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Midland-Odessa Community Chorus
Core-Choir for the 2018 Messiah Sing-along
4805 Gateway St. 
Midland, Texas
Choral Director: Alice Beckstrom
We are pleased to announce that the 4th Annual Messiah Sing-along will take place on Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 5:30 PM with Dr. Frank Eychaner returning as guest conductor, and LuAnn Lane as organist, Rachel Dent as our pianist and Melanie Harper as our Assistant Choral Director.  Rehearsals for the core-choir will begin on Thursday, Oct 4 from 7-8:30 PM and will continue every Thursday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4805 Gateway St, Midland, TX 79707.  

Please contact us for more information on singing with the Midland-Odessa Community Chorus in the future. 
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email me
REHEARSAL SCHEDULE Nov 15, 2018

7-7:09 PM we will warm-up in the chapel, then EVERYONE will go to the Rehearsal room. We’ll sing through all the choruses (please make notes of any problem areas) and then go back over those areas.  
7:10 PM SOLOISTS: Starting at 7:10 on the dot, you will each have 10 min to rehearse with Rachel Dent in the chapel. Please text Rachel to secure your time-slot and be sure to be in the chapel 2 min before your time and then return to the Rehearsal room immediately afterwards. Thank you

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REHEARSAL SCHEDULE- Nov 8, 2018
• 7-7:10 Welcome & warmup in Chapel
• 7:15-7:30 sing through: #4, #9, #17, #44
• 7:30-8:00 men’s and women’s sectionals (women in Chapel, men in Rehearsal Room)
• 8:00-8:25 women join men in Rehearsal Room and sing through #4, #9, #17, #44
• Benediction, cookies/mingle

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REHEARSAL SCHEDULE- Nov 1, 2018
• 7-7:10 Welcome & warmup in Chapel
• 7:15-7:30 sing through: #7, #12, #46 
• 7:30-8:00 men’s and women’s sectionals (women in Chapel, men in Rehearsal Room)
• 8:00-8:25 women join men in Rehearsal Room and sing through #7, #12, #46 and if time #26
• Benediction, cookies/mingle

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MUSIC NOTES 
Another great rehearsal, you’re doing great on the melismas, British diction, and remembering the Handel style (pulse the quarter notes, strong-soft on eighth notes and stressing the first note in melisma groupings). 

REHEARSAL SCHEDULE- Oct 25, 2018
• 7-7:10 Welcome & warmup in Chapel
• 7:15-7:30 sing through: #9, #44, #26 
• 7:30-8:00 men’s and women’s sectionals (women in Chapel, men in Rehearsal Room)
• 8:00-8:25 women join men in Rehearsal Room and sing through #9, #44, #26
• Benediction, cookies/mingle



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MUSIC NOTES
As a general reminder: everything is pronounced with a ‘proper’ British accent, I.E. have your throat/tongue/jaw/palate replicate their position when you inhale for a yawn. R’s are either silent or lightly ‘flipped’. The ending syllable is rarely emphasized and usually ends in a schwa, I.E. “father” is pronounced ‘FAH-thuh’, “ever” is ‘EH-vah’, etc.  

REHEARSAL SCHEDULE- Oct 11, 2018
• 7-7:10 Welcome & warmup in Chapel
• 7:15-7:30 sing through: #17, #26, #46 (Before our rehearsal, please write in the measure numbers of these 3 choruses!)
• 7:30-8:00 men’s and women’s sectionals (women in Chapel, men in Rehearsal Room)
• 8:00-8:25 women join men in Rehearsal Room and sing through #17, #26, #46
• Benediction, cookies/mingle


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MUSIC NOTES- Oct 5, 2018

We had a sectional on #26 All we like sheep. Two things to remember: on the words “stray” and “away”, do not add a diphthong and go into ‘ā’, only sing the ‘eh’. The second item is true for ALL the text; everything is pronounced with a ‘proper’ British accent. The ending syllable is rarely emphasized and usually ends in a schwa, I.E. “father” is pronounced ‘FAH-thuh’, “ever” is ‘EH-vah’, etc.


REHEARSAL SCHEDULE- Oct 11, 2018

• 7-7:10 Welcome & warmup in Chapel

• 7:15-7:30 sing through: #7, #4, #12 (Before our next rehearsal, please write in the measure numbers of these 3 choruses!)

• 7:30-8:00 men’s and women’s sectionals (women in Chapel, men in Rehearsal Room)

• 8:00-8:25 women join men in Rehearsal Room and sing through #7, #4, #12

• Benediction, cookies/mingle



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Rehearsal Schedule for Oct 4, 2018

7-7:10 Welcome & warmup in Chapel
7:15-7:40 sing through: the program (choruses: 4, 7, 9, 12, 17, 26, 46, 44
7:45-8:10 men’s and women’s sectionals on #26 and #7 (women in Chapel, men in Rehearsal Room)
8:15-8:25 women join men in Rehearsal Room, sing through #26 & #7.  
Benediction, cookies/mingle



2018 Messiah Concert Singers:

Alice Beckstrom, Mark Beckstrom, Alexandria Belk, Gwen Bengfort, Amy Blackshear, Sarah Blackshear, Cathy Bonifay, Stazie Church, Brad Cockrell, Melody Drinkard, Jane Greaves, Brooke Hadlock, Melanie Harper, Joseph Hausen, Jordan Johnson, ManDee Laing, Emily Martin, David May, Mark McDonald, Mary Lou McDonald, Rachel McDonald, Jesse Miller, Peggy Miller, Quinn Miller, Veronica Miller, Tricia Moffa, Jack Mohr, Aslinn Nelson, Renée Pocsik, Melissa Snow, Tamara Weaver, Debbie Wise 

2017 The Forgotten Carols Singers:
Desiree Aguilar, Alice Beckstrom, Amy Blackshear, Amanda Blanton, Hannah Blanton, Cathy Bonifay, Lynne Chandler, Stazie Church, Jeannie Cornia, Melody Drinkard, Brooke Hadlock, Colby Hazard, Aubry Jarman, Bethany Jarman, Bryan Jarman, Wendie Jarman, David May, Mark McDonald, Mary Lou McDonald, Rachel McDonald, Tricia Moffa, Alexandra Newberry, Susan Perez, Aaron Pitt, Alan Pitt, Thomas Pitt, Luke Prizer, Jordan Ridderhof, Gabriel Sanchez, Brian Stimpson, Mandilyn Stimpson, Tamara Weaver, Karen Weidmann
Forgotten Carols NOTES:

General Questions/Answers/Information:

Rehearsals at (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4805 Gateway St, Midland, TX 79707), 
8:35-9:05 PM on Nov 9, 16 (and if needed) Nov 30  
7:00-8:00 PM on Dec 7 and Dec. 12.  

There's a DropBox link for the Sheet Music and MP3's. Please print out your own music, and listen to it and try to sing along and our rehearsals can be focused on unifying our sound and being a real show-choir!

The performance order of our songs: Handel's Dream, Three Kings, Arise & Shine Forth, 12/25 – 365 (the Encore)

Handel’s Dream- has a mistake in the score: at measure 43 the key changes to Key of G.

Three Kings- page 5, 2nd line says “repeat measures 68071 as directed”. I should state to repeat M 75-78.

Arise- The first page says “2nd time solo” which refers to the 2nd time the soloist sings Arise (on the cast recording the choir enters around 3:06.)

How will they be standing on the stage? Risers? Do you have them standing in specific part order for the show? Do they have any movement that they need to learn?  The choir is seated backstage at the beginning of the show. When it's their time to sing, our stage hands will guide them on-stage, and they will stand on different levels of stairs & platforms. After each song they sing, they are led back off-stage. Their placement on stage will be determined during the short rehearsal before the show, when they'll have an opportunity to rehearse getting on and off stage. 

I assume the choir members will be at the theatre from 5:00 for the dress rehearsal until the end of the performance. How does dinner work? Will they have a break to eat? Is that meal provided or do I need to coordinate that? Can food be brought into the venue?  You will get a more detailed schedule soon, but we'll ask the choir to be at the venue by 4:45, ready for a 5:00 PM rehearsal. The choir will have a dinner break between 6 - 7 PM. No meal is provided, but choir members can walk to nearby places for dinner, or they can bring a lunch/dinner with them. Food is totally fine in the choir rehearsal room / greenroom. 

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Nov 9, 2017

Hi everyone, great, first rehearsal tonight and a GREAT group of performers! Tyler Castleton took time out of his busy schedule to greet us and thank us. He also said that we can have TWO comps instead of just one. He left a lot of beautiful posters and flyers to use to invite friends (and earn our FREE, signed CD) and you can also give friends the discount code to save money on their tickets (Use the code: ForgottenCarols10 for 10% off additional tickets, and use the code: 2017Group is for 15% off orders with 10 or more tickets.).  

Tyler’s suggestion is for us to keep listening to and singing along with the cast recordings. Here’s some notes on each song:

1. Handel’s Dream: When the song is 12/8 sing with a bouncy beat; 123 123 123 123. FYI: The middle of bar 11 rit, middle of bar 12 molto rit, also bar 12 is sung in unison (men, notes 5&6 should be “B”, “C”). Next entrance at bar 35 is at 2:12 of the cast recording. Bar 42-end the song is in key of G. Sing the notes as written, just DO NOT add a C#! (Sing along with the recording and you’ll be fine.) Bar 44-47 is the trickiest… Listen to recording and try to count out your rhythm.
2. Three Kings: Very different style, match the choir on the recording. If you want to skip some of the solo, bar 33 is at 1:39 of the recording, and bar 57 is at 2:42 of the recording and the repeat is at 3:24.
3. Arise: Gospel style, again, listen and match the choir on the recording. Count the song in 2 and it’ll be much easier to hear and feel your beat! We enter at 3:03 of the cast recording. 
4. 12-25, 365 (the encore)- just sing with the recording


And finally, remember that the music is to be memorized… try to have it on your phone, play on your computer, etc. I’ll attach MP3’s of the Cast Recordings only for those that don’t like DropBox. However, if you like to hear your note played along with the recording, I’ve made and attached those files on DropBox link for the Sheet Music and MP3's.
Please contact me with any questions and if you need to miss a rehearsal… we want to be so good and get enough people to come to the performance that the production team will want to return here and make this a new tradition for the Midland-Odessa area!!!

MESSIAH NEWS: 

Nov 10, 2018
One of the goals for this year’s Nativity Festival is to become more of a community event with more community involvement. As well as singing in the MOCC, I really encourage all of you to consider sharing a nativity, holy family, the wise men, etc to be displayed at the Festival. For your convenience, please bring any items you’d like to share to our next rehearsal (Thur Nov 15) and they will be collected and safely stored, then put on display and then may be collected by you on Dec 3. Please contact me if you have any questions regarding this.

​We are nearing the end of our rehearsals are we are starting to have a good, unified sound (I even got chills in places!).  

We rehearse this Thursday, have a break for Thanksgiving, then our last rehearsal is on the 29th, dress rehearsal on Sat Dec 1 and performance on Sun Dec 2!


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Nov 5, 2018
As there are differences in the different scores we are using, I have re-created the PDF’s on the link “print out your own score”. It reflects the measure numbers, dynamics and notes from the Novello Handel Edition of Messiah and you may use it to make the following corrections; last week we noticed: wrong bar numbers on the former PDF of #12 For unto us (now corrected), additional text at bars 79-83. And, different notes in #46 “Since by man” at bar 28-30. Please notify me of other changes and I’ll share them with the group.

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Oct 27, 2018
BIG NEWS: thank you to ALL who auditioned for solos… you’re all stars! 

 I’m pleased to say the following will be our soloists for the 2018 Sing-along:

2. Comfort ye my people- Jordan Johnson
5. Thus saith the Lord of hosts- Brad Cockrell
8-9. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and O Thou that tellest good tidings- Mary Lou McDonald 
10. For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth- Quinn Miller
14-16.There were shepherds abiding in the field; And lo! the angel of the Lord came upon them; And the angel said unto them; And suddenly there was with the angel- Renée Pocsik 
20. He shall feed His flock like a shepherd- Aslinn Nelson and Jane Greaves
30. Behold and see if there be any sorrow- Joseph Hausen
52. If God be for us- Alice Beckstrom

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Oct 14, 2018
Reminder that this week and the following week I will be auditioning for solos immediately following rehearsal. If you are interested in auditioning, please contact me and I will send you the audition cuts as well as a DropBox link with MP3s of your music.

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Oct 5, 2018
We had a wonderful rehearsal last night as we sang through ALL the choruses! Thank you to our pianist Rachel Dent and our Assistant Conductor Melanie Harper and to everyone that came ready to sing. (To those that missed, please be sure to read through these few notes and try to look over the music before next week.)

One of our altos, Tamara Weaver, is the Chairman for this year’s Nativity Festival. She explained the two-day festival (filled with live instrumental and vocal performances as well as a child-friendly nativity activity room) and beautiful nativity displays. The highlight of the festival is the Messiah Sing-along. We are looking for more community involvement; please let her know if you and/or your church or group are interested in performing, and if you would like to loan a nativity to be displayed. (We’ll have 24 hour security, so your precious nativity will be safe and well looked after.) Attached is a flyer that you can email or print and share with others that may like to sing with us, perform during the festival and/or have nativity(s) they would like to share. You may contact Tamara Weaver (470-222-3454, ptweaverfamily@gmail.com). They are also planning to give us a private tour immediately following our dress rehearsal on Sat. Dec 1!

The next few weeks I will be auditioning for solos immediately following rehearsal. If you are interested in auditioning, please contact me and I will send you the audition cuts as well as a DropBox link with MP3s of your music.

Also, for those who would like to practice the singing exercises at home, I’ve attached the sheet music and MP3.

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Everyone participating in the Midland-Odessa Community Chorus is encouraged to buy/bring their own score. Many places online will sell you a Messiah score for around $10. For your convenience, here are two options: You may buy a new or used score from Amazon. Another option is clicking this link to print out your own score or to download to a tablet to read and sing off of.  

Another choral help is a wonderful site called CyberBass which will play your part louder and you may even choose your tempo!