NED Seniors Chorus

2018–2019
& Beyond

Last Update
Tuesday, June 5.


Upcoming  Seniors Chorus rehearsals...

  • Saturday, August 4, 2018 (HCNE/HXNE)
    Fuller Theater in Shaughnessy Administration Building at Worcester State University, Worcester, MA
    Tentative time: 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM


NED Senior Chorus / Newsletter - March 30, 2018

First, let me say "Thank you" to the 11 GUYS who attended last Sunday's rehearsal.  You fellas really sounded great.  I was really encouraged and impressed when the entire ensemble started out without holding music in their hands.  Well, we know what happened next... some guys discovered that the notes on their printed music "moved around a little bit," and they have to check the printed music to be sure they change, AGAIN!

Also, "Thank you" to Bob Bradley for setting this up and making the facility available.

I'm writing to you about three things.

First...  Diane has made a couple small changes to the PERformance plans to both songs.  The changes are notated in red.  Attached are the updated plans.  I also uploaded the updated plan to the Google shared-drive.

Second...  I have gotten the green light to begin shopping around for a uniform shirt we can wear when we perform.  It looks like the District will probably be able to send some dollars our way to fund this.  I don't think we'll get full funding, so, there's a good chance that each individual will have to pay for some part of the purchase price.  The shirt will be long-sleeve with a button-down collar.

That means, I need the following information from each of you...

  1. Size:  What size T-shirt do you wear?  Like... medium, large, XL, XXL.  Also, indicate if you are a "tall" or "long."
  2. Neck size
  3. Sleeve length

Diane and I are working on a logo which will be embroidered on the shirt.  So, PUH-LEEZ send me this info right away.  I'd like to be able to distribute the shirts at the rehearsal we have planned for HCNE/HXNE in August.  The rest of the uniform will be...  

-- Black dress pants or chinos.  No black jeans.  No tux pants. 
-- Black dress shoes.  No sneakers.  No casual canvas or cloth shoes.
-- Black belt and black sox.
-- No suspenders!  So, be sure you order the correct size shirt and be sure your black dress pants fit PROPERLY.

Third...  I know it seems early, but I need to get a sense of how many GUYS intend to be onstage when we perform at the District Convention in October.  If you know for sure you cannot be there, please let me know, SOON.  Everyone else, please confirm that you intend to be there.  I understand... something might come up and you can't be there.  But, at least, right now, you intend to be there. 

We have three scheduled rehearsals before we perform in October.  I fully realize that everyone cannot attend all three rehearsals.  However, it's gettin' to be crunch-time... it's time to pay off your IOUs.  I think it's totally appropriate to make this request... If you plan to be active in the Seniors Chorus and you intend to perform with the Chorus in October, you must attend at least one of the remaining rehearsals.  So, along with your response to me regarding whether or not you'll be onstage in October, please let me know what rehearsals you plan to attend.  I don't think this request is too much to ask.


NED Senior Chorus / Newsletter - February, 2018: [as PDF: here]

Calling All Seniors!  At the BHS Mid-Winter Convention in San Antonio in January, 2017, the Society introduced a new event… a Seniors Chorus Festival.  For this inaugural event, the Society allowed five seniors choruses to participate and they performed to a very large, very enthusiastic audience.  I was there… it was a splendid affair.  The most fun part of the Chorus Festival was seeing and hearing seniors choruses performing intermingled with youth choruses.  It was an uplifting experience.

As a result of the obvious success of this event, NED President, Guy Haas and Executive VP, Ed Fritzen, decided to pursue the possibility of forming a Seniors Chorus to represent the NorthEastern District.  They asked me to be the Director and to work with Ed to get this venture moving forward.  So, with no blueprint, with no guidelines available, we started in the spring of 2017.  I chose two songs and we started recruiting members with the intent to perform in the Chorus Festival at Mid-Winter in Costa Mesa, California in January, 2018.  The name of the NED’s Seniors Chorus is “GUYS WHO CAN DRIVE AT NIGHT.”   

Well, as the saying goes, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”  In late spring, 2017, as few as 10 Districts had decided to field a seniors chorus with the intent to perform in the Chorus Festival at Mid-Winter in Costa Mesa, California in January, 2018.  This overwhelming response created quite a logjam.  So, BHS decided to step in and gain control of the situation.  As a result, the Seniors Chorus Program was formed.  The two mucky-mucks running the program are Donny Rose, from BHS HQ, and Doug Smeltz, from Johnny Appleseed District.

A plan was devised to give all 16 Districts an equal opportunity to participate in future Mid-Winter Chorus Festivals.  The result of the change-of-plans is this… NED’s eligibility has been assigned to the Chorus Festival at Mid-Winter in 2020.  Unfortunately, BHS has not yet announced the location of Mid-Winter in January, 2020.  We won’t know the location until later this year.

I know… January, 2020, seems a long ways off.  But, instead of shelving the whole project for a year, or more, we decided to keep moving ahead; to continue recruiting members, to continue rehearsing and to continue to improve.

The two songs in our repertoire are, “Almost Like Being In Love” and “Being With You.”  Diane Patterson, our Performance Coach, has developed performance plans for both songs.  Learning tracks, the printed music and the performance plans are available on a shared Google Drive.  

There are only two requirements.  Unlike Drum Corps, where members “age out,” you can “age in” to the Seniors Chorus… you must be at least 55 years-of-age by the date of the Mid-Winter performance, January, 2020.  Also, all men must meet typical BHS guidelines for contest entry (membership, event registration, etc.).

Even though we are eligible to perform at Mid-Winter in January, 2020, we must first qualify.  To meet that requirement, the Seniors Chorus must perform their 2-song package in front of the Judging Panel present for the NED Fall Contests in October, 2019.  Our combined scores must average 61 or higher.  Our onstage performance will NOT be part of the District Chorus Contest (our scores will not be published).  Rather, we will probably perform in front of the judges Saturday evening, just before the Quartet Final starts.

Here are the next scheduled rehearsals for 2018...

  • Saturday, March 10, 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. at St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 3 Maple Street, Framingham, MA
  • Sunday, March 25, from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. at Arts On The Lake, 640 NY-52, Carmel Hamlet, NY 10512
  • Sunday, April 22, at Holiday Inn, 9 Northeastern Blvd, Nashua, NH, (tentatively) 9:30 a.m. to 12-noon
  • Sunday, May 6, at Courtyard By Marriott, 365 Canada St, Lake George, NY, (tentatively) 9:30 to 12-noon
  • (tentative) Saturday, August 4, 2018 at HCNE/HXNE, Worcester State University, Worcester, MA

To help get focused on our future plans and to raise the level of expectation, we will plan to perform in front of the Judging Panel at this year's District Fall Convention, weekend of October 27, 2018, in Portland/Westbrook, Maine.  Even though we wouldn't be performing for a qualifying score, this will be an excellent opportunity to get scored and receive evaluations of our performance.  This will also give us a target-date so we can bring everything together for a real-live performance, rather than waiting another year for a one-time shot.  So, with this new goal/challenge in mind, we will raise the level of expectation by being off-paper on both songs in time for the rehearsal at the Eastern Regional (April 22, 2018).  More on this as we move forward.

Currently, there are no financial obligations.  The District funded the acquisition of music and learning tracks of the two songs.  As we move forward, we will be looking at getting some matching apparel in time for our performance this coming October.  When that comes up, all chorus members will be asked to pay.
  
Our membership stands at 35… 3 Tenors, 11 Leads, 9 Baritones, 11 Basses and 1 Director.

There is plenty of room on the risers for new members and plenty of time to become part of what should be a very enjoyable and satisfying experience.  And what a great thrill to be in on the ground floor, to be part of the very first NED Seniors Chorus… an experience to enjoy now and for years to come. 

For more details, contact me at…  fourpart@gmail.com  or  978-870-4496

David Patterson
Director, NED Seniors Chorus
GUYS WHO CAN DRIVE AT NIGHT