Archive for the ‘Spring 2011’ Category

Chamber Ensemble Concert

Friday, April 1st, 2011

From Fred:  Next Friday there will be a free “Chamber Ensemble Concert” at 7:30 p.m. in Tyler Room 130. It will be by music students who have been playing together in many different collections of duets, trios, quartets and ensembles; with winds, strings (Dvorak, Bach, etc.) and an accordion (Kurt Weil).

The piano faculty concert this Friday was nothing short of extraordinary. Our Christine Hagan began the concert with a 4-hand arrangement of two of Brahms’ Hungarian Rhapsodies. The 2 extra hands were provided by our new head of the keyboard and composition programs, Johathan Kolm. Chris went on to play three of her favorite works by Alexander Scriabin – with only 2 hands this time, leaving us wondering how that was possible.

The next new member of our music department was pianist Ja-Hye-Koo, a native of Seoul, Korea, who played one of the Chaconnes by J.S. Bach which was equally challenging. She went on to play a work for 4 hand piano by and with Jonathan Kolm. That was followed by Kolm’s composition for Clarinet Duo by guests artists Kristin King and Paul Mulligan. Kristin will be a guest soloist in the Band/NOVA Chorus concert on May 3.

Dr. Jacob Clark, another new member of our piano department, ended this concert with works by Franz List and Frederick Chopin.

Black Folders

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

From Stage Manager Fred:  This Sunday is our only dress rehearsal.
Please the black folder this Sunday that you will use in our performance the following Sunday, so that you become accustomed to it.

Beethoven Translation

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

From Chorister Mary:  Five years ago members of the NOVA Chorus sang the choral movement of the Beethoven Ninth Symphony with the Alexandria Symphony.  The attached two-page document was distributed to the chorus, and contains a translation of Friedrich Schiller’s poem, on which Beethoven’s libretto is based, and also a word-by-word translation which I find especially helpful.  There is also a short explanation of how Beethoven decided he needed additional text to make a transition to Schiller’s poem.

The last line of the first page was cut off so the English translation is missing. Perhaps someone with knowledge of German could fill that in for us.

NPR’s On Point and Beethoven’s Ninth

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

From Chorister Mary:  Last June Tom Ashcroft aired an entire episode devoted to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on his NPR show On Point.  In this broadcast he interviews Harvey Sachs, music historian and author of the book, “The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824.”  They discuss the oppressive political environment that influenced Beethoven’s composition and how Beethoven felt his mission was to encourage mankind to lift itself out of those dark circumstances.  The broadcast is 47 minutes long, and specific discussion about the choral section, though slight, begins at about the 37 minute mark.

Dress Rehearsal

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

From Stage Manager Fred:  New information about our dress rehearsal this Sunday.

From Archie Doering, Building Superintendent:  Everyone should enter through the doors marked 4.  They are on the side of the building next to the big parking lot.  Go to the right, once inside, to areas 150A and 150B.

From the Orchestra:
First Baptist Church of Alexandria’s Welcome Center
2932 King Street
Alexandria, VA

The schedule:
4:00 PM  Setup
5:00 PM  Beethoven, Movement 4 with Chorus.  When we are finished working with the chorus, movements 2, 1 and 3
See you Sunday!

Eleventh Rehearsal Preview

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

From Dr. Whitmire:  Dear Singers-
Welcome to our 11th rehearsal of Spring 2011!  Please sign in.

Beethoven– Ul James is here to work with you tonight at 8:15 pm. We will work without a break and dismiss a bit early (no later than 9:30 pm). Then I will work with soloists for the 5/3 performance.

This Sunday (April 3) at 5:00 pm is our Dress Rehearsal with the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic. The location has been changed:
New location:
First Baptist Church
2932 King St.
Alexandria, Virginia

The church is 2.6 miles from the college on King Street toward Old Town.
The rehearsal is in the Welcome Center, located on the right side of the property.

We will not have risers, but will sit in 3 rows of 40 chairs, encircling the orchestra.

Brahms Love Song Waltzes # 1-6-You can find your notes at
Rehearsal CDs- I have 28 copes for any singers who are unable to download your parts.

This Saturday
1 pm – Full Rehearsal Rehearsal (SATB) EVERYONE
4 pm – Francisco Robles Graduation Voice Recital

Sing Well- DrW

Calendar (.pdf)

Rehearsal Update

Monday, March 28th, 2011

From Dr. Whitmire:  Dear Singers-
The location of this Sunday’s (April 3) 5:00 pm Dress Rehearsal with the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic has been changed:
New location:
First Baptist Church
2932 King St.
Alexandria, Virginia

The church is 2.6 miles from the college on King Street toward Old Town.
The rehearsal is in the Welcome Center, located on the right side of the property.
We will not have risers, but will sit in 3 rows of 40 chairs, encircling the orchestra.

Please be ultra-prepared for tomorrow night when Ulysses James will be here to conduct. Please do not be absent.

Beethoven Solos

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

From Dr. Whitmire:  Dear Singers-
Thanks to all who auditioned for solos in Beethoven Ninth (May 3 performance). It was wonderful to hear such a well-prepared and capable group of singers. The soloists will be:
Stania Shaw, soprano
Dorothea Kamara, alto
Francisco Robles, tenor
Brandon Homayouni, bass
Today at 1 pm: women’s rehearsal
Today at 3 pm: Steven Rich Graduation Voice Recital

Slavic Male Chorus

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

From Peggy:  Bernie Cohen of our Bass section sings with this group, and it doesn’t conflict with our rehearsal!!

The Slavic Male Chorus of Washington
Monday, March 28.  6:00 PM and 7:30 pm
The National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC  20004
Information available at 202-783-3372:  Seating is limited.  Tickets are required, and are distributed one half-hour prior to performance, on a first-come-first-served policy.  One ticket to each person waiting in line.


Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

(3/18/2011) Dear Singers-
Barbara Lowrey’s husband, Tom, passed away last night. Barbara is a long-time member of the chorus. We are sending flowers on behalf of the chorus. Please share a smile or a hug with someone in Tom’s memory.

(3/22/2011) Update:  From Chorister Carol:  There will be a memorial service for Barbara Lowrey’s husband, Tom Lowrey, on Friday, March 25 at 3:00.  It will be held at:  Little River United Church of Christ; 8410 Little River Turnpike; Annandale, VA  22003-3798.  (703) 978-3060

Tenth Rehearsal Preview

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Welcome to our 10th rehearsal of Spring 2011! Please sign in.

Beethoven-We have only 1 rehearsal until Ul James is here to work with you on March 29. We have only 2 rehearsals until our Dress Rehearsal with orchestra on April 3.

Brahms Love Song Waltzes # 1-6-You can find your notes at

or you can find downloadable files at

Auditions for solos in Ode to Joy (May 3)
Music Majors Make-up Exam (Anderson, McHugh, Nystrom, Robles, Vartanian)

This Saturday
1 pm – Men Women
3 pm – Steven Rich Graduation Voice Recital

Sing Well- DrW

Calendar (.pdf)

Rehearsal Recap

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Music Handout (large .pdf) from March 15 rehearsal.

Brahms files have been added to the Music Files page.

Beethoven files are also located on the Music Files page.

Photos provided by Mary Yee have been added to the NOVA Community Chorus Flickr account. Feel free to add your photos to the Photo Group.
Please note that both Flickr links have been permanently added to the “Helpful Links” section, to the right of the page. Flickr is a free and easy tool to share photos online.

Review of the Verdi Requiem from, PDF document

From Dr. Whitmire

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

From Dr. Whitmire:  Dear Singers,

Brava/o on your wonderful performances this weekend! It was a treat to get to sit in the hall and hear you sing. Saturday was a good performance and Sunday was GREAT! You had an excellent tone-full of both strength and beauty-and a fine sense of ensemble-with clear entrances and good rhythm. You did all this despite the anxiety that was caused by that fact that the powers that be did not think though the seating arrangements. Thanks for your positive vibes, smiling faces and cooperation. Special thanks to our Stage Manager Fred Wulf and the sections leaders for their invaluable help.

Please don’t miss this week’s rehearsal. After an exhilarating performance it is tempting to take a day off. We have only 2 rehearsals until Ul James is here to work with you on March 29. We have only 3 rehearsals until our Dress Rehearsal with orchestra on April 3.

At this week’s rehearsal I will give you a copy of the Brahms Love Song Waltzes # 1-6.
You can find your notes at

This Saturday at 1 pm – Men

Next Tues. 3/22 – Auditions for solos in Ode to Joy (May 3 performance)


Calendar (.pdf)

Chorus Photos on Flickr

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Taken Sunday, March 13, there is a small set of performance photos on Flickr:
Feel free to add your own photos to this Flickr Group:

Washington Post

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Washington Post review:  Alexandria Symphony and joint chorus produce a powerful Verdi Requiem – direct weblink, or PDF of article.

Staging Notes

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

(3/10/2011) From Fred:  I will back up this note from Barry Hemphill and his stage manager, Marsha Glover (2-page .pdf), with 2 or more Email notes of my own.

Your  “performance” during last night’s demanding rehearsal was superb. Everyone had black folders or covers. All were early enough for us to improve the seating arrangement several times. I kept wishing that we were wearing chorus tee shirts so our competence would get proper credit. Keep it up and always be early.

One thing needs improvement: Chatter. It was always the same few individuals. Your commentary and opinions are unwelcome and prevent the rest of us from hearing important instructions from our several bosses. If someone needs to know the page & measure number, show them your book, don’t tell them. Set the example for those other chorus members.

(3/12/2011) Update: From Fred:  I’ve annotated and in one case corrected (.pdf) the sit/stand instructions from Marsha Glover

Verdi Media

Friday, March 11th, 2011

From Fred:  Mary Yee has discovered the following for us:

Professional photos of our last rehearsal:

Youtube interview with Maestro Klugi on the requiem:

and the tenor soloist:

Thanks, Mary

Verdi Seating

Friday, March 11th, 2011

From Fred:  NOVA Chorus was tasked with providing at least their share of singers who must stand alongside the seated singers during our two concerts. Mark is away at a conference in Chicago, so we are on our own with this. Make your reply to your section head rather than reply to this note. Note: Debbie P. is not available on Email on weekends.

18 of our Altos will organize themselves into 9 pairs of singers. Each pair will split the task of standing by swapping during the intermission. Your list is at the end of this note.

I need volunteers on a similar scale for the rest of our sections (.pdf). Work with your section leader now so that we can make our selections during the 10 minutes BEFORE the Call on Saturday. That’s at 6:50 PM Saturday. Be early. Remember – coats upstairs or in your car.

Performance Attendance

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

(3/10/2011) From Fred:  To all singers who were at orchestra rehearsals this week:
We have a problem because we can not squeeze enough chairs on stage to seat everyone at the performance. We are working on solutions but need some information

Send me a return message only if:
1. You will NOT be singing Verdi on Saturday
2. You will NOT be singing Verdi on Sunday.
Keep it simple. For example:
“I will not sing Verdi on Saturday.

(Update 3/10/2011) From Dr. Whitmire:  Dear Singers- Greetings from Chicago! I am hearing some wonderful choirs, and the weather isn’t too bad!

There were a number of singers who missed an orchestral rehearsal this week. Most absences were not excused. I am very disappointed.  If for ANY reason you missed both rehearsals, you may NOT sing the concert.

Also- As you know, the logistics of this concert have become very difficult. Therefore, I must  request that all singers who cannot sing BOTH concerts opt out altogether. Divising two different seating plans is not tenable. I know this is very disappointing and I am sorry, but I have no choice.

Fred and the section leaders will let me know to whom this applies.

Rehearsal Notes

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

From Fred:  Chorus,

Black folders or black covers for your music are required for the next rehearsal – Wednesday, March 9 and the two performances.

Black chorus folders are usually available at Foxes Music: 416 South Washington Street, Falls Church. Phone 703-533-7393.

An alternative is to have your music bound in a black folder. Check with your section leader for advice on this.

Be on stage, ready to sing before the following times:

7:00 PM Wednesday for rehearsal with orchestra and soloists.
7:00 PM Saturday for the performance, in concert dress
2:00 PM Sunday for the performance, in concert dress

I will look for a place for us to store our coats on Saturday and Sunday. In any case, it will probably not be secure. Be sure to leave valuables in your locked car if you cannot keep them on your person.

[More]  You can have your music spiral bound with black covers at Staples, Office Depot and at what was once called Kinkos off Rt. 7 in the Leesburg Pike Plaza. A stiff cover is better than a flimsy cover if you have an option.

Arrive early at rehearsals and the performance to get the best seat – or any seat at all.

Turn pages silently. Stand and sit silently. You can paperclip together those places where we do not sing such as pgs. 65-80; 101-124 and 157-166. Just smile while enjoying the paid singers performance.

Remember to set your clocks ahead on Saturday night or Sunday morning because of the change to Daylight Savings.   (you will get sooo tired of hearing this)

You can exit the stage via the stage right and stage left wings as an alternative to plowing through the audience, should there be an emergency or you just want to get home quickly. There is a hall off the stage right wings that will wisk you back to the restrooms in the lobby or onto the loading dock in an emergency. There is an emergency exit door in the back hall off the stage left wings.

Do we have a party at Clydes after the performance(s)?

ASO Tickets

Friday, March 4th, 2011

(2/24/2011) From Dr. Whitmire:  Dear Singers
The ASO will provide 2 complimentary tickets per NOVA Community Chorus member.  If anyone wants more tickets, you can offer further tickets at a 50%-off discount.  Comps can be reserved by emailing with name, performance desired, and whether its 1 or 2 tickets.  If anyone wants 2 comps and additional tickets it is best to call 703-548-0885 between 10am and 5pm.

(2/25/2011) Update:  Dear Singers- Please note: Comps may be reserved by emailing  Please do not call the box office unless you are purchasing additional tickets.

(3/4/2011)  Update:  From ASO:  We believe we are in receipt of all requests (meaning anyone who had problems emailing probably called when they got an error message back).  I know we have about 6 or 7 requests still to enter and email tickets.

I would propose this:  If an individual requested tickets by email and has not received print-at-home tickets yet, they should check their spam folders first.  Print-at-home tickets have been emailed and appear as a pdf attachment to an email.  If anyone who requested tickets has definitely not received them, they should email or call 703-548-0885 on Monday, 3/7.


Friday, March 4th, 2011

From Dr. Whitmire:  Dear Singers-
Thanks for your good work last night. I understand that it was a very productive rehearsal.

At our women’s rehearsal tomorrow at noon 1:00pm we will focus on Libera me.

Logistics for next week’s rehearsals:
Choral warm up will be in the lobby area.

Logistics for next week’s performances:
Choral warm up will be in the Seminar room upstairs at Schlesinger.
There will be an intermission at both performances, after the Lacrimosa movement.

On-stage notes:
On-stage seating will provided only to those who are not be able to perform otherwise.  Please send Fred a message if you require a chair.


Rehearsal Notes

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

From Stage Manager Fred: Steve Shetler, manager of the Schlesinger Center received a note from the ASO’s stage manager that we choristers will be seated in the auditorium rather than be on stage.

I’ll be in the auditorium early to stake out our place in the center.
Early arrivals can help by being the stakes around the edges.

– Be Early
– Be Silent (standing, seating, turning pages)
– Be Professional (confident – watch the director – hold your head & music up)
– Smile

Concert Promotion

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

From Dr. Whitmire: Please publish/announce this event. Photo attached.

The NOVA Community Chorus (Dr. Mark Whitmire, Director) will perform the Verdi Requiem with the Alexandria Symphony on Saturday, March 12, at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 13, at 3:00 p.m. Both performances will be in Schlesinger Concert Hall. The 110 voices of the NOVA Community Chorus will be joined by three other leading regional choruses to form a combined chorus of more than 300 voices to sing this masterpiece of the choral-orchestral repertoire. ASO conductor Kim Allen Kluge will lead the chorus, orchestra and vocal soloists. For tickets call 703-548-0885 or email

Click to enlarge.

Eighth Rehearsal

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Welcome to our 8th rehearsal of Spring 2011!

Please sign in.

Tonight- Verdi 1-46; Beethoven 29-47

I will dismiss all except music majors at 8:45 pm

Tonight at 9:00 pm

Music Majors 1st Exam (Verdi pp. 186-205)

Tomorrow (Wednesday, March 2) 7:30 pm

Verdi Rehearsal in Schlesinger

Be sure to sign in tomorrow night. See your Section Leader

This Saturday at 1 pm – Women

Sing Well- DrW

Calendar (.pdf)