Friday, November 25, 2016

Timberliners Yuletide 2016

The Rose City Timberliners  Chorus does sixteen performances this December.   The guys wear a colorful collection of winter sweaters, vests, scarves, red hats, and even antlers as they travel all over the Greater Portland area with half-hour and hour concerts of Yuletide favorites. 

Winter 2014 Timberliners

Hear them in a lovely public setting 7 pm SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18 at

Teh Grotto Festival of Lights

It's not too late to invite this group to your event.  Merry Christmas!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

My Favorite Things

Julie Andrews' song "My Favorite Things" 

got a cute parody that was attributed to her in 2005, but had nothing to do with her.  Now that I and many of my fellow choristers are aging, it relates.  Maybe we should start singing thus:
Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting,
Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings,
Bundles of magazines tied up in string,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Cadillac's and cataracts, and hearing aids and glasses,
Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses,
Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings,
These are a few of my favourite things..

When the pipes leak, When the bones creak,
When the knees go bad,
I simply remember my favourite things,
And then I don't feel so bad.

Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions,
No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions,
Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring,
These are a few of my favourite things.

Back pains, confused brains, and no need for sinnin',
Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinnin',
And we won't mention our short, shrunken frames,
When we remember our favourite things.

When the joints ache, When the hips break,
When the eyes grow dim,
Then I remember the great life I've had,
And then I don't feel so bad.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Child of Our Time, May 11, 2016

A Child of Our Time poster
My people at Portland Symphonic Choir offer this rare work on May 11 at 7:30 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall  here in Portland Oregon.

As tenor section leader there, I've taken it on myself to made a set of choral learning tracks of movement 29 using Finale PrintMusic program and posted them to SoundCloud with a new account today.

Does it work?  We'll find out.

Love, Gary.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Beethoven Ninth Notes, 2015

Again, being a singer in the delightful Oregon Symphony Orchestra concert 2015 year end concert,
 I cannot write a review, but I can relay what Maestro Carlos Kalmar told the Portland Symphonic Choir singers during their one (!) choral rehearsal with him on  Dec 27, 2015


"Beethoven is just horrible to voices, even in this masterpiece, he didn't care about the singers, he just wrote it and, eh, they just have to make it happen."

"When your voice breaks - yes, I heard one there (m601) - it's just you are trying to apply too much pressure.  Know yourself, know your limits, and sing always beautifully."

Choral notes by measure.

237 somewhat harsher, then
261 longer, more connected

284-5 strong "JA" from everyone
288 don't rush the "und", lead to
289 sfortsando on "nie"
290-1 all one phrase, no breath here

313 Sopranos are in the drivers seat, don't drag, and Kiss me (with a loud k)
312 make those half notes to quarters and all similar:  No one early.

426 very fine, even a bit more than the first two "freudig"

546 Bass, tenor, alto, help me understand the eighth-note clearly.
549, 553, 557, really give me the sforzando, all the rest will be a little bit less.

595 Make it lighter with more phrasing, um-SCHLUNG-en mil-(crescendo thru)-li-O-nen.

603 Soprano and Alto, lyrical, leading to -SCHLUNG-en,
       Tenor and Bass, detached, make the half notes a quarter note and rest thru 606

606 to 609 we crescendo

616  Basses crescendo as you go down, but in
617 Tenors, that note is yours.  Own  it.
619 Swing into the second note on "brü-der!", go with that till "-zelt" 622

623 crescendo to 626 with less on (milliO)-nen

630 "stürzt", the Ü is between oo and ee, very closed.
        Make very clearly the final t: see my percussionists there?  They should need umbrellas.

635 continue the crescendo.  I want a compact, concentrated sound from the chorus.

650 nobody scoops up to ü-.
651 I want a very clear rhythm.

654 - the fugue -

Everyone has the three themes:

"Freude, schöner" is like dancing in a bierhall, a little lighter.
I want more on "Seid umschlungen":  that has the power, strong  and clearly defined and keep  going thru um- SCHLUNG-en mil-li-O-nen.  they are like the Oregon Ducks football players.
The "Freude" is like the cheerleaders on the sidelines (CK demonstrates a pom-pom gesture with his hands over his head) and I need to hear them.  (CK used the same entertaining gesture in concert, looking at each section as they exclaimed "Freude!")

680 the basses and soprano are having a contest, "diesen küsse", "diessen küsse" then at
693 the altos just take over.

728-9 is the peak of the fugue, everything is going on.  But he's nasty to the sopranos who have to just sit on that high A forever, but might give a little more there, too.

748 open the sound, keep the pace, and no schlepping
753 both T's in -(t)zelt, please.

795 the crescendo keeps going.
801  This and later with fire.   You know how a vortex goes around and around, but it goes down?  This is a vortex that goes up.  I don't know a word for it.
810 forget all about the poco adagio until you are in it, until then it's all energy and speed.
812 This is very good poetry on top of amazing music.  "sanfter" means "tender". Think about that.
       Sopranos, please keep the pitch up.

865 with intensity, stress the beginning of each bar thru here.

915 the T of Tochter is very hard, roaring powerful, molto fortissimo thru
916 "aus" you put the "s" on the eighth note so there is a separation.
        Subito pianissimo for "Elysium"
920 very clear rhythm, do the last "-funken" with me, not insanely fast, just normal fast.
So that's what we did.