Welcome. This site provides information to chorus members. The official webpage is located at the Northern Virginia Community College site.

Rehearsal Preview

March 27th, 2017

From Dr. Whitmire: Dear Singers-
Last night
Thanks so much for you excellent work at last night’s Dress Rehearsal with orchestra. The second time through you gave me just what we needed. We will work out the weak spots (mostly the unaccompanied spots) tomorrow night. If you missed the Dress Rehearsal for any reason, please let me know asap. If you told me previously of a schedule problem, please remind me.
Section leaders have your five tickets half-priced tickets. Please sell them or buy them and give them as gifts.
A flyer is attached. Please spread the word. We want our last concert with the orchestra to have a great crowd.
We’ll sing through a few of the Copland choruses tomorrow. Please bring your music.
April 8 Cleanup
There will be a sign-up sheet tomorrow where participants will give their name and whether you will car-pool with us or meet us at Hard Bargain Farm. Halina has posted sign-ups for the noon pot-luck picnic. I hope that many of you will join us and lend a hand. No rehearsal on April 8.
Fall 2017
I have talked to many of you about where you will be singing in the Fall. While some of you will remain at NOVA, others have said they will not, given all that has happened. I think that the Chorale of the Friday Morning Music Club might be a good fit for many of you. http://www.fmmc.org/performance-opportunities/vocalopportunities/. I am having lunch with Director Paul Leavitt http://paulleavitt.com/ftp.paulleavitt.com/Welcome.html tomorrow. I know this transition is difficult for many of you. It is very, very difficult for me as well. I can’t express how much I appreciate and love every one of you.
May 12 Celebration Committee
If you want to help with the planning/execution of our party (even if you have not previously signed up) please plan to meet for a few minutes at the end of tomorrow’s rehearsal.


Click image for Flyer PDF

Wonderful Concert

March 22nd, 2017

From Dr. Whitmire: Dear Singers-
Thanks for making last night such a wonderful event. Sicut Cervus set the stage perfectly for a night full of purpose and meaning. Several people said that the fact that you sang it by memory made all the difference. I really enjoyed getting to sit in the audience and enjoy Wade in the water. Brava/o to our soloists and conductor Jon DeHart. You took Earth is our Mother to a whole new level. It was a very transcendent experience for me–I hope for you too.
I hope you took today off from music study. But there’s no rest for the weary, and I need tyou to get back to work tomorrow. We have a full rehearsal on Saturday at 11:00 am. We had a great turnout last Saturday, and that made all the difference. Our Dress Reheasal with orchestra These things shall be is Sunday at at 5:00 pm at Immanuel Church. If everyone spends time practicing on on both Thursday and Friday, we can do another great job.
I hope to send you the poems from last night soon. I understand that most of you weren’t able to hear them. We hope to have a video up soon as well. Section Leaders will hand out tickets after rehearsal on Sunday night.

P.S. FYI, The address for Immanuel Church on the Hill is 3606 Seminary Rd, Alexandria, VA

Concert Flyer

March 20th, 2017

Click image for Flyer PDF

Black Folders

March 18th, 2017

From Dr. Whitmire: Dear Singers- Let’s use black folders for the concert. We’ll sing Sicut cervus and Wade in the water without music.
Thanks for the excellent rehearsal today- DrW

Concert Dress

March 18th, 2017

[Admin Reposting] Please review the concert performance attire guidelines as listed in the Performance Advice (.pdf) document, always posted to the right.

Men’s Concert Dress
A tuxedo, white dress shirt or formal shirt with black bow tie, black shoes and socks. If you don’t own a tux and don’t wish to rent one, a black or dark blue suit is permitted in this chorus. You can often pick up used tuxedos at rental stores or secondhand locations.

Women’s Concert Dress
Dress Options
Floor length dresses or separates (top with floor length skirt or formal dress slacks)
Floor length means to the ankle/top of the shoe.

Black matte finish

Modest, unadorned “V” neckline. No ruffles, no flounces, no collar, no cleavage

Long sleeves or 3/4 sleeves

Black shoes with black hosiery

Jewelry should be unobtrusive–modest, not flashy.
[Purses should not be brought on stage. Options are to lock it in your car or in a room identified for such use at the performance venue. If you choose a skirt or slacks with pockets, you may be able to carry all you need there. If you are using a ring binder for your music, a pencil case clamped in with your music can hold keys, a comb and lipstick.]

The following are NOT be acceptable:
Slacks: Leggings, chinos, denim jeans, khaki-style, any pant that would expose the midriff
Fabrics: Velvet, satin/shiny fabrics, sheer/see-through fabrics like chiffon or lace, sequined fabrics, heavily patterned fabrics

Please refrain from wearing scented products, including perfumes, some hair sprays, etc. Also be mindful of oral hygiene.
We often do not have changing or secure storage facilities backstage. Bring only what you intend to have with you onstage.
When filing onto stage, climb the risers at the end, and then walk to your place.
Keep your music at your side while walking.
While standing, do not lock your knees. If you feel faint, alert the singers on both sides and sit down on your own riser with their help.
Be careful when stepping off risers. You can easily trip and fall.
When filing off of the stage, do not walk to one end and jump off.
Listen carefully for the location of the post performance party. Follow someone there.
Caution: water is not allowed on stage during performances. Cough drops in your pocket are a good emergency measure for performances.

Chorus members are encouraged to look at websites of vendors specializing in outfitting ensembles to get an idea of the overall look of formality we are trying to achieve. If you need to purchase garments to fit the profile, the following websites are just a few we looked at that have appropriate clothing choices. The profile is basic enough that you may be able to find “the right stuff” at a local department store. You may already own an outfit that fits the profile, or you may be able to borrow one from a friend or family member.

3/18 Full Rehearsal Preview

March 17th, 2017

From Dr. Whitmire: Dear Singers-

One more desperate – please be at rehearsal tomorrow at 11:00 am. Call in sick, trade work schedule with a colleague, hire a sub … do everything possible to be present.

The Call is 6:00 pm. I want to spend only 5 minutes positioning everyone on the risers. Please be on time so that we can place you in a seat. We’ll leave a gap in the center to allow the exit of Wade in the water soloists. (Tom Donlan has let me know his airplane is late. Tenors- save him as seat.)

After Raindrop Prelude Jon and soloists move down stage and line up on Jon’s right, in the order of your solos. After Wade, return to seats

After intermission, choristers once again take their seat on stage, except Chamber Singers who enter from offstage right. B2 B1 T2 T1 A2 A1 S2 S1. (I’ll trust singers to sort out the additional divisi. ) Following the poetry readings singers enter stage right come downstage center and line up in 2 rows, men in back. Form a semi-circle to sing Water Night.

Following Water Night singers return directly to their seats on the riser for the duration.

I rehearsed Earth is our mother with flute and piano today. I learned that it is much hard to find your pitch when the piano is not playing it—and the piano is rarely playing it. Please take time to review your music tonight and in the morning. If we all work hard we can overcome what Mother Nature dealt us last Tuesday.



March 13th, 2017

From Dr. Whitmire: Dear Singers-

-I am just back from ACDA in Minneapolis. It was a great convention. I posted a few photos if you are on Facebook.
-Thanks to Jon, Chris and all who showed up last Tuesday for the Special Rehearsal. I know it was very productive.
-Sadly, the college will be closed tomorrow due to weather. That makes our Saturday 11:00 am Full Rehearsal even more important. I hope that those who were not planning to attend will do everything possible to be there. It is urgent that we have a full rehearsal this Saturday.
-We don’t want us to lose momentum for this concert. Please work on your music more diligently than ever.
-We want to have a great crowd. Please put your audience recruiting into ultra-high gear.

NOVA Alert

March 13th, 2017

From NOVA Alert “NOVA will be closing at 3:30 pm on Monday, March 13th, and will remain closed on Tuesday, March 14th due to winter weather conditions. See web for updates.”

See http://www.nvcc.edu/emergency/alert.html

Copland Music

March 7th, 2017

From Dr. Whitmire: Dear Singers- Several of you have reported the Copland Music is delayed. I ordered five copies and they have arrived, so I don’t know what’s up. Your may want to contact Foxes Music. Yours-MW

Foxes Music Company
416 South Washington Street
Falls Church, VA 22046
Telephone 703-533-7393
Telephone 2 800-446-4414

Special Rehearsal

March 6th, 2017

From Dr. Whitmire: Dear Singers- I really hope you are planning to attend our rehearsal tomorrow night at 7 pm. It takes place at John Calvin Presbyterian Church (6531 Columbia Pike). It is very important because it is our last rehearsal before our March 14 Dress Rehearsal in Schlesinger.

I will ask Jon and Chris to work on
Earth is our Mother.
Page 32-35 are tricky for the men
Pp 69 to the end are difficult for everyone, especially women) to sing in tune.

Wade in the water
Briefly, so that you can get acquainted with Jon’s conducting

These things shall be
I hope you will sing thru the entire piece.

After our March 21 Water Concert we have only the one Saturday rehearsal on March 25 before our March 26 Dress Rehearsal with Orchestra for These things shall be.

That is why it is so very important that everyone attend our Full Saturday Rehearsals on March 18 and 25.

Schedule (please get calibrated)

Tuesday, March 7 – Special 7:00 pm Rehearsal John Calvin Presbyterian Church (6531 Columbia Pike)

Tuesday, March 14 – 7:00 pm Dress Rehearsal in Schlesinger.

Saturday, March 18 – 11:00 am Full Rehearsal in AT130

Tuesday, March 21 – 7:00 pm concert in Schlesinger; 6:00 pm Call

Saturday, March 25 – 11:00 am Full Rehearsal in AT130

Sunday, March 26 – 5:00 pm Dress Rehearsal with Orchestra at Immanuel Church


Technical Notice

March 1st, 2017

From Admin: Updates will be temporarily delayed until further notice. Thank you for your patience.

Eighth Rehearsal Preview

February 28th, 2017

From Dr. Whitmire: Welcome to our 8th rehearsal of 2017.

This Saturday 3/4 I see WOMEN at 11:00 am

Next Tuesday 3/7 NVCC is closed for Spring Break.
However, I encourage you attend the optional rehearsal that Jon and Chris will lead. It takes place at 7:00 pm at John Calvin Presbyterian Church (6531 Columbia Pike).

Please order ASAP from www.sheetmusicplus.com. Please do not delay.
Old American Songs Complete (SATB and Piano)
Choral, Piano Accompaniment (SATB)?SATB and Piano. Composed by Aaron Copland (1900-1990). BH Large Choral. Softcover. Boosey & Hawkes #M051480807. Published by Boosey & Hawkes (HL.48020988). Item Number: HL.48020988. ISBN 1617803928


Alternate Rehearsal Room While NVCC is Closed – Optional Rehearsal on March 7

February 26th, 2017

From Chorister Fred: NVCC will be closed for Spring Vacation during the week of March 6, so our regular rehearsal room will not be available for our rehearsal on March 7th.

– I have arranged for us to rent the John Calvin Presbyterian Church’s Sanctuary for our chorus’ rehearsal on that Tuesday night. (www.johncalvinpres.org) It has a piano in perfect tune, good acoustics and space for 300 people (should we ever get that big). Jonathan de Hart will be our conductor/teacher and Christine Hagan will be our pianist. Our rehearsal will start at 7 PM as always. The church will be open from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM

– This church is at 6531 Columbia Pike, which is at the intersection with Whispering Lane. It is across the street from Belvedere Elementary School. There is a stoplight at this intersection so it is easy to find. Use the downhill entrance to reach the sanctuary.

– We are renting this space from JCPC, so there will be a collection. I hope that you can donate $10 to pay the church. If you cannot afford this donation, please come anyway and donate what you can.

– Food and water are not allowed in this sanctuary. Please leave food and water in the room just outside of the sanctuary. There are rest rooms and a water fountain a short distance from the entrances to the sanctuary.

Fred Wulff

P.S. The rehearsal on March 7 at JCPC is Optional.
It provides another chance to work any remaining kinks in the music.

Earth is our Mother

February 25th, 2017

From Dr. Whitmire: Dear Singers,
Here is the full text of Earth is our mother (.pdf). Very powerful message. We must bring the text to life. I know we can.

Earth is our Mother
words attributed to Chief Seattle (1786-1866), a chief of the Suquamish tribe of the Pacific Northwest.

The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to by our land.
How can you buy or sell the sky or the land?
If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water,
How can you buy them?

Every part of earth is sacred to my people. every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect; All are holy in the memory of my people.

All belong to the same family.
We know that sap course through the trees as we know that blood courses through our veins.
We are part of the earth and it is part of us.
The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the soaring eagle, these are my brothers.
All belong to the same family.

The shining water that moves in the stream and the rivers is not just water,
but the blood of our ancestors.
If we sell you our land, you must remember that it is sacred.
Each ghostly reflection in the clear water of the lakes tells of all memories in the life of my people.
The water’s murmur is the voice of my father’s father.
The rivers are my brothers.
They quench our thirst, the carry our canoes and feed our children.
So you must give to the rivers the kindness you would give any brother.

If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us.
The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also received his last sigh.
The wind also gives our children the spirit of life.
So if we sell our land, you must keep it a place apart and sacred,
as a place where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow flowers.
Will you teach your children what we have taught our children, that the earth is our mother?
What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.

This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth.
All things are connected like the blood that unites us all.
man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in the web.
Whatever to the web, he does to himself.

Your destiny is a mystery to us.
What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses tamed?
What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men
and the view from the ripe hills is blotted out by the talking wires?
Where will the thicket be? Gone!
Where will the eagle be? Gone!
The end of living! The beginning of survival.

The land is gone, the sky is gone, the beasts are gone, the birds are gone,
the lakes are gone, the streams are gone, the sea is gone.
The buffalo, the antelope, the grizzly bear, mountain goat. Gone.

Land of our birth, true mother earth, gone.
Someday the moon may not appear. Gone.
Someday the sun may disappear. Gone.
Then darkness came over the earth, and it was gone.

Whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man.
When the last Red Man has vanished with his wilderness.

Earth is our mother. We love this land as a new-born loves his mother’s heartbeat.
Care for it as we cared for it.
Hold in your heart the memory of the land as it was when you receive it.
Preserve the land for all children and love it as God love us all.
We are part of the land. You, too, are part of the land.
We are brothers after all.
Deal kindly with my people for the dead are not powerless.
These shores will swarm with the ghosts of my tribe.
Dead did I say? The ghosts of our ancestors walk the earth.
There is no death, a change in worlds. No death.

May 5 Repertoire

February 25th, 2017

From Dr. Whitmire: Dear Singers,

The Copland Old American Songs are now available in a single volume at a savings. If you do not own the music already, please go now to http://www.sheetmusicplus.com
to order your music. If for any reason you are unable to order your music, please let me know now and I will order it for you.

May 5 repertoire

The Boatman’s Dance
Long Time Ago
I bought me a cat
Simple Gifts
Zion’s Walls
At the River
Ching-A-Ring Chaw

The following information is copied from the website:

Old American Songs Complete
SATB and Piano
Original Price: $9.95
Price: $7.96
You save: $1.99 ~ 20%

Choral, Piano Accompaniment (SATB)
SATB and Piano. Composed by Aaron Copland (1900-1990). BH Large Choral. Softcover. Boosey & Hawkes #M051480807. Published by Boosey & Hawkes (HL.48020988).
Item Number: HL.48020988
ISBN 1617803928. 6.75×10.5 inches.
SATB arrangements by David Brunner, Irving Fine, Glenn Koponen, Gregory Rose, and R. Wilding-White collected for the first time in a complete edition. Includes the original notes on the songs. Titles include: (Set 1) The Boatmen’s Dance, The Dodger, Long Time Ago, Simple Gifts, I Bought Me a Cat, (Set 2) The Little Horses, Zion’s Walls, The Golden Willow Tree, At the River, Ching-a-ring Chaw.

Please do not delay.

Seventh Rehearsal Preview

February 21st, 2017

From Dr. Whitmire: Welcome to our 7th rehearsal of 2017.

Thanks to the Women who had a great rehearsal on Saturday. This Saturday I see MEN at 11:00 am

Due to the Clean-up Day, no Saturday rehearsal on April 8.

Repertoire for our May 6 concert will be the following songs by Aaron Copland. We performed these pieces several years ago, so many of you already have the music. Please check to see if you have it so I can know how many copies to order. We’ll have a show of hand tonight.
At the river
The boatmen’s dance
Ching a ring chaw
I bought me a cat
Simple gifts
Zion’s walls

Soloists on Wade in the Water will be as follows.
m 7 Wanda
m 15 Don
m 23 Cindy G
m 31 John C
m 39 Marcie
m 47 David S
m 55 Sarah Jane
m 62 Kris

Sing Well -DrW

April 8 Cleanup Day, 9:00 am – Noon

Website: fergusonfoundation.org
We will pick up trash and marine debris along the shoreline of the Potomac River.

What to bring:
– Wear clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty and please dress for the weather! We will be outside.
– We will be on dry land along the shoreline. There are opportunities to wade in the
water, so bring rain boots if that is of interest.
– Please bring a reusable water bottle (filled) and any snacks you may want.
– Let’s plan to picnic together following the clean-up. Even if cleaning-up is not for you, join us for the picnic.
– AFF will provide gloves, trash bags, and a safety introduction.

Let’s carpool from NOVA! It is 36 minutes (21 miles) from NOVA. We will depart NOVA at 8:00 am.
Address is 2001 Bryan Point Road Accokeek, MD 20607. You can follow the directions (HBF day groups) on the AFF webpage. The event will take place about 1 mile down the road from the Alice Ferguson Foundation, on Bryan Point Road. There will be signs on Bryan Point road. The GPS coodinates are 38.692718, -77.068818.

Water Night Men

February 17th, 2017

From Dr. Whitmire: In the places where your section divides into 3 parts, Here is how it will go:

m33-34 T1 and T2 sing top 2 notes, Jon sings lowest note
m47-48 T1 and T2 sing bottom 2 notes, Jon sings highest note

m33-35 B1 and B2 sing bottom 2 notes, Peter sings highest note
m43 B1 and B2 sing top 2 notes, Peter sings lowest note
m47-48 B1 and B2 sing bottom 2 notes, Peter sings highest note

See you soon. -DrW

April 8

February 17th, 2017

Question From Chorister Jane: What time of day is the April 8 clean-up? There’s a women’s rehearsal that day, by the way.

Answer from Dr. Whitmire: 9 am to 12 noon. There will be no sectional that day.

Alto Lines in These Things Shall Be

February 17th, 2017

Question from Chorister Ellie:
Pages 24-25, divisi altos: can you cover when you rehearse this?

Stems up, alto 1, stems down, alto 2? We will cross several times; on p. 24, m. 218, it might make more sense for A2 to sing both the lower notes.

There are two places (m. 220 and 223) where there are three tones, and the stems-up have them. Same division as in Water Night?

Answer from Dr. Whitmire: Yes, stems up, alto 1, stems down, alto 2.
When there are 3 notes A 1 and A2 take the top 2 notes

Water Night

February 14th, 2017

From Dr. Whitmire: Dear Singers- Thanks for a great rehearsal. I really appreciate the hard work you put in to make it happen.

Water Night singers-Several of you need a copy of the actual music.
-it is attached it to this message (see e-mail for attachment)
-it is posted on Blackboard
-I have put 10 copies on my door (AT108) for anyone who is not able to print.

Sixth Rehearsal Preview

February 14th, 2017

From Dr. Whitmire:
Welcome to our 6th rehearsal of 2017.

Thanks to the Men who had a great rehearsal on Saturday. This Saturday I see WOMEN at 11:00 am

Here is info about our
April 8 Cleanup Day

Website: fergusonfoundation.org
We will pick up trash and marine debris along the shoreline of the Potomac River.

What to bring:
-wear clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty and please dress for the weather! We will be outside.
– we will be on dry land (along the shoreline). There are opportunities to wade in the water so bring rain boots if that is of interest.
– Please bring a reusable water bottle (filled). There will be re-fill stations. Bring any snacks you may want over the 3 hour time period. There are picnic tables and lots of open space if you want to bring a picnic!

AFF will provide gloves, trash bags, and a safety introduction.

Address is 2001 Bryan Point Road Accokeek, MD 20607
You can follow the directions (HBF day groups)on our webpage. PLEASE NOTE: the event will take place about 1 mile down the road from the Alice Ferguson Foundation, on Bryan Point Road. There will be signs on Bryan Point road. The GPS coodinates are 38.692718, -77.068818.


Fifth Rehearsal Preview

February 7th, 2017

From Dr. Whitmire: Welcome to our 5th rehearsal of 2017.

These things shall be. I have 10 more.

The bookstore now has 10 more copies of Earth is our mother. If you have a photocopy, please purchase a real copy.

Thanks to the Women who had a great rehearsal on Saturday. This Saturday I see MEN at 11:00 am

Facebook – At 6:30 tonight Kris with a K will show us how to best use Facebook as a promotional tool.


Water Night Chorus Women – In hopes to make the divisi less complicated, I have divised this plan. As you see, each group is divided into 2 parts, high and low. At the occasional times there are 5 parts, I have put one skilled singer on the lowest part. I realize that many of you are not singing the part you sang last week, but let’s give this a try.
2 parts = 1, 2
3 parts = 1H, 1L, 2
4 parts = 1H, 1L, 2H, 2L
5 parts = 1H, 1L, 2H, 2L, * singing the lowest note
[See e-mail for list of names]


February 4th, 2017

From Chorister Halina: Hello Nova Chorus Members!

Find out how easy it is to put the word out about our upcoming concerts using Facebook. ComeTuesday at 6:30 PM and see “ Kris with a K” navigate our FB Chorus page and send out invitations.

Place: chorus room.

Water Day Concert

February 2nd, 2017

From Dr. Whitmire: Hello Friends- Our Art Department is working on a poster. In the meanwhile, here’s one you can use to start spreading the word about this great event.

Click image for Flyer PDF

These things shall be music

January 31st, 2017

From Dr. Whitmire: Dear Singers-
As I mentioned, These things shall be is temporarily out of print. I have made copies to use until real copies become available, at which point I’d like you to go to Sheetmusicplus.com and order your copy. I know the music is expensive ($35), but we want to be within copyright law. I will not re-order the music at the campus bookstore. Of course you may keep any copies you have already purchased at the bookstore, if you choose.