Monthly Archives: September 2014

Time Capsule Project 2014


In observance of the Salem-Washington County Bicentennial, the Middle School and High School Choirs are presenting concerts of American folksong on October 23 and October 30, respectively (see Events).

SHS Choir artifacts – including programs, recordings, and personal notes to each student – were assembled for inclusion in the Time Capsule at Salem Public Library. Also included are notes that the High School and 7th-8th grade students wrote to their own future.

The capsule will be opened 50 years from now, and a Time Capsule Cover Letter was included so that our 2014 Choir students can access the material, and retrieve notes addressed to them in the year 2064.

In connection with all this, we photographed the High School Choir on the steps of the Courthouse, and made an informal music video:

Special thanks to Photographer Jasmine Bryant, Librarian Jill Duchemin, and of course, to the students for making this a memorable project.

SHS Choir: Singing At The Courthouse

The Choirs at Salem Middle School and Salem High School will observe the Bicentennial with two concerts of American folksong, on October 23 and 30, respectively (see Events).

We thought it would be fun to catch a group photo at the prime historic site in Washington County – the Courthouse.

But the students weren’t told they were going to sing. So here’s a little preview of that high school concert:

Movie on 2014-09-24 at 08.37

That’s soul-sisters-in-residence Vanessa Nantz and Tyasia Gant doing the solos, with Logan Thompson joining in on the ad lib towards the end.

Thanks to Jasmine Bryant for doing the photo shoot, and to Mr. John Calhoun for taking us over there in one big, crowded bus of people that like to sing.

Audition Results

Tehya Morison, Kennan Hemingway, & Bri Little delivered outstanding auditions today and will be featured soloists at the Bohemian Supper Club events in November. Thanks to all that auditioned, all were well-prepared.

Bohemian Supper Club Shirts – Order Now Through Oct 1

BSC fans can order this cool 4-color Tee now through October 1 at the SHS Choir Office. It’s a 100% Cotton Gold T Shirt with a four-color print, and a replica of the posters you’ll soon see hanging around here and there. Oh, and yes, that IS David Beckham “crossing the pond”.

Price is $16 – add $2.00 for XXL. Make Checks payable to “SALEM CHOIRS”
Poster and T-Shirt Design: David Spencer-Pierce

Preparing Popular Songs, Standards, & Show Tunes

An audition is a performance for specialized audience. Get an accompanist or recorded accompaniment to work with (no vocal parts). Keep these points in mind:

Listen: Do a lot of listening, but focus more on accompaniment than some singer’s style or delivery. Think about the form of the song, how you want it to build, etc.

Tone Quality: Always round and pretty, relaxed, never forced, even at high-intensity moments. Keep the throat open and relaxed by practicing the melody on a neutral vowel (“ah”, “mah”, “lo”, etc.)

Pitch: Aim for the brighter side: think vibrations “up”, propelled by fast air.

Rhythm: Crisp and true, never mushy. Same with Consonants.

Phrasing: use the lyrics to make phrasing decisions, when to breathe/pause, and when not to. Carrying breath across phrases is an effective technique.

Expressive Aspects: Appropriate dynamic contrasts; appropriate use of vocal jazz techniques (terminal vibrato, flips, scoops, falls); natural sense of rhythm and when and how to delay a phrase for expressive impact.

Confidence: Own the song. This comes with preparation and experience. Memorize music so you can communicate/connect with the audience. Employ appropriate movement, gestures. Work in front of a full-length mirror.