Thursday, June 9, 2011

BEHIND THE SONG -- Preparations to sing an entire Mass

Stained Glass window at St. Joseph's

Below is the program for this Sunday June 12th  Mass that we will be singing at  Cathédrale Saint-Joseph,  245 Blvd Saint-Joseph, Gatineau

You may find it interesting to see how early we arrive for a "show" (generally one and a half to two hours before depending on whether we've sung in the venue before.)
Sunday June 12th
245 Blvd Saint-Joseph, Gatineau
14:00 Call time for Choir members. 
All are expected to arrive with proper black attire and music binders organized and ready. The half-hour time before practice begins is usually needed to unravel the unexpected. 

(For instance, two of the Stairwellers live in Orleans and for last Wednesdays concert,with the wild storms that swept through Ottawa, we were fortunate they could attend.)

14:30 Practice (finish at 15:15 approx.) 
After dumping our bags and wardrobe in a practice room, we head up to the church so that Pierre can assess the acoustics and arrange us where we will perform. Every performance space is different and he shuffles us around to get the best sound balance and to make sure we look good :) A Stairwellers height often is a major concern in placement -- us short girls always get to be in front.We then go back to the practice space  and start with a warm-up. Pierre runs us through pieces that he believes are most challenging and the final step is to do the few beginning bars of each piece. this serves to fine-tune our beginnings and get our heads in the game, so to speak.
And, at last, time for last minute bathroom breaks and wardrobe malfunctions to be fixed.
15:35 We take our positions in the church.  
Depending on the Priest's wishes, we either enter after the people are seated, or are already seated in place before they arrive.
15:40 Start singing! 
We usually  sit between songs to bring the focus back to the service. The priest cues us to start each piece at the appropriate times

Before the Mass
C2    Ave Maris Stella,  verses 1 et 2  -   Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
B4   Miserere  -   Antonio Lotti (1667-1740)
F2   O vos omnes  -   Vittoria (1540-1608)
G4   Pater noster   -  Jacob Handl (1550-1591)

The Mass
Entrée:  G3   Regina Coeli   -  Gregor Aichinger (1564-1628)
Kyrie:    D1   Missa Secunda – Kyrie  -  Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612)
Gloria:    H2   Gloria-Fanfare   -  Martin Shaw
Psaume:  B2   Adoramus te   -  Palestrina (v.1514-1590)
Acclamation avant l’Évangile:   A2   Alleluja   -  Purcell (1659-1572)
Offertoire:  C2   Ave Maris Stella,  versets 3 et 4   -  Claudio Monteverdi
Sanctus et Benedictus:  D2, D3   Missa Secunda – Sanctus & Benedictus -  Hans Leo Hassler
Doxologie (après le “En lui, avec  toi, etc. et avant le Notre Père): H4   Amen   -  Newbury
Agnus Dei:   D4   Missa Secunda – Agnus Dei -  Hans Leo Hassler
Communion : Pendant la communion   E3   Gloria in excelsis   -  Claude Goudimel (v. 1520-1572)
Après la communion (Action de grâces):   B1  Deo gratias   -   William Byrd (1540-1623)
Sortie: G2   Cantate Domino   -  Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612)

After the Mass
Pierre will decide whether we will sing an additional piece and which one it will be (we always have a one of two encore pieces waiting in the last section of our binders).

Holly ;)

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You can also email your questions to me - info (at) stairwellcarollers (dot) com.
Holly :)

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