One of the refreshing things about participating with Oasis Chorale is the level of professionalism that singers show by being prompt. If rehearsal begins at 8:45 a.m., all singers arrive by 8:30 a.m., having already warmed up their “instrument,” and having engaged in some light physical exercise. In the 15 minutes before downbeat, singers greet their neighbors, hydrate, continue personal warmup (loudly), stretch, and quietly peruse music. This is a special part of Oasis culture; “meet and greet” is one of the best parts of the day!
On Tuesday we covered the rest of our repertoire in “start and stop mode,” where we work individual sections, fine-tuning dynamics, vowel, and consonant. Special attention was given to the rhythms in the three spirituals we are singing; the metronome was our constant companion! It’s understood that singers arrive at rehearsal with pitches and rhythms learned (and memorized!), and the first day or two of rehearsal is spent catching stray notes and solidifying rhythms, as we further explore text mechanics and musical interpretation.
In the afternoon, Rosemary Eberly-Lebold did a vocal coaching workshop where we played with vocal fry and discovered some really great finds with consonants (not to mention learning about how to relieve body tension!) We ended the day on stage, running rep from memory, and staging our standing arrangement for several pieces.
After dinner, singers relaxed with some exercise in the gym (we are rehearsing at a high school), while others remained in deep conversation, lingering over a meal.
We are immensely grateful for these two days of music-making, and we look forward to the week to come!