Attention Passionate Choral Singers! Did you know that Cantala prepares 45 minutes of music per concert and has 24 hours of rehearsal time to learn and prepare it for a performance? This is a lot of work for only 24 hours. How can we come together, learn our notes, tune perfectly,  gel as a group and then finally make the music leap off the page and make sure we create those soul lifting moments that stir our sense of why we love choral music to our core? Here are my 5 tips for such magic!

In Benjamin Britten's work "A Boy is Born" the 5th movement is for treble voices only and is called "In the Bleak Midwinter". We are lucky enough to be preparing it for our seasonal concert. It is a very challenging, beautiful work that requires hard work, dedication and focus to learn successfully.

In Benjamin Britten's work "A Boy is Born" the 5th movement is for treble voices only and is called "In the Bleak Midwinter". We are lucky enough to be preparing it for our seasonal concert. It is a very challenging, beautiful work that requires hard work, dedication and focus to learn successfully.

1. Arrive 10-15 minutes early to go to the bathroom, organize your music and say hi to other singers.

2. Make sure to nourish and hydrate yourself before rehearsal. Singing takes a lot of concentrated energy and if you are hungry and/or thirsty you won’t be fully present to work your best and keep up with the fast pace of instructions.

3. Consider bringing your own music stand. Professional choirs/singers use stands. It helps with holding your music so you can sing with better physical alignment, and it’s easier to watch the conductor simultaneously.

4. Avoid the “post-mordem” recap with your neighbors after every rehearsal attempt (OMG! Did you hear that? That’s never happened before! What happened?!). Everyone’s attention is broken and seconds are lost to regaining focus. To use our rehearsal time effectively, we need to stay quiet and focused, no matter what “choral roadkill” has just happened.

5. Come with a sharp pencil. Yes, most rehearsals my pencil is either dull, broken, or lost in my bag too. But it’s essential to have one (or multiple) ready to make the notes needed on the musical score so we don’t make the same mistake twice (or continuously for weeks).

It takes hard work, dedication, homework on your part, and being disciplined in rehearsal to make choir magic.Here’s to thenext 10 weeks! Let's get the singing ON!