Posts Tagged ‘stage instructions’

Sunday Reminder

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

From Dr. Whitmire: Reminder: This Sunday is the Marine Corps Marathon, so please plan to car pool as much as possible. Allow plenty of extra time to get there.

Carolyn Miller (soprano) has two seats, and can pick up at NOVA parking.

Stage Instructions for Sunday

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

From Fred:  Singers –

The percussion section of the WMP will move toward the front of the stage and away from our risers as much as they can – at least a few feet.

We will have 5 standing rows and 2 seated rows. Our 4 soloists, and our singers who need chairs will sit in the 2 vacant rows of musician’s chairs right in front of our risers. The additional row of singers will stand in front of the risers. This should eliminate the need for women singers to stand alongside the risers.

The tenor section and bass section will exchange places for this performance so that basses will stand to the left of center, next to the altos. Tenors will stand to the right of center, next to the sopranos. There are several places in this music where the tenors and sopranos are singing the same or related music (Part 1, m – 40 for example) while the basses and altos are paired in others (Part 1, m – 75). It should help.

I will mark the centerline of the risers, probably with yellow ribbon tied to the back railing. There are 20 standing tenors so there should be 4 columns of tenors on the risers. There are 26 standing basses so we will have 5+ columns of basses. It is important to crowd toward the center so we can all see and be seen. I will signal adjustments once we are on stage.

Only standing singers will line up in the hall just before going on stage. Those who will be seated should stand off to one side toward the rear stairs. You will go on last from stage left however you work it out. You may be involved in shifting the musician’s music stands. (This is an experiment.)

We will go on stage back row first from stage right as we did last Sunday. This means the front (last) row will enter from stage right just as the seated singers enter from stage left.

Smile on stage. Do not talk in the hall. Don’t applaud unless Mark tells us to.

One more thing. Park as far away from the entrance door as you can so that our paying guests can park close to the door.

See you Sunday – before 2:00 PM.

Dress Rehearsal 2

Friday, October 7th, 2011

From Stage Manager Fred:  The following information is from Ul James, Conductor of the WMP (with my comments)

Dress rehearsal will begin with Chichester Psalms at 5:00 PM on Sunday.
(We will line up, file on stage and warm up before 5:00.)

The concert program order on Oct. 16 is as follows:
– Bernstein Candide (4 minutes)
– Kolm – Orchestral Suite No. 1 (about 15 minutes)
– (chorus files on stage – 1 minute)
– Bernstein – Chichester Psalms (about 20 minutes)
– (standing ovation – 5 minutes – chorus files off)

– Intermission

Harris – Americana
Copland – Lincoln Portrait (With Kathy Harty Gray Dancers)

The “Call” for our concert is 2:00 PM for both concerts. Singers should expect to be on stage at 2:00 PM, properly dressed and ready to sing.

Dress Rehearsal

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

From Stage Manager Fred:
Be at the Dress Rehearsal at 4:30 PM on Sunday. We may line up and go on stage before 5:00.

It appears that the concert begins with Bernstein’s Candide followed by his Chichester Psalms. The Candide Overture runs only 4 minutes so I suspect we will go on stage before the concert starts. If that is so, we will line up in (probably) 4 rows in the hall outside the auditorium, facing away from the auditorium, just like we always do.

Hopefully our risers will be set by 4:30 but we may be called on to get them off the truck and set them ourselves. I will need help putting out the folding chairs that are stored in racks in the stage left wings. Please be extra careful not to touch the kettle drums nor the bass viol

Black Folders

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

From Stage Manager Fred:  It is best to have a rigid, black, non slip cover for your music so that it is easy to hold with one hand while you turn pages with the other. Here are some ways to have a cover:
1.    Have Kinkos replace the white cover and binding with a black cover and spiral.  Don’t do this to the Rachmannov since we just might use that with its own blue cover.
2.    Buy a choral folder from Foxes Music that comes with elastic bands to hold your music in the folder. The cost for the small one is about $10, but you can use it over and over for free. The large choral folder is about $20 and will get in your way because we will be so packed on the risers.
3.    Buy a plain folder from Staples or Office Depot and use long black rubber bands around the hinge to hold your music. You can substitute a black bra strap for the rubber bands since long black rubber bands are hard to find.
4.    Buy a black 3-ring binder to hold your music and punch the 3 holes yourself or have them punched at Staples, Office Dept or Kinkos. The 3 holes punched or drilled in your music will invade only the edge of the printed music

Directions to Bishop Ireton

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

From Stage Manager Fred:  If you have not been to Bishop Ireton (B.I.) before here are my suggestions on how to get there:

Go to their web home page:

Click on the map on the right hand side and expand it until you see enough information.

If you go from our community college East on Seminary Road, the road becomes Janneys Lane at North Quaker Lane (stop light). Yale Drive is the next road you see to your right and Cambridge Road (to B.I.) is the second (no stop light). Two intersections later, you will see B.I. on your left. You won’t miss it. Park in the last parking lot.

If you go East on 236 – Duke Street you will pass a shopping center on your left and a fast food restaurant on your right just before the stop light for Cambridge Road. Turn left at this stop light and an immediate left to up the hill to B.I. Turn into the first parking lot and park towards the far end. You’ll find members of the orchestra, our chorus and a dance company streaming into the double door entrance to the concert hall.

Read my next Email which will tell you what to look for at that point.

Stage Instructions for Bishop Ireton

Friday, April 15th, 2011

From Stage Manager Fred: We have done this drill many times so it should be a “no brainer.”

We will be on the risers to warm up and rehearse at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. Music will be at your side in your left hand until Peggy brings up her music. Smile.
Arrive by 1:45. Leave your coat in your car (best) or the band rehearsal room.

1:50: form up in the hall facing AWAY from the auditorium.
An experienced singer should be on the end of each row.
1:55: move to the stage entrances.
The left (Alto) end of the top row (4), followed by row 2, will move to the stage right entrance via the band room. – Remember: Don’t touch the tympani !!

Row 3: Right end (sopranos) will then peel around and move to the stage left entrance. Row 1 will follow.

– We may move on stage while the orchestra is still rehearsing.
– There will be a minimum number of chairs on each side of the stage.
– We may have a row of singers in front of the risers. If so, they will move on stage from stage left.
During the first part of the concert we will sit in seats on the right side of the back/upper rows in the audience Once the 3rd. movement has started, we will silently file out of our seats and form up in the hall. Use both the exit behind the top row and the side entrance.

See you there.

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.

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 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)?


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.


Women’s Concert Dress

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

From Dr. Whitmire:  Dear NOVA Community Chorus Women-
I want to bring the appearance of our chorus women in line with the formality and uniformity of our chorus men. I asked a group of women to work on this, and they developed the following profile (.pdf) of appropriate concert dress. I think it will be a big improvement and I thank them for their good work.

Stage Instructions

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

From Stage Manager Fred:
I have attached my instructions (.pdf) for the Bishop Ireton performance and Mark’s original riser diagram (.pdf). Although it seems complicated, we have fewer complications about leaving the stage and re entering from the other side for different opera choruses like the last time.

I believe that first impressions are important. That’s why going on and off the risers like professionals who have done this a million times works in our favor.

Our Schlesinger Center dress rehearsal on Tuesday and the performance on Thursday will be casual in comparison. We will sit in the front rows of the audience by section so that we can stream onto the risers with minimum confusion. The back row on the risers will be in the front of audience chairs and so on.

See you on Sunday at 1:55 in the hall. (Mark will have been rehearsing since 1:30.)
Please park along the back rows of the parking lot so our audience gets prime parking.