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Undergraduate & Graduate Conducting

A.S.C.A.M. Rehearsal Guide Template
Suggested BEST ORDER: I. IV. II. V. III. & then Final Questions

A.S.C.A.M =
Audiation Decisions
Singing Decisions
Conducting Decisions
Analysis Decisions
Marked Score Decisions

I. Auditation Decisions:
Discography: Summary of important recordings and
performances, with notable comparisons:
Title of Piece Version 1: Version 2: Version 3: Version 4:
Ding Dong King's Ding Dong! "Ding Dong, Ding Dong
Merrily on College Merrily on Merrily on Merrily On
High Cambridge High - High", arr. High - London
2010 #9 Mormon Hal Hopson Contemporary
Ding! Tabernacle Voices
Dong! Choir
Merrily on
Tempo 93 93 74 89
Key G G G F
th th th
Style 16 16 16 16th
century century century century
Type of soloist Boy’s N/A Children’s N/A
Choir Choir
Type of Choir + Choir + Choir + Voice
Organ Orchestra Organ
Solo Boy’s N/A N/A N/A

My Favorite Sound is: Bright & Pure

I will achieve it with __Pure__________________vowels

I will achieve it with __Forward_______________placements

I will achieve it with __13, 15, and 25 __________rules

I will achieve it with __a_dancelike_____________style

Other notes…

II. Singing Decisions

Sound: Breathing - I want breathing at the end of every phrase (4m)

Placement – I want the sound to be light and bright and forward in
the mouth.
Vowels and modifications – The only modifications I want are
more forward and bright on “ding”, “Dong”, “ringing”, and “Gloria”
Consonants – Lots of ending shadow consonants, especially at the
end of phrases.
Type of blend – I want a nice smooth blend throughout the piece
with my choir still punctuating and placing the correct word stress.
Preferred balance – I want every part to be balanced within the rule
of the chord.
Vibrato – I want only a small amount of vibrato to better help the

Interpretative IPA – In score!

Decisions: Translations – In English
Word Stress – “Heav’n” “Ringing” “Riv’n” “Singing” “Hosannah”
“Highest” “Swungen” “Ringers” “Singers”
Phrasing and Breathing – Breathing at the end of every phrase
(around 4m)

Emotional Buzz words – Christmas, Bright, Pure

Coloration: Placement – Forward and bright

Soloists: Kind and type – N/A

III. Conducting Decisions

What does my Level 1 look like in this piece?

(My kinesthetic set-up, my Laban effort actions feelings)
I am working on staying more centered and grounded over my center of
gravity, I’m tending to lean too far forward trying to “connect” with my choir. I
also want to focus on floating and hitting my 1 beat a lot softer than I have been
in the past rehearsals.

What does my Level 2 look like in this piece?

(My somatic facial affect, my emotional connection to the piece and my
facial affect, my mouth shape and my vowel shaping)
My facial affect in this piece is one of extreme excitement and joy to help
transfer those emotions into my choir. We are the last piece of our set so
we need to be extra engaged.

What does my Level 3 look like in this piece?

(What are my beat patterns, my cues, my levels, my word stress, my
releases, my size of gesture, my entrances, my melded gestures, my eye
tracking, etc., and how do I execute them?)
My patterns are a normal 4/4 pattern with lots of crescendos into the end
of phrases and phrase markings. I want to reach forward more for a more
forward sound and use my pattern in a more sharp motion to help keep the
beat better while still being soft enough for the choir to not punch the

What does my Level 4 look like in this piece?

(When do I move out of the “patterns” and how, and WHY?)
Especially in the last section of “Hosanna in the Highest” I drop the main
pattern in exchange for just moving on the beats of the lyrics. I do this in order to
take a RIT. Without the choir struggling to follow the pacing change.

Is Movement or Choralography needed, and if so, how do I deliver it?

None needed or added =)


IV. Analysis Decisions

Everything you study in order construct and develop an aural image of the
piece and to build a fluid, transparent, informed interpretation of the piece.
Historical Aspects: Composer – history and considerations

History of the Piece, date

Performance Practice elements

Program Notes
The tune was originally a French dancing
piece and it wasn’t until the 1920s that a man by the name George Ratcliffe added
lyrics of his own creation and published a book of carols that we still sing today.

Theoretical Aspects: Analysis – Structural/Phrasal – (see Template)

ABA1BA2B with all As being the different verses.

V. Marked Score Decisions

Score Preparation: Prepared Edition – Do I make a prepared edition

for the choir?- No, but I do go through what
markings I want to have in the piece with them.

Study Score – What is included in my study score?

I have solfege, breath markings, word stresses,
phrasing, and hard intervals for the choir circled.

Conductors Score – What is included in my concert

score? Right now breathing markings, stressed
words and dynamics circled.


Do I see my A.S.C.A.M. decisions in my gesture?

I have been when I focus on performing what I practice.

Do I hear my A.S.C.A.M. decisions in the sound and

performance of my choir?
Yes I do!