Date: November 11, 2010
There is very important information in this Memo.
Please be sure that all parents and all choristers read this thoroughly.
Westminster Choir College – Monday, November 15
Here is important information for Monday‟s Demonstration/Performance at Westminster:
Arrival Time: 6:20/6:25 PM; Warm-ups begin at 6:30 PM -- Sharp!!
NB: you are traveling on Rte. 206 S, which can be slow; often just two lanes. Give
yourself plenty of time!!
Place: Westminster Choir College, 101 Walnut Lance, Princeton, NJ 08540. We will
meet in Bristol Chapel. As you travel down Walnut Lane, you will see the entrance to
the campus on your left. Turn in there. The first building on your right is the Student
Center. The next building is Bristol Chapel (white building). Choristers can be dropped
off here; you‟ll need to walk around to the other side of the building for the entrance. As
you face this side of the building, use the door to the far right, and go up the stairs into
Parking: you may not be able to park in the small lot near the Chapel. However, if you
turn around and go back out where you turned in, there is street parking available. Also
if you turn right out of the WCC entrance, and travel about one block, you can turn right,
and that will lead you into a large parking lot.
Directions: see below
To wear: NJYC blue t-shirt (which has been pressed), black pants, dark shoes
Hair: girls must have their hair in one neat bun (you can buy inexpensive hair
nets at CVS which work great) or in a French braid. If your hair is shorter, please
make sure it is away from your face as much as possible. If you need help pulling
back your hair, please bring hair ties/hair net/bobby pins, etc. Some of the other
choristers can help with this.
To bring: your folder (I‟m sure some the WCC students would like to see the music we
are singing), water
To prepare – very, very well (and see more about „preparation‟ later in this Memo):
The three canons: All Things Shall Perish/COFFEE/With Laughter and Singing;
you can use your canon book for these
Everyone: Welcome Yule, Gloria, Tres Cantos, Vessi Vassi Lumen Alle. All of
these MUST BE MEMORIZED SOLIDLY. We may sing fewer than this, but be
prepared with these.
Returning members: Homage, No Time, Stand Together.
NB: I am most concerned about “Gloria.” We‟ll see how this goes during the
warm-up period. I would really like to perform it, as we‟ll have the chance to „get
it out of our system‟ before Dec.5 and the concert with NJSO.
Absence: the only choristers unable to attend are: Lizzie Borowiec, Caroline Casey and
Emilia Pazniokas. I do expect to see all other choristers.
Conduct: I do expect the best. When we are warming up with the college students, when
I am speaking, when they are asking questions, when their instructor is talking, in
between music selections, etc, etc --- I do expect complete respect and attention. Period.
Take exit 29 for I-287 toward US-202/US-206/Morristown/Somerville 0.5 mi
Keep left at the fork to continue toward I-287 S and merge onto I-287 S 3.3 mi
Take exit 17 on the left for US-202 S/US-206 S toward US-22 0.1 mi
Keep right at the fork to continue toward US-202 S/US-206 S and merge onto 1.5 mi
US-202 S/US-206 S
Slight right at US-206 S 0.2 mi
At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit and stay on US-206 S 15.6
Turn left at Ewing St 0.9 mi
Turn right at Guyot Ave 0.2 mi
Take the 2nd left onto Walnut Ln 0.4 mi
Destination will be on the left
Please pencil in Sunday afternoon, November 21, for an extra rehearsal. I will confirm
the time and place shortly.
Please pencil in Friday, December 10 in the evening. This is very tentative; more details
will be sent soon.
Yesterday, you received an e-mail with an important attachment concerning this summer‟s tour.
Please read the information very carefully. Remember that I need notification (yes or no) as to
whether each chorister will or will not attend by next Wednesday, November 17.
Those of you who are doing Abbamania: you also received an e-mail regarding tickets
yesterday. Please read carefully.
In preparation for our concert on November 19, and for our December Concerts, please check
your uniform now. Boys: black pants, white long-sleeve shirt, black cummerbund and black
bow tie, black socks, dark shoes. Girls: the NJYC dress uniform, black shoes (low heel), pearls.
(You should have received the pearls with your uniform. If not, please check with Enrico.)
Girl‟s Uniform: please make sure of the following:
The uniform must be hemmed, so that it is not dragging on the floor; should be a short
distance above the floor. This dress should NOT be at your ankles; please make sure the
length is correct.
The uniform must be PRESSED. Last year, there were some choristers who had dresses
that were very wrinkled in the lower part of the uniform.
NJSO Concert on 12/11
Here is the latest update from NJSO:
Tickets: you can receive a 30% discount on tickets – phone orders only. Mention NJYC.
Dress rehearsal: we must arrive at 3:30 PM. Choristers will bring a brown-bag dinner.
More complete information (entrance to NJPAC, etc.) will be in a later Memo.
Conductor: this year‟s guest conductor is Emil de Cou. A little biographical information:
Emil de Cou, (American-born) is currently the associate conductor of the National Symphony
Orchestra in Washington D.C. He has also just been hired to be the full-time music director of
the Pacific Northwest Ballet.
Originally from Los Angeles, de Cou has a long history in classical music, both in and out of the
ballet world. In 1985, he was hired by Mikhail Baryshnikov as conductor of American Ballet
Theatre, where he spent eight seasons, followed by seven years on the staff of San Francisco
Ballet. Other ballet companies on his résumé include New York City Ballet, National Ballet of
Canada, Netherlands Dance Theatre and Hong Kong Ballet.
He appeared as guest conductor in the Beverly Sills Gala Tribute, leading the Orchestra of St.
Luke's, and a stellar roster of soloists – including Lang Lang and Gil Shaham – in a benefit for
De Cou has also been a guest conductor for numerous orchestras, including the New York Pops
at Carnegie Hall and the orchestras of Philadelphia, Chicago, Houston, Saint Louis, Detroit,
Montreal, Boston Pops and others. He has been with the National Symphony Orchestra for eight
seasons, where he is the conductor of the NSO @ Wolf Trap Festival, and is also a musical
consultant for NASA.
Mr. de Cou has demonstrated a commitment to music education with NSO Young People's
Concerts and Family Concerts in Washington and on tour with the Orchestra during its American
Residencies in six states. Other NSO engagements include the University of Maryland
Residency, Youth Orchestra Day, the annual Messiah concerts and a host of free concerts such as
the Labor Day Weekend Capitol Concert.
Musical (and Mental) Preparation
I have noticed, for several weeks, that we have hit a „plateau.‟ The music for Monday and next
Friday is basically memorized. OK. (Bravo to Sophia and EB who had “Vessi Vassi”
completely memorized last Monday.) The other pieces for the December concerts? Hmmm….
The sound is not yet there. However, what is really lacking, however, is the spirit --- which I
think will help the sound. I do understand that people are tired, even though it‟s only Monday.
However, you are there to give to, and to benefit from, a musical experience. This starts, first,
with how much time you are spending in preparation at home. You cannot possibly contribute to
your section of the choir, and to the choir as a whole, if there is little time being devoted to the
study of this music each week. You cannot internalize the music without giving it study time. If
it is not internalized, you have not scratched the surface of really learning, and really performing
this music. It becomes some notes and some words. That‟s not music – that‟s just sound.
Let me share a few thoughts:
Music is first and foremost an auditory experience. Nothing will cover a bad sound.
The best singers in the best choirs reach out emotionally to the audience and attempt to
share their love of the music with the audience. They use eye contact, physical presence
and non-verbal communication to increase the impact of their performance.
The best singers in the best choirs turn a piece of music into an experience; not just
something the audience hears, but something they experience on a physical, mental and
The best choirs [choristers] communicate not just what they‟re singing about, but who
they are. (Read this last sentence a few times.)
So, ask yourself ------
Am I thoroughly prepared for each rehearsal on Mondays?
Am I engaged in the music, so that I don‟t let my section, or the rest of the choir, down?
Am I energized so that I sing with great vowels and great diction?
Am I really singing the music, or am I singing the notes?
Am I being an NJYC role model by the way I conduct myself during each rehearsal?
Do I know my music so well, that I can continue to reach out emotionally through my
Am I thoroughly prepared for next week‟s performances?
I believe that you can do, and be ALL of the above. But, it needs to come from you. The
demands are great…..but the rewards are greater.
he best singers, and the best choirs, turn a piece motional
It‟s always great to hear „good news‟ about the choir members. If you ever have anything to
share, I‟m happy to do that. Here is some good news about Rachel Hobble:
A few weeks ago, her article, Banned Books, was featured as #4 in the Top Ten
nonfiction/academic section on Teen Ink's website. She just received word that her work will be
featured as #1 on the front page of that section today!
You have your assignment for Monday and next Friday‟s performances. For the following
Monday, November 22, ALL music is thoroughly memorized. (Go Where I Send Thee Chamber
Choir – please make sure your parts are thoroughly ready. I‟m sorry it‟s not ready for next