are exquisite.   I learned all 34 anthems in the Oxford Book of Tudor Anthems from Sir David Wi...
Comment: Re: Prices charged for ad sales
Thanks, Shawna- I have a rather new community chorus, and I ask the same question. To Bruce Rockwell- how do I locate demographics for the audiences who attend our concerts?  And to everyone else: what do I say to ask for ads in the concert program?
Comment: Re: Messiah-Vowel on "Purify"
Brandon,   I just listened to a performance of the chorus "And He Shall Purify" by King's College, Cambridge University, on YouTube. What do you think that choir did in pronunciation of the vowel in question?   They sang [i] .  Check it out. "Pureeefy...."   Which one do you like...
Comment: Re: Why ChoralNet is not "taking off"
For me, ChoralNet is NOT an irritant, nor is there too much information in the daily postings.  The site is very user-friendly. Ever heard of "going green?"   Don't know about you, Charles, but the college at which I teach is "going green."  Not a problem for me.  I've subscribed to ChoralNet...
Comment: Re: 7th Grade Music Appreciation
Nicholas- check NAME (formerly MENC) online. Lotsa resources for ms music appreciation. I teach music appreciation classes at a community college, and I think my experiences may be similar to what you face. 1. Begin with a written response from them- "what IS music?"  Read them to the class- or...
Comment: Re: pronunciation of often
Hi Julie,   To get an anwser to your question, I pulled out my copy of Madeleine Marshall's The singers manual of english diction.  She states "t" is sometimes a silent letter.....The admonition never to omit a t does not apply, of course, to those words in which t is a silent letter.   ...
Comment: Re: Texting in rehearsal
Nancy- what has worked for me in teaching undergraduate music appreciation classes at a community college is (1) to tell students first day of class that cellphones are to be turned off, and put away, out-of-sight during class; (2) the first infraction of the rule which I see, I speak to the stud...
Comment: Re: Choral Director vs Vocal Director
Hi Keith,   My guess about the use of the two terms is that it is an administrative description, rather than a musical discription. And the Texas Teaching Certificate I hold does NOT differentiate between "vocal" and "instrumental" music.   When applying for jobs one submits the certific...
Comment: Re: SATB music about animals
Dear Karen,   Check out Norman Dinerstein's Frogs-  a group of six Japanese Haiku settings dealing with frogs. The community chorus I conduct will begin rehearsals on "Frog-School Competing," no. 5 of the set of six. Carl Fischer publication, no. CM8097. Other titles include "Day darken!" "A...
Comment: Re: seeking advice for parish's 50th anniversary celebration
Barry-if it is not TOO late, consider commissioning an original anthem on a text you submit. Recently the small church at which I conduct the even smaller choir celebrated its 50th anniversary; and we were fortunate: a former member of the church, a retired composer from a nearby university, comp...
Comment: Re: SAB Music
Larry- I'm just down the I-10 from you, at El Paso.   Check out Lorenz Publishing Company. Several years ago they published monthly anthologies of music for small church choirs. I think it was SAB.   I have tried SAB music, but with little success. And I have attempted to sing SAB music,...
Comment: Re: Catalan Pronunciation
Dear Chris,   I contacted my daughter, a Spanish language honors graduate, for help with pronunciation. The basic rules she sent are as follows: Vowels are long, i.e.,  a=ah; e =ey or eh;  i=ee; o=oh; and u=oo.   Some consonants morph: b=v; gu=w;  r=d; and s=th (lisped).  She ask...
Comment: Re: Accessible irregular meter for women's choir
Bryce, If your chorus can sing sacred music, Michael Sitton's "The Gentyle Storke" is written in 6/8, but has one measure of  2nd soprano and alto singing dotted quarters against first sopranos singing quarter notes. It's a bit tricky, but great fun! Looks like 3/4 against 6/8, but really it is...
Comment: Re: Any other Choral Workshops in July?
David- The Chorus of Westerly, Westerly, Rhode Island, sponsors two week-long, excellent choral symposia in Northwestern New Hampshire (about three hours Northwest from Boston). Week I (July 18-24) features Richard Marlow, formerly Music Director, Trinity College, Cambridge University, UK. Voice f...
Comment: Re: Pronunciation: "E'en the spirit of the truth" (Tallis)
David- King's College Choir, Cambridge , UK, prounounces the word as "spriht." And the other word is "ev'n , not "e'en." I learned the pronunciation from Sir David Willcocks, Music Director Emeritus.   Want another performance suggestion from Sir David? on the repeat of the "B" section ("that He ...
Concert: Premiere Performance of New Community Chorus
On Sunday, February 14, Community Chorus El Paso sings its premiere performance at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, 1810 Elm Street, El Paso, Texas. Music we're singing includes "Teach Me O Lord," by William Byrd; "Hanacpachap cussicuinin," an early 17th-century composition from Peru; and "My Spiri...
Comment: Re: Need Latin help - PLEASE!
Barbara-   Consider this: if you sing a piece in Latin, composed by an Italian composer, use the Italian pronunciation  of Latin, as cited by Kentaro;  if you sing a German or Austrian piece, say, composed by Mozart, check out the pronunciation guide published by MENC. It has a section on Germ...
Comment: Re: Top 10 Countries that visit ChoralNet
Philip- thanks for the interesting info, but my question is- of what value is such knowledge to those of us who do access the excellent Choralnet site?   Carl Smith
Comment: Re: Byrd, Hassler, etc.
Try Bryd's "Teach Me, O Lord (Oxford University Press, 1978)," a beautiful setting of verses from Psalm 119. It's one of the first choral pieces composed for alternating solo and choral forces. The choral parts whould work well with your chorus- SAATB. The two alto parts DO have some notes way, way ...
Comment: Re: Strategic Planning
Donna- join Chorus America asap. I did, and it is the best investment of a few dollars for the support and advice you and I need. I founded a new community chorus in El Paso, Texas. I am rehearsing and still seeking singers, probably like everyone else is doing. The info I received from Chorus Ameri...
Comment: Re: Church Choir Repertoire-English Composers
Michael- check out choral works composed by Sir David Willcocks.  His setting of Psalm 150 (SATB divisi) is excellent! I think most of his works are published by Oxford.  Another seasonal work for SATB divisi is "Starry Night." The ending will knock your socks off! Not difficult- just requires...
Comment: Re: Breath Support for Older Choirs
Jennifer-I have older singers in my church choir and the new community chorus I direct. What works for us is to begin rehearsals with stretching and breathing exercises,such as the following: stretch the arms out- then breathe. Focus on the feeling of expanded rib cage. Put hands on rib cage (side) ...
Comment: Re: start-up funding for new choral group
Hi Cherwyn,   Thanks for posting this request- I'm in the same boat as you. I have founded a new community chorus, and I have begun rehearsals (fourth rehearsal is Monday evening).  And I have a nice logo, designed by  a graphic arts student at the community college at which I teach. So far I h...
Comment: Re: MS choir needs more volume!
Leslie- Your band background will serve you well in conducting a MS choir. Teach the choir vocalises that focus on scalar passeges (down a perfect fith sol-fa-mi-re-do), beginning on second space "a" in treble clef. Listen for boys- can they sing the "a" an octave below? Then take 'em up by half ste...
Comment: Re: Need SATB middle school winter/holiday suggestions
A Shawnee publication of "let It Snow! Let it Snow!" has worked well for me. Also another Shawnee publication"The Fred Waring Songbook" is a great resource- many songs are arranged for either SSA, TTBB, or SATB- such as "Silver Bells." And if you can write simple harmony parts for the boys, write...
Comment: Re: Favorite recent major choral works
Hi David,   I recommend highly Sir David Willcock's "A Ceremony of Psalms" (Oxford) for SATB chorus, Baritone solo, and orchestra (2,2,2,2,4,3,3,1,timpani, percussion, and strings). Also a fine work by Sir David's son Jonathan Willcocks  is "Great is the Glory" (Oxford) SATB chorus, Tenor solo, an...
Comment: Re: Working with an older choir
Ron- regarding your choir with older singers- I think that's wonderful! They know how to sing expressively. At least that's what I've learned in my small church choir with older singers.   What warm-ups do you use in rehearsals? Are they learning to sing as a choral ensemble? For my choir, I have t...
Comment: Re: small church choir in pitch trouble
Peri, I, too, conduct a very small church choir with ten or twelve singers; sometimes only nine! What do you use for vocal warm-ups? Do they keep tempo you set? And lastly, where does your choir stand when they perform? Is the organ/keyboard near or far away? Please respond and I'll offer suggestion...