The roster for the upcoming Bach B-Minor Mass is now complete and choral rehearsals will begin next week. Carl Crosier had decided that the ideal number was going to be 40 singers, with 8 per voice part (soprano I, soprano II, alto, tenor and bass) since he is having 3 instruments per part. In the Baroque era, voices and instruments balanced equally. Even though we have modern strings which are louder than period instruments, we are going to be challenged to not have the choir “over-sing.”
We are calling the ensemble the LCH Festival Chorus, and the core of the group is the Lutheran Church of Honolulu Choir. We have also invited the St. Andrew’s Cathedral Choral Scholars to join us, as they did for the Monteverdi Vespers.
Carl calls this “a big sing” with 16 choruses for the choir to learn. Not for the faint-hearted! He has already purchased multiple copies of the Bach Collegium Japan’s recording for the choir to study. In the “old” days, one might plunk out notes on the piano for individual voice parts, but of course, no one in the LCH choir needs to do this!
Nowadays, though, with the ubiquitous internet, you can be in your office, or on the bus, or even in the park, and go to sites such as Cyberbass or NotePerfect (orchestral style accompaniment with the voice part highlighted on piano) or even Rehearsal Arts, which has real, professional singers sing your voice part, louder than the rest.
We will only have six choral rehearsals on this work, then take a break while we do Holy Week and Easter, a marathon in itself. Then we’ll resume the first week in May. Dress rehearsals with the orchestra will be May 9-11 and the concerts will be May 13 and 14 at 7:30 pm. Concertgoers are urged to book their tickets early because of limited seating. Here’s the link to book your tickets.
In the meantime, we’ll be sending the Bach postcard off to the printers this weekend, so here’s a sneak peek of the front of it.