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September 11, 2012: quick & obvious progress

David Cherwien shares his notes with the members of the NLC on Thursday after Tuesday rehearsals. These notes followed the rehearsal on September 11, 2012. Rehearsals are in preparation for three concerts with the Milwaukee Choral Artists and two Hymn Festivals in Chicago and Madison.

Concerts with Milwaukee Choral Artists

  • Wisconsin Concordia University's chapel in Mequon, WI on Saturday, October 20 @ 7:30pm
  • St Andrew's Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, MN on Friday, November 3 @ 7pm
  • St Bartholomew's Lutheran Church in Wayzata, MN on Saturday, November 4 @ 4pm

Hymn Festivals 

  • Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest, IL on Thursday, October 18 @ 7pm
  • Lutheran Memorial Church in Madison, WI on Friday, October 19 @ 7pm

"That was a wonderful and rigorous rehearsal - I think we all can agree. I thoroughly enjoyed floating around in the hall during sectionals and listening in on each section, mostly working madly on "Mighty River, Mighty Fire." I heard excellent work going on - no waste of time anywhere. Largely singing, little talking. Bravo!

Then we hit it hard together for almost another hour. Hard work! but this is a really fun stage. Since a lot of the music on the All Saints program is relatively new, it can be hard to get a sense of how all the pieces fit together. But at these rehearsals, the music comes out of the fog of uncertainty and into focus really quickly! Each rehearsal accomplishes an enormous amount of progress. A good measure is when an unknown piece begins to not feel as long or big as it did when unknown. Both “Mighty River” and “Kyrie” especially felt this way, to me – amazing compositions that we can “hear” now. And thank you for such unified and soul-felt expression.

Of course there is another side: it's easy to bask in this quick and extremely obvious progress. As they say: the devil is in the details! The refining process is critically important, and easily distracted from by the fun of that initial progress. Keep listening to the angel on the shoulder telling us to listen, listen more closely!! What's the vowel? Where's the lift? Is the rhythm exact? Do you really know "that spot", or are you just lucky? Are the SECOND TO LAST notes of each phrase right on? Are we not only observing dynamic and articulation markings, but understanding WHY they might be there? Lots to focus on.

Know that the literature we're putting together will have two uses, two programs. One program is All Saints that we'll do in Milwaukee and Minneapolis with the Milwaukee Choral Artists. The other program is a Hymn Festival that will be done in Chicago and Madison - both of these hymn festivals are without the MCA. I'll get details of both programs to you all once I quit adjusting them!"