April 10, 2014 – Meeting Roundup – Martinsburg High Chamber Choir
A choir (also known as chorale or chorus) is a musical ensemble of singers. Choral music, in turn, is the music written specifically for such an ensemble to perform. A body of singers who perform together as a group is called a choir or chorus. The former term is very often applied to groups affiliated with a church (whether or not they actually occupy the choir) and the second to groups that perform in theatres or concert halls, but this distinction is far from rigid. The term “Choir” has the secondary definition of a subset of an ensemble; thus one speaks of the “woodwind choir” of an orchestra, or different “choirs” of voices and/or instruments in a polychoral composition. In typical 18th- to 21st-century oratorios and masses, chorus or choir is usually understood to imply more than one singer per part, in contrast to the quartet of soloists also featured in these works.
Choirs are often led by a conductor or choirmaster. Most often choirs consist of four sections intended to sing in four part harmony, but there is no limit to the number of possible parts as long as there is a singer available to sing the part: Thomas Tallis wrote a 40-part motet entitled Spem in alium, for eight choirs of five parts each; Krzysztof Penderecki’s Stabat Mater is for three choirs of 16 voices each, a total of 48 parts. Other than four, the most common number of parts are three, five, six, and eight.
Choirs can sing with or without instrumental accompaniment. Singing without accompaniment is called a cappella singing (although the American Choral Directors Association discourages this usage in favor of “unaccompanied,” since a cappella denotes singing “as in the chapel” and much unaccompanied music today is secular). Accompanying instruments vary widely, from only one to a full orchestra; for rehearsals a piano or organ accompaniment is often used, even if a different instrumentation is planned for performance, or if the choir is rehearsing unaccompanied music.
Many choirs perform in one or many locations such as a church, opera house, or school hall. In some cases choirs join up to become one “mass” choir that performs for a special reason. In this case they provide a series of songs or musical works to celebrate and provide entertainment to others. A chamber choir or group of chamber singers is the choral equivalent of a chamber ensemble, using voices instead of instruments. This choir will usually consist of 20-40 elite and dedicated singers. Several chamber choir formats exist, ranging from barbershop groups to exclusively female arrangements.
The Martinsburg High School Chamber Choir, under the direction of Katie Smith, will be our musical program this week.
Someone Old, Someone New
Gary Fleming told us he has been in banking for 52 years and was first hired by Walt Ridenour. (Walt did not confirm this.) He listed several banks that no longer exist as well as BB&T and Centra are two that still exist. He told us things we might not know, including the fact that he wasn’t wearing underwear. PP John Reisenweber must have taken that with him when he went to Jefferson County.
Answer to last week’s question:
Jason Piatt, from the Waynesboro club, will be our district governor in 2014-2015. Jason will be one of the few district governors who doesn’t worry about traveling at night. He’ll also be one of the few that can keep up with the exchange students, sort of.
This week’s question:
What is the attitude of Rotary on politics?
Helen Harris, a charter member of the Martinsburg/Sunrise club, was our lone visiting Rotarian.
Trina Bartlett, Regional Director of Catholic Charities, West Virginia, was a guest of Ryan Perks. Kevin Knowles brought Jim Sincavage, Service Manager at Sunfire Energy Solutions. Joanne Young was back as chauffer for Roy.
One thing all the people who brought guests have in common is that their guests came for free. April is bring a guest month, so why not bring one yourself. It’s a great way to let prospective members see what our club does.
Ernie Weidman donated $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation, and we have now met our goal for this fiscal year. Don’t let that stop you from donating, though. The Foundation does a lot of wonderful things and we are very close to eradicating polio.
We donated $3,000 to Catholic Charities Promise House Family Resource Center in Martinsburg. In addition to filling gaps in social services that are not available in the community and partnering with other agencies to provide services, the Promise House will offer a hand up to families in need.
Sign-up sheets for the Memorial Day Pancakes for Polio Breakfast are appearing on the tables. Be sure to volunteer because we need as many people as possible to help. May 26th is coming faster than you think.
On June 13th we will have a “Pick Your Own Charity Luau” at the Purple Iris from 6-9pm. It will feature Polynesian dancers and a fire show. Cost is $55 per adult and $25 per child. It will sell out fast, so get your tickets now.
It took him awhile to find it, but when he did Larry Pitzer discovered that he had the winning 50/50 ticket. Unfortunately, he did not draw the Ten of Diamonds. Instead, he will try to sell the winning ticket this week. The deck is getting skinny and the pot is getting fat.