Thursday, January 5, 2023

Rehearsal Preparation Sheets: TTBB

 


Rehearsal Preparation Sheets for four-voice choral voicings (SATB, SSAA, TTBB) assume a greater level of music knowledge and skill in the singers. The process of Successive Approximations (Simple to Complex) is utilized for the RPS, as possible difficulties in an octavo are identified and addressed.

A brief story as to how I began creating these RPS materials. I was the Middle School Clinician in North Carolina for a Choral Symposium, held the same year of a terrible ice storm that left thousands without electricity. Students were absent from school for weeks. The Coordinator of the event called me to tell me that she had no idea as to how many students might attend (many students were still in school), and also had no idea as to the ability levels of those attending. There would be no "selection" process. Everyone was "in." The only thing they could tell me for sure was that I needed to have all of my middle school singers ready for a concert on Friday morning! 

These RPS materials were an answer to the above situation and effective in getting everyone to the same level at the same time. You might need the same assistance for those inexperienced newcomers to your TTBB ensemble.

During that week in North Carolina, teachers were in attendance at rehearsals, and they requested to have "anything you have ever done like these sheets." At that point, I knew I might be "on to something." I had created a product, and they wanted it. Hearing the choral results of the week (all objectives were accomplished), I began using RPSs in all of my rehearsals, and I "don't leave home without them." They work.

When we think of post-pandemic vocal/choral issues, vocal projection seems come into the discussion. If they were able to sing at all, choral students were somewhat voiceless for two years, shrouded by masks. When the masks came off, we heard "interesting" sounds. Voices had to be shaped into a choral sound after being "muffled by masks." Pandora "opened the box" (so to speak), and all sorts of sounds came flying out. 

When we are conducting Tenor/Bass ensembles, and "that voice" is new to the ears of younger singers, the tendency is to sing hesitantly and quietly. As one choral director said to me, "I can't fix it, if I can't hear it!" Many Irish folk songs encourage robust singing, so I arranged several for TTBB. I usually begin them simply, as I want a strong sound to "wake up" the audience. 

Rehearsal Preparation Sheets are available from  J. W. Pepper, and are listed as "Reproducible PDF" at the bottom of each voicing's webpage. Each RPS teaches the entire octavo, and is 2-3 pages in length. Reference numbers are also provided, so you know exactly the measures being taught. In addition the purchaser is granted permission to make multiple copies for their choir. They appear as follows: 



See the RPS sample below for a TTBB arrangement of "The Rising of the Moon" (song from the 1798 Irish Rebellion). 

Take a look at the structure of this RPS:

Example 1 - The example begins simply with step-wise motion, and all pitches in the melody are located by using steps. Since unison singing would have been too low for Tenors, Basses were assigned the melody, with Tenors in a V/I relationship above the Bass. At one point, the melody in the Bass is passed to the Tenors. The melody then returns to the Basses in a more comfortable range. There are all sorts of rhythmic drills in Measures 7-12.

Example 2 - Example 1 concentrates in teaching rhythms, and this example introduces 4-Part harmony, where intonation is the focus. 

This sample Rehearsal Preparation Sheet is abbreviated. 

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Here is another example of an RPS for TTBB....."Red is the Rose:"

Example 1 - The melodic movement is first introduced straight (without dotted rhythms). Dotted rhythms are added in Measure 4. Four-part harmony is introduced in Measure 7. In Measure 8, the four-part harmony is there, but not yet "in rhythm." Vertical harmonies are the focus.

Example 2 - There are some "tight" harmonies within chords. Until they are performed in tune, simple rhythms are best. The fermata gives singers time to get the chord in tune.

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Four-part RPS materials assume that students are quite skilled in their knowledge of choral notation. If that is not the case, those students will have practice materials for homework. The great thing about using RPS materials is that everyone can get to the same level at the same time. By the end of the RPS, concepts have been taught, and everyone should be ready to make music together in the repertoire!

Enjoy!

Happy 2023!


Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Rehearsal Preparation Sheets: SSAA

 

Earlene Rentz

SSAA choirs are the most advanced of our Soprano/Alto ensembles, and we assume singers are more skilled in choral concepts than younger choirs. Therefore, in a Rehearsal Preparation Sheet for SSAA, the movement from "simple to complex" happens quickly within the Successive Approximation format. The sequence of learning moves along!

Here's how Rehearsal Preparation Sheets came about:

I was the Middle School Clinician in North Carolina for a Choral Symposium, held the same year of a terrible ice storm that left thousands without electricity. Students were absent from school for weeks. The Coordinator of the event called me to tell me that she had no idea as to how many students might attend, and also had no idea as to their ability levels. There would be no "selection" process. Everyone was "in." The only thing they could tell me for sure was that I needed to have all of my middle school singers ready for a concert on Friday morning! 

I had to find a solution quickly. Everyone had to be at the same level by Friday morning. I remembered seeing my friend Gayle Box work with her middle school students with rehearsal sheets, so I built my process on Gayle's idea. I added several facets to the design, and I taught the entire octavo, with referenced measure numbers. I employed a process I learned in doctoral school at Florida State University: "Successive Approximations" (Simple to Complex). I labeled these materials Rehearsal Preparation Sheets. The sequence would pinpoint their skill levels, and they would learn the repertoire at the same time.

During that week in North Carolina, teachers visited my rehearsals, and they requested that I speak to the group about creating Rehearsal Preparation Sheets. Teachers approached me, and wanted "anything you have ever done like these sheets." That is how I knew that I might be "on to something." I had created a product, and they wanted it. Hearing the choral results of the week (all objectives were accomplished), I began using RPSs in all of my rehearsals; and to this day, if I am conducting a rehearsal, I "don't leave home without them." 

J. W. Pepper currently has an RPS for every piece of music from Earlene Rentz Online Publications that appears on the Pepper website (250+). They are 2-3 pages in length, and provide solutions for musical challenges in repertoire before students open the music. They also may be used as sightreading materials.  Choral directors are given permission to make multiple copies for their choirs. 

Examples of Rehearsal Preparation Sheets appear on my BLOG for several different voicings: Unison, 2-Part, 3-Part Mixed, SSA, SAB, SSAA, TB, TTB, TBB, and TTBB. You will find them listed on the J. W. Pepper website as "Reproducible PDF" files. The image below shows how they will appear on the J. W. Pepper site:



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Take a look at this well-known Anton Bruckner composition, arranged for SSAA:


Example 1 - This RPS in C Major begins in unison, then quickly branches out into three-part harmony. The Alto serves as the foundation for the chord progressions (repeated "C"). The example is homophonic, and altered pitches are located, using step-wise movement. Several changes are taking place melodically in the SI/SII. Longer durations in the Alto gives our ear a foundation. 

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An SSAA arrangement of Robert Schumann's art song "Die Lotosblume:"


Example 1 - Starts simply in unison, concentrating on step-wise movement. Altered pitches and harmonies are located by using steps. 

Example 2 - Soprano and Alto 4-Part harmony is found by moving in steps. Altered pitches are sung with longer note durations to give students time to hear the sonorities.

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These are abbreviated examples of these two arrangements. Visit J. W. Pepper to purchase RPS sheets for repertoire preparation and/or sightreading practice. 

All the best for a very happy, prosperous, healthy, joyous 2023! Enjoy singing!

Happy New Year!!

Rehearsal Preparation Sheets - SATB Voicing

 

Earlene Rentz

Rehearsal Preparation Sheets for SATB Voicings are constructed with understood assumptions that SATB choral members likely have more developed choral music skills than those who sing repertoire with fewer voice parts. 

A brief story as to how I began creating these RPS materials. I was the Middle School Clinician in North Carolina for a Choral Symposium, held the same year of a terrible ice storm that left thousands without electricity. Students were absent from school for weeks. The Coordinator of the event called me to tell me that she had no idea as to how many students might attend (many students were still in school), and also had no idea as to the ability levels of those attending. There would be no "selection" process. Everyone was "in." The only thing they could tell me for sure was that I needed to have all of my middle school singers ready for a concert on Friday morning! 

I had to find a solution quickly that would bring about success. Everyone had to be at the same level by Friday morning. I remembered seeing my friend Gayle Box work with her middle school students in Texas with rehearsal sheets, so I built my process on Gayle's idea. I added several facets to the design, and I taught the entire octavo, with referenced measure numbers. I employed a process I learned in doctoral school at Florida State University: "Successive Approximations" (Simple to Complex). I labeled these materials Rehearsal Preparation Sheets. They would let me know the skill abilities of the group and the plan for the week. They would also teach the repertoire and save time in rehearsal.

During that week in North Carolina, teachers were in attendance in rehearsals, and they requested that I speak to the group about my process in creating the RPS materials. Teachers approached me, and wanted "anything you have ever done like these sheets." That is how I knew that I might be "on to something." I had created a product, and they wanted it. Hearing the choral results of the week (all objectives were accomplished), I began using RPSs in all of my rehearsals, and to this day, if I am conducting a rehearsal, I "don't leave home without them." 

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Rehearsal Preparation Sheets are available on J. W. Pepper for all 250+ octavos from Earlene Rentz Online Publications. They are 2-3 pages in length, and they teach the entire octavo, addressing any perceived melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic "pitfalls." Permission is granted to make multiple copies for the purchaser's choir. The RPS materials are also great for practicing sightreading, improving music literacy. They are identified on J. W. Pepper by the "Reproducible PDF" label at the bottom of the webpage. They appear as in the image below:



The following are examples of "title pages" of SATB Rehearsal Preparation Sheets. Assumptions are made as to attained choral skills. Feel free to repeat examples, should there be those in your ensemble who aren't quite "there" yet.


Example 1 - The harmonies of this Anton Bruckner composition are the subject of this example. C Major is the key, and Bruckner departs at times to create other sonorities. However, by using step-wise motion, those unique harmonies can be found. The longer durations (half notes) allow students to hear the vertical sonorities.

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One of EROP's Best Sellers!


Example 1 - There are many "cascading" phrases that move in step-wise motion. Singers move in and out of the cascading passages, creating choral suspensions that create and release tension in harmonic movement, creating the "interest" of the arrangement. 

Example 2 - The refrain for "America the Beautiful" is presented in its basic form, with only a few step-wise passages. The homophonic texture creates simplicity for singers. The "hymn-like" appearance is familiar to singers, eliminating discomfort with shorter note durations.

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Example 1 - "Simple to Complex" - Initially, the melody is taught with quarter/half notes (augmentation). The next presentation consists of 8th notes (shorter values). Then, the pick-up 8th note (most difficult) is added last in Measure 8.

Example 2 - Students learn the second half of the first phrase and the following phrase. C Major is the emphasis, and altered pitches are found by returning to augmentation. The dotted rhythm is then added. Again....simple to complex.

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I hope you will give these resources a try. They are designed as resources I would have found helpful in my 23 years in classroom and church choral situations. 


Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Rehearsal Preparation Sheets: SAB

 Happy New Year! May 2023 be filled with all the "goodness" the world has to offer. May you have abundant health and happiness in the coming year. 

I love the "grace" of "new beginnings" when January comes around! There is something fresh about feeling the old things fade into the past. We begin to create a new story! As we begin another year, we sometimes resolve to do things a little differently, making our lives work a little better for the journey ahead. The "sun coming up," and we get a "do-over".... another chance to "get it right."

Post-pandemic choirs have been re-defined this past year, and the publishing world shifts with whatever is happening in the classroom/choral community. As a result, we have seen the growth in sales for SAB voicings

In this voicing, bass ranges must be moderate, because tenors are limited the lower range. For this voicing, we use the same basic process in creating an RPS for SAB, but it "looks" different. 

One of my great joys includes sharing things that might increase effectiveness in the classroom (teachers and students). Rehearsal Preparation Sheets are created by using Successive Approximations (Simple to Complex strategies), and the purpose is to teach difficult concepts easily, using meaningful sequence. The greatest choral director I have ever observed using Successive Approximations in the rehearsal was Robert Shaw. We performed difficult rhythms in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus, but the way he taught them allowed us to sing amazingly difficult rhythms with mathematical precision. I was amazed.

Rehearsal Preparation Sheets have been developed for all of my octavos with J. W. Pepper, and they are available on the Pepper website. The purchaser is granted permission to make multiple copies for their choir. 

The image below shows how they appear for purchase; "Reproducible PDF."




Rehearsal Preparation Sheets are designed to improve musicianship and bring everyone to the same musical level. The goal for the RPS is that singers learn the material faster, which creates more classroom time for other endeavors (a good thing). Why "bog down" when you can zip through?

To provide clarity concerning regarding Rehearsal Preparation Sheets, there are examples below for SAB voicings. At last count, there were 250+ RPSs on the J. W. Pepper website. They teach octavos, but they are also great sightreading materials.

Ranges for SAB:

--Basically, the Soprano and Alto are the same as in SATB. Alto can go down to an "A," if necessary, singing a bit lower than normal. It makes sense, given that there is no tenor to "fill the gap" for some harmonies. 

--The Bass range is from B-Flat (8va + Step below Middle "C" to Middle "C"), in order to include  baritones.

Let's take a look at the strategy:

Example 1 - Practice is provided in the Key of F Major. There is primarily step-wise motion. The exceptions are the I/V movement and the skip in Measure 6  to the "C." This skip is important in the melody.

Example 2 - There are two repeated phrases. In the first presentation (Meas. 1-4), the Bass line is augmented so we can hear the foundation of the chord progression. In the repeat, the Bass line takes on the same rhythm as the other voice parts. 

Example 3 - This syncopated passage is first taught with quarter, half, and 8th notes. Ties are added, and syncopation comes to life (Meas. 6).
 
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Example 1 - The initial phrase is sung in unison. This folk tune is comprised of step-wise motion, with practice in the scale of E-Flat Major. 

Example 2 - This example introduces the harmony, as the melody is passed around between the Sopranos and Altos. 

Example 3 - Going into the refrain, the Bass is in unison with the Soprano and Alto, then forms a foundation for harmonic movement.

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Okay, so you get the idea of the structure for Rehearsal Preparation Sheets. I hope you will pass this information on to friends in choral music. These "lesson plans within a lesson plan" can make a difference in your students' musical achievement. I hope you will give them a try.

Happy 2023! Happy singing! Enjoy this new, exciting year!


Monday, January 2, 2023

Rehearsal Preparation Sheets: TBB Voicing

 


TBB voicings are becoming popular these days! They are designed for advanced choirs in high school and beyond. This voicing accommodates choirs with a large supply of basses, but "not so many" tenors. Because their voices are getting settled, some basses are "in between" for a while, and the moderate Bass I part works well.

How do we write for such a group? We must remember that Tenor I and Tenor II voices are going to be singing this repertoire, so my response is to keep the Tenor a bit more moderate in range than in TTB voicings. The resulting tone can be a rich, beautiful tone, with the Tenor providing an obligato role at times. Sometimes the range of a melody is wide, and the melody is "passed around" to accommodate ranges. The challenge of choral directors is to meld all of this "passing around" into one tone.

Listed below are the basic ranges in TBB choral writing:

Tenor - F below Middle "C" to F above Middle "C"

Bass I - "C" below Middle "C" to Middle "C" - an 8va!

Bass II - G (8va + 4th) below Middle "C" to B (or so) below Middle "C"

The goal of a Rehearsal Preparation Sheet is to ultimately duplicate the repertoire. The process includes pinpointing problems and challenges that might be incurred, addressing them before the students get to the repertoire. The goal is to strategically get all students to the same level. The RPS materials will assist in this process, and hopefully success will be experienced. The RPS can assist students in learning repertoire faster and more effectively, creating more time in the classroom for other activities...a good thing.

Rehearsal Preparation Sheets are available on the J. W. Pepper website for 250+ publications from Earlene Rentz Online Publications, and most of them have 2-3 pages. The RPS sheets are written using Successive Approximations (Simple to Complex) strategies, and students will be guided into new intervals, rhythms, and harmonies via previous information. 

J. W. Pepper offers the RPS for a very reasonable cost, and the purchaser is granted permission to make multiple copies for their choir.  On the J. W. Pepper site, most RPS materials are located at the bottom of the page (Reproducible PDF) on each title's webpage: 



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Let's take a look at some RPS examples with TBB Voicings:


 Example 1 - The melody and harmonies are taught using step-wise motion. All pitches are located by going up or down the scale to find them. The key is d minor, and Tenors might have difficulty singing the entire scale (range). The objective of Measures 1-4 is to teach the d minor scale. Tenors hang out on the dominant (A) until they can jump in and sing the melody with the Bass

In Example 1, the melody is passed between the Basses and the Tenors. The Tenor's low range might not have enough color and strength, and the Bass might be a challenge in the "D" range above Middle "C." Bass I doubles the Tenor at times, producing a simple two-part harmony. Three-part harmony does not arrive until Measure 17.

Example 2 - Both Bass parts are in thirds, and the Tenor provides an obligato part on the root of the chord, then doubles BII with the melody in the last three measures.

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This next title is "The Gift to Sing," (text by James Weldon Johnson...See March 16, 2021 post). The style is joyful, and the text encourages us to sing through challenging times.

Example 4 - The top example teaches syncopation. Briefly address the quarter note triplet. Then...go to the quarter/half notes to vertically experience the harmonies. This is the B Section of the octavo. It is important that singers find that "F" in Measure 11. This entire example establishes Bass I/II harmonies.

Example 5 - Measures 2 and 3 contain 4-Part harmonies. If Tenors cannot divide on these two notes (for the "tight harmony" sound), select either note. Since this is likely an older group (high school and beyond), we quickly go to syncopation, presented straight....then with a tie....then with rests and a tie. Measures 3-4 are likely the most difficult in the entire octavo. The altered pitch (D-flat) is a half-step up from the "C."

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There you have it. I have described and analyzed the process used in creating these supplementary materials. I hope you have an idea as to the structure of RPS materials and how they might assist you in teaching repertoire in rehearsal. Feel free to share with a friend!

It's a new year! All the best to you and yours!

Happy 2023!!




Saturday, December 31, 2022

Rehearsal Preparation Sheets: TTB Voicing

 


TTB is considered a middle school voicing, given that there are generally more tenor-range singers in middle school whose voices are changing at various times. Some of their voicers actually "settle" in high school. 

General Ranges for TTB:

Tenor I: F below Middle "C" to an "A" above (possibly a B-Flat)

Tenor II: D below Middle "C" to D above.

Bass: B-Flat (8va + Step below Middle "C") to Middle "C"

Rehearsal Preparation Sheets are available on J. W. Pepper for 250+ publications from Earlene Rentz Online Publications, and most of them have 2-3 pages that can be used to prepare students to sing Earlene Rentz compositions in your classroom. The RPS sheets are written using Successive Approximations (simple to complex), and students will be guided into easily performing new intervals, rhythms, and harmonies via concepts they already know. 

The Rehearsal Preparation Sheets will appear as such at the bottom of each octavo's webpage.


Here are some examples of TTB Voicings in an RPS, with brief explanations:


Example 1 - Students sing the F Major Scale before repertoire specifics are addressed. The first motive is taught "straight" (Meas. 3) before adding the dotted 8th/16th (Meas. 4). The assumption is made that this rhythm had been learned previously (maybe...maybe not...be prepared to teach it). Additional motives are taught without rests/dotted notes (Meas. 8-9).

Example 2 - Basses sing the melody as it appears in the octavo, but the harmony parts (Tenor I/II) are in longer durations); vertical harmonies can then be heard more clearly.

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Example 1 - Because younger voices (TI/II) are singing in harmony, and the ability to perform harmony (any type) is one of the most difficult, harmonies are augmented to allow the ears of changing voices  time to adjust. 

Example 2 - Melodies and harmonies are presented to look much more like the octavo. Rhythms and syncopation are basically being taught at the same time. First, the rhythms are presented "straight" (quarters/8ths), then ties are added to create syncopation.

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As you can see, this RPS is only one page. There are more examples in the complete RPS to make students more secure with the octavo. Anything detected in the octavo that might be trouble for the singer is addressed in the RPS.

All the best to you as you utilize these resources with your singers! Share with a friend "in the business," if you think they might be helpful to others in your life. They have been effective for my singers, and I'll always use them in my rehearsals.

Happy 2023!!







Friday, December 30, 2022

Rehearsal Preparation Sheets: SSA Voicing

 


SSA voicings are really fun to create! Treble voices have possibilities of singing all three voice parts in unison, which brings real strength to a composition. I love working with SSA compositions. I also love writing Rehearsal Preparation Sheets for SSA. For example, if all voices are going to be singing the melody at some point, or might benefit in some way, I would likely have all the voices singing in unison. I truly enjoy that aspect of SSA choral writing. Unison is a powerful tool, and can be used creatively in conveying the text.

Below, there are four SSA Rehearsal Preparation Sheet examples with different styles and difficulty levels. As you know, SSA voicings are written for younger voices (middle school) and professional ensembles. So...there are unique possibilities for SSA voicings, when creating Rehearsal Preparation Sheets.

We will look at a few RPS examples, so you can get an idea of the product you are purchasing (found at the bottom of the voicing list on a Pepper page.).



You will find below a jazzy, fun holiday setting of Wanetta Hill's lyrics, entitled Swingin' and Jinglin' Given the title, you won't be surprised to know that syncopation is contained, and you might wonder as to how it might be taught. 

Quite simply, I begin the process with whatever most students know, and move toward the thing(s) they do not know. The maturity and competence of the students determine how long we stay with the simple and how quickly we proceed to the more complex

Let's take a look at this example for high school and beyond. Note: the measure references.


Example 1 - This seven-measure example is in unison. We begin with the E-flat Major Scale, then sing a triad in the scale; we also establish the V/I relationship before students sing one altered pitch! ONE altered pitch usually does not frighten singers. 

Example 2 - The introduction! Harmony is introduced by singing thirds. This interval is easily sung, and it is introduced with quarter notes. Because there are several altered pitches, quarter notes give us a bit longer to think. Then, new concepts are introduced: 8th rest, ties, skips, altered pitches, text, and staccato style....usually one-at-a-time

Example 3 - The verse begins in this example with a repeated drill, using a lowered third (G-flat) and the B-flat below Middle "C". Both are important notes in the melody. Then, the 8th rest is added (only one). Syncopation is achieved by using a tie.

Example 4 - The second phrase is taught similarly: Quarter notes, add the 8ths, add ties to create syncopation. Notice that the altered pitch (A natural) is always approached from one-half step above. I repeat the passage until the altered pitch is likely "in the ear."

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Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella is a holiday octavo for upper middle school, high school, and beyond.

Example 1 - Tempo: The 8th note gets the beat, and the tempo range is wide. Begin rather slowly, then increase the tempo gradually. Eventually, sing with the dotted quarter receiving the pulse. The altos  have I/V and step-wise movement. Soprano I/II move in 8th notes, and use step-wise motion to find the harmonies. 

Example 2 - This arrangement simulates "hurrying and running to the manger." Many arrangements of this carol are moderate, legato, and lovely, but I wanted to create urgency, and I used 16th notes to achieve that mood. There is the movement of I/V in this connecting material. It appears in the octavo a few times.

Example 3 - This example is a more solid presentation of the melodies and harmonies contained in the octavo, and concentrates on tuning. Sing two beats per measure (two dotted quarters), and see how it goes.

There are more RPS pages for "Bring a Torch." See this title on J. W. Pepper's website.

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For Unto Us a Child is Born might be a similar difficulty level as the above example, but it is universally familiar because of Messiah. Some already have it "in the ear." As you know, there is much to be taught in the music of Handel. In this arrangement, the voice parts and accompaniment have been simplified. 

Example 1 - Teaches the first phrase by concentrating on scale degrees 1, 4, and 5.

Example 2 - Singers use steps to find the "D;" then use step-wise motion and scalar patterns to learn the motive "Unto us a Son is given."

Example 3 - The harmony of "Unto us a Son is given" is the focus. Once the melody is secure, the singers should concentrate on the vertical presentation. The examples move into "and the government shall be upon his shoulder." I am assuming that singers know how to sing dotted 8ths and 16ths. If not, be prepared to address it. 

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The following art song by Robert Schumann ("Die Lotosblume") has been arranged for SSA advanced choirs. The text is German, and a pronunciation guide is provided. 

Example 1 - Because this arrangement will likely be sung by an advanced choir,  harmony is introduced rather quickly (measures 4-5). Step-wise motion is used to find the correct pitches in harmonies (measure 3).

Example 2 - Singers are in harmony through most of this example. Half note durations give singers time to hear the altered pitches and vertical alignment. 

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 When you purchase an RPS from J. W. Pepper ($5.00), the purchaser is granted permission to make multiple copies for their choir. 

At this point, you have an idea as to the type of Rehearsal Preparation Sheet that has been created for every Earlene Rentz Online Publications octavo appearing on the J. W. Pepper website. Share with a friend "in the business," if you think these resources might be helpful.

Rehearsal Preparation Sheets are effective. I have used them for years in regular choir rehearsals. I encourage you to give them a try to see if they might be effective for your ensembles. 

All the best to you and your students! 

Happy 2023!!