Cecilian Singers Web Visit 8/24/2011

Congratulations for successfully finding the Directors’ Blog! In the reply box below, post a comment with your name and 1-2 sentences about your summer vacation. We can’t wait to read your responses!

Please remember the following things:

  • Your post will not appear on the website until it has been read by a director
  • Be sure to reply only to the post that corresponds to your assigned choir
  • Please be sure that all posts are school-appropriate

Treble Choir Web Visit 8/24/2011

Congratulations for successfully finding the Directors’ Blog! In the reply box below, post a comment with your name and 1-2 sentences about your summer vacation. We can’t wait to read your responses!

Please remember the following things:

  • Your post will not appear on the website until it has been read by a director
  • Be sure to reply only to the post that corresponds to your assigned choir
  • Please be sure that all posts are school-appropriate

Chorale Web Visit 8/24/2011

Congratulations for successfully finding the Directors’ Blog.  In the reply box below, post a comment with your name and 1-2 sentences about your summer vacation.  We can’t wait to read your responses!

Please remember the following things:

  • Your post will not appear on the web site until it has been read by a director.
  • Be sure to reply only to the post that corresponds to your assigned choir.
  • Please be sure that all posts are school-appropriate.

Choruses lead the way!

Many of you have already seen this video, but if you haven’t, take a few minutes and give it a look. It is a great piece about the many benefits to singing in a choir.  We all know that singing in choir is fun (especially at GBN!), but research shows that there are many other benefits as well.  For example, students who sing in choir tend to have higher grades, fewer discipline problems, and typically achieve a higher level of education than those that don’t.  In general, people who sing in choir are more confident, have greater teamwork skills, and are more likely to volunteer or participate in other charitable activities.

The good news is that more and more people of all ages are singing in choirs.  It is one of those activities that continues long after graduation from high school or college.  My own grandmother continues to sing in her church choir even though she recently celebrated her 96th birthday!

The fact that you are a visitor to www.gbnchoir.com means that you have probably already experienced many of the benefits of participating in choir, but feel free to share this with anyone else that hasn’t yet had the opportunity experience it for themselves.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SCgVTMx0qg&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Ladies First and 4×4 Audition Results

Thank you to all who auditioned! Our first rehearsal will be TUESDAY, September 6th. 4×4 from 6:00pm-6:45pm. Ladies First from 7:00pm-8:30pm.

LADIES FIRST

Yasmeen Abdelhamid

Isabella Andrews

Rachel Baruck

Angela Bazianos

Shae Beckett

Christine Chung

Annie Forchetti

Maddy Fournier

Lauren Glass

Alix Golub

Kat Gregory

Allie Handzel

Annie Hamilton

Erin Helgeland

Emma Lictsien

Emily Mirochnick

Kendra Moore

Jessica Nebolsky

Nikki Necak

Sam Newman

Jackie Pawlan

Mia Rahmanim

Bryn Rose

Jessica Rubin

Rachel Samett

Sophie Samuelson

Ellie Schnittman

Marielle Siebert

Jodi Snyder

Ramsay Wehr

4×4

Sean Alvarez

Scottie Berman

Josh Cohen

Austin Doughty

Christian Frese

Henry Gessner

Danny Hensel

Aaron Kohrs

John Huszagh

Scott Lamm

Kevin Medansky

Christian Mergl

Brandon Nadig

Cam Norlie

Luke Oberholtzer

Jake Prizant

Nathan Salstone

Jordy Shulman

Ryan Silins

Running Just As Fast As We Can… 6/1/2011

On Saturday, May 28th, Mr. Davidson and I ran the 2011 Soldier Field 10 miler. It is an amazing race that has a great finish line on the 50 yard line of Soldier Field. The weather was cool (perfect for running) and the crowd was great! If we are keeping track, Mr. Davidson won this race, but we were both very happy with the run.

Running has become the thing to do in the choral department. This year alone both GBN directors ran a marathon (not to mention the 5Ks, triathlons, and half marathons)! It offers balance to a very full work schedule and a very healthy activity to work out stress.

Express 2011-2012

Thanks to everyone who auditioned.  I really appreciate the time and energy that you devoted to your audition.

 

Scottie Berman

Rob Blumstein

Josh Cohen

Farnaz Dadrass

Rebecca Elowe

Nicole Hughes

Ryan Hultman

Elana Hunt

John Huszagh

Aaron Kohrs

Scott Lamm

Julia Levinson

Lesley Levy

Sarah Mendelson

Brandon Nadig

Megan Orticelli

Allie Robson

Nathan Salstone

Jordy Shulman

Jenny Shults

Lauren Tzirides

Melissa Zak

 

 

Recording a CD Part One: Studio Time and Mechanical Licenses 5/26/2011

Recently our female a cappella group, Fermata Nowhere, began recording a set of songs for their first CD to be released in early fall 2011.  We have learned so much about this process and I wanted to share our experiences.  We have rehearsed our music pieces all year long, and decided to record in a local, professional studio with a recording engineer.   The girls and I worked diligently to be prepared for our studio time to ensure that they were effective and efficient sessions.  As producer, I researched the copyright and mechanical license procedures to guarantee that our recording and distribution of CDs would be legal.  We are working on CD titles and packaging materials, but more about that to come in future blog posts.  This venture seemed overwhelming at first, but as the pieces are coming together, the full picture is truly a phenomenal one.

 

Studio Time

Our studio time required us to be very focused and efficient.  The saying “time is money” directly applies to our process because the longer we take to record, the more expensive our endeavor.  One of our goals was to be extremely prepared on every selection we were recording on a given day.  The girls could use music, but even a page turn could ruin a take so we worked toward memorization on almost everything.

 

Guide Track

Our sessions always started with me playing a piano guide track into the recording program.  This allowed the girls to hear some of the pitches to maintain intonation throughout a piece.  The guide track also played a computerized “shaker” sound to keep tempo.

 

How to Record Different Parts

There are several ways to record songs, but for our a cappella pieces we decided to have each voice part record separate tracks.  Each singer or group of singers would go into the studio and sing through their part of the song following the guide track.  As we went along, the song slowly would take shape, layer by layer.  By layering the voice parts, the recording engineer has greater control over the manipulation of the piece.  He or she can bring up or down volumes, extend phrases, or even auto-tune if necessary.  In general, we always would start with the lowest voice part and work our way to the top.  Frequently, we have each voice part record their part twice.  These multiple tracks (‘mults’) not only provide options for edits, but add depth to the overall sound of a master track.  You can incorporate vocal percussion anywhere along the way, but our soloists and added features like duets or echo phrases definitely came last.  The ability to control the details within an arrangement offer a very clean final product, but can sound too processed (think of the Glee soundtracks that exist out there- lots of production!).  Our other options would be live performance- where the girls all stand around a mic in the studio and perform as a group- or a combination of the live performance with the layering process.  It really depends on the type of piece you are trying to record and the skill level of your recording engineer.  Luckily our man, Dr. Caw (www.drcaw.com) is not only an excellent engineer, but has very keen ears and great attention to detail.

 

Mechanical Licenses

In order to legally record songs (songs that are not original compositions or in public domain) and sell CDs, you need to obtain a mechanical license for each song you intend to record.  This is permission from the original songwriter to use their creative property.  A portion of the money paid for this license is then passed to the songwriter through royalties.  Most songs are actually held by one agency in the United States, The Harry Fox Agency.  For more specifics on Mechanical Licensing, click HERE.

I found this process extremely easy once I took the short video tutorial.  Like many other internet-based systems, you create a profile and log-in to search for songs.  After submitting information about your intentions for those songs, you pay a fee for each song you plan to use. Watch this great video to see the whole process.

Thank you, Mr. P!

Goodbye, Mr. Prikkel!  May 20 was Mr. Prikkel’s last day with us here at GBN.  He has successfully completed his student teaching and is now a graduate of North Park University.  We’ve really enjoyed working with him and wish him success for the future.  Mr. P is on the hunt for teaching positions in the area, but is also considering grad school for the fall.  Wherever he ends up, we know that he’ll do a great job.  Thanks for a great 8 weeks, congratulations, and good luck!