Hello singers!
the info you’ve all been waiting for: How are we marking the end of the season?
Since we can’t hold a live concert, we are creating digital souvenirs of High Desert and May It Be. I would love to have you all participate if you’re able.
Using your phone or computer and the teaching tracks provided (with headphones), you will make a video of yourself singing your part, and email it to me. Sara’s daughter Megan will then stitch them together into one cohesive video for us to save and share with our friends!
We talked about the logistics of this tonight – it will work best if you have two devices: one to play the song into your ear, and one to capture the recording. If you have questions, reach out to me.
Megan is offering to do this for simple donations; if you feel you can contribute $2 or $5 or $10 to her for her time, that would be wonderful, and as always, it is not an obligation. (You can send her a donation directly through Venmo @meganhearst, or make a donation through me in a way you feel comfortable and I will pass it along to her. I will be sending her payment as well.)

If you can’t envision what we’re doing and would like to see an example, take a look at this video. (Denis Donnelly, who arranged May It Be, is the conductor of this choir.) Ours will almost certainly not be this polished (we are a different kind of choir with a different kind of budget and different kinds of rehearsals, for one thing!) but it may give you some inspiration for how you want to film yourself and what we’re working toward.


If you would like to watch the Sectionals Rehearsals, it can be found HERE:


30 minutes each: Bass, Tenor, Alto, Soprano in that order. So, if you are looking for the Alto Sectional, jump to 1 hour in.

Here’s what to know about making a video of yourself:
  • If you’re using your phone, put it in landscape mode, not portrait mode (so the frame is wide, not tall)
  • Make sure you are not backlit: don’t stand in front of a sunny window, for example, or with a lamp behind you. We want to see you, so there needs to be light on your face, not behind you.
  • Use headphones so that we hear you, but not the teaching track
  • If you can, have two devices: one to play the music into your ear, and one to capture the recording.
  • You can listen to just your part, or to the track with all the harmonies. Choose whatever track makes it easiest for you to follow the song. The track choices are ON THIS WEBSITE. There is an “All” for each song, and one for each part (low/middle/high for High Desert and Soprano/Alto/Tenor/Bass for May It Be)
  • The tracks have count-ins on them so you know when they’ll start. You’ll hear me say “1, 2” and then take a breath. PLEASE COUNT IN WITH ME, OUTLOUD IN YOUR VIDEO. This will help Megan sync everyone up when she’s editing.
  • Before you start recording, listen once or twice to the track you’ve chosen, to familiarize yourself with its timing. I do not use a metronome so the timing is organic, and the count-ins are imperfect, but after a couple of listens I think you’ll get the feel for it. Note the ebb and flow of the two songs and the timing of how phrases start and end, so that you can start and end with me. Since I am not there to visually cue you to be in sync, you have to be mindful to sing along with the track as it’s recorded, which just means careful listening until you feel comfortable with it. (These are the same tracks we’ve been practicing with so far.)
  • Please wear something in a light color (white, pale yellows/pinks/blues/tans/greens/oranges…just keep it out of the dark spectrum please) and avoid written text if at all possible as it can be visually distracting
  • Make sure you are “in frame” (visible to the camera, just like in our Zoom meetings we try to make sure we are visible to each other). If you are using a phone, it’s easy to flip the camera around into “Selfie Mode” so you can see yourself the whole time you’re filming and can make sure you are visible.
  • It’s good to set the phone/camera/computer on a surface or tripod so that it stays still while you move and sing.
  • Smile and breathe – have fun! If you think you screwed up, don’t show it on your face. Just relax and keep going. This is the same as during a live concert: if we keep smiling and looking confident, the audience will usually have no idea we may have botched a note!
  • If you are using a lyric sheet, hold it up next to your camera so that your face is visible
  • REVIEW your video to make sure that you are visible and audible before sending it in. Sometimes people forget to hit “record” or something interferes with the audio, and it will be so much easier if you can “proof check” your file before sending it
After that, you can email it to me, and I will send it to Megan who will get to work!
The deadline for videos is NEXT TUESDAY NIGHT, the 26th, so that Megan can get to work by Wednesday, the 27th. (We expect to have the final product within 2 weeks after that, maybe less).
I am excited to hear you all together, at last!
Let me know if you have questions, and we will cover this all again in Thursday night’s rehearsal.
Big warm fuzzy germ-free hugs,
Kaitie Ty

Lyrics and Notes for Each Song

The Lyrics alone can be found on these two PDFs:
High Desert Lyrics
May It Be Lyrics

High Desert notes:
We discovered that the “low harmony” is really low for basses. It’s not really arranged to have a bass part – so (as always) pick the part that is most comfortable to you. We could use a few more voices on the low part if it suits you, but pick what’s workable for you.
The Map:

Verse 1: everyone on melody
Way up high in the desert
Way up high in the desert
There’s a storm cloud coming
May it all turn around

Verse 2: Middle and High groups on melody; Low group on Low Harmony
Far away in the mountain
Far away in the mountain
There’s a boulder crumbling
May it all turn around

Verses 3-5: Middle group stays on melody; Low group stays on Low Harmony; High group on High Harmony
For the life of the treetops
For the life of the treetops
There’s a winter forming
May it all turn around

In the depth of the darkness
In the depth of the darkness
There’s a sunrise coming
May it all turn around

(note the dynamic and timing change on this verse – tender for the first two lines, building in a focused way on “revolution,” which is drawn out)
In the tears of our silence
In the tears of our silence
There’s a revolution
May it all turn around

The Round:3 full cycles of the “high desert” verse, followed by a repetition of the line “may it all turn around”

Way up high in the desert
Way up high in the desert
There’s a storm cloud coming
May it all turn around

First pass:
Middle Group starts (on melody)
High Group adds (on melody)
Low Group adds (on melody

Second pass:
Middle Group continues (on melody)
High Group continues (on melody)
Low Group continues on LOW HARMONY

Third pass:
Middle Group continues (on melody), ends with a repetition* of “may it all turn around” 5 times
High Group continues on HIGH HARMONY, ends with a repetition* of “may it all turn around” 4 times with an EXTENSION on the 4th time in order to sync up with the other groups
Low Group continues on LOW HARMONY, ends with a repetition* of “may it all turn around” 3 times

*There is room in this part to add your own harmonies if you like doing that


May It Be Notes:

There was less confusion about May It Be so I don’t have many notes here, except to acknowledge that the timing of both songs (but especially this one) is pretty darn organic. May It Be flows like ocean waves, so do allow yourself some time to get familiar with the track’s timing as it’s recorded, since I won’t be there to give you visual cues for timing when you’re “performing” it for the recording. I suggest listening to both songs’ teaching tracks without singing, just absorbing, one or two times through, before you prepare to record. (I am making a version for you to record with that contains a count-in so you know when the track is about to start.)

May It Be also has funny phrasing and specific word choices – make sure you know what the words actually are, as they’re written, because they’re not always intuitive. (“an evening star shine down” “night is overcome” and so on.) The sheet music can be a helpful visual learning tool, even if you don’t read music, if you’re unsure of any of the details in your harmony. (The sheet music PDF here: May It Be.)

The teaching tracks WITH COUNT INS are below. Please choose what helps you sing along the best, and count in with me out loud in your video. Thanks!

High Desert:
Middle (Melody):
May It Be:
Soprano (Melody):

Have fun! Remember to connect psychically with your beloved choir as you sing – I know we are making the pieces separately, but we are building the puzzle together.
Big love.