For Musicians

Download the 2017-2018 Brochure.  Click on the following link.

brochure 17-18

Welcome to August!

Before the month is out we’ll be back to making music together!  While the break is welcome, I’m already looking forward to returning to the upcoming season.

Please take advantage of the music for our first concert being available ahead of time.  Playing all the right notes (and there are a fair number!) is just the beginning with Bach.  (and Mendelssohn.  And, well, just about everything….)

The rehearsal info sheet is attached, please read it all carefully prior to the first rehearsal.  There is more information than usual including some listening (well, youtube) suggestions (assignments?!) that will really help you hear what we’re striving for.  Also note the extended dress rehearsal time, since it’s our only rehearsal with the choir and vocal soloists, and the preconcert warmup times.  Exactly what we work on when is subject to revision and clarification in the latter part of the series due to variables unknown at this time.

As with previous choral works (Creation, Brahms Requiem) no agenda is being pursued with either our Reformation anniversary concert or the Mozart Requiem.  It is all being done because it’s magnificent music, whether any other meaning attached to it matches our personal views or not.

Please do confirm with me (and/or Audrey) whether you’re playing the first concert or not before the first rehearsal–remember that our new goal is to know that at the downbeat of the first rehearsal.

That’s all for now—see you soon!



2017-18 Season, Concert #1

Reformation 500
Youth Concerto Competition Winner (Syracuse only)
Bach:  Cantata No. 80, “Ein Feste Burg”

Bach:  Gloria in Excelsis, Dona Nobis Pacem from b minor mass
Mendelssohn:  Symphony No. 5 “Reformation”

8/28                 Mendelssohn read movements in order
Bach read in descending instrumentation order
Labor Day       off
9/11                 Mendelssohn focus
9/18                 Bach focus (string work on Mendelssohn after)
9/25                 Mendelssohn focus, touch Bach at the end
10/2                 run Mendelssohn, work as needed
10/9                 concerto with soloist, etc.
10/16               some soloists for Bach Cantata, concerto work.  8:20 run Mendelssohn
10/23               **7-9:30** Dress at Atonement
7-8:15 Bach with chorus and all soloists
8:30 concerto
8:45 Mendelssohn

Friday, October 27 at 7:30 Atonement
6:30 call time

(Bach, concerto, Mendelssohn)

Sunday, October 29 at 4:00, St. Luke, 109 Oak Avenue, Ithaca
2:30 pm sound check

(possible organ opener, Bach, Mendelssohn)
Directions will be available weeks before the concert.

Dress:  Tuxes for the gents for both concerts, all black as usual for the ladies.

Stand lights highly recommended at Atonement; probably less essential in Ithaca but would recommend bringing anyways.

Please check out the following before rehearsals begin!
(or search Bach BWV 80 Herreweghe and it’ll come up)

Things to listen for:            — how short and clean things are — where notes are not held full value  — how everything has shape and some things are important and others are less so; despite “dizzyingly complex counterpoint” (6 parts!!) you can hear everything.

And also this fascinating analysis:
or search “dizzyingly complex counterpoint Bach bwv 80”

Scoring info for Bach cantata, by movement:

  1. choir, 3 oboes, 2 bassoons, strings, 3 tpts, timp
  2. soprano and bass duet, 1 oboe, strings
  3. bass recitative, 1 cello and organ only
  4. soprano aria, 1 cello and organ only
  5. choir, 2 oboes, EHorn, strings, trumpets, timpani
  6. tenor recitative, 1 cello and organ only
  7. alto and tenor duet, Ehorn, 1 solo violin, 1 cello, organ
  8. all

Scoring info for Bach mass:
3 trumpets, timpani, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, strings, choir

Scoring for Mendelssohn:
2222 woodwinds, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani

Concerto scoring tba!


Bach cantata style:

There must be much more space than the music appears to have.  I have marked it in at the beginning, but it should continue throughout.  For just the first example:  the opening half, half-tied to quarter, 2 8ths, half tied to quarter, 2 8ths, half tied to quarter should really be quarter note, quarter rest, half note, quarter rest, 2 8ths, half note, quarter rest, 2 8ths, half, quarter rest….etc….all without sounding like you’re stopping and starting but rather articulating well.

Running eights must be very very clean and be very articulated, as if starting and ending with crisp consonants.

Note to cello/bass/bassoon: most cellists, 1 bassoon and 1 brave bassist should play the top part.  A couple cellos, other bassoons, and all remaining bassists play the bottom line, fortissimo throughout.  Might add a bass trombone to the lower part!


Suggested listening for Mendelssohn—I’m less prescriptive here than the Bach…. Find anything professional.  My personal notes, John Eliot Gardiner with Bayrischer Rundfunk is pretty glorious.  (And the sight of all the violins and violas standing to play is interesting!)   More traditionally, Karajan’s has a great majesty and depth…but fyi the second movement is a lot slower than we’ll do.    At least as of this writing, I’m thinking the Mendelssohn will lean Romantic to contrast with the Bach.