News & Notes #7

February 9, 2024

In this issue:

Solo announcements

Producers' challenge: How much can you sing off book next week?!

New Henry Louis Gates Gospel Series premiers Monday on PBS

Jonathan's Notes

Hello -

Thanks to all who tried out for solos! It takes a lot of courage to make the effort and I hope you enjoyed the experience. Our soloists are:


Amy Cutter


Zaida Lambe

Jill Updegraph


Christina Howell


Erika Kenney


Kim Childs


Marian Weisenfeld

Joan Blue

Karen Engress

I look forward to seeing you all at our next rehearsal!


From the Producers...

Thanks to everyone for another energetic rehearsal this week, it’s really coming together and under Jonathan’s careful guidance, we will create a beautiful concert in just two weeks.

Please make every effort to have the lyrics memorized so we aren’t using the handouts on Tuesday. The practice recordings are really helpful.

Start pulling out your solid color tops in blue and orange for the concert and take care of your voice.

~Jill & Alexandra

New Henry Louis Gates Gospel Series premieres Monday, Feburary 12 & 13 on PBS

Deepen your connection with our Gopsel season - this looks great! Many thanks to Alto Marta Kabalin for sending this in.

From the blues to hip hop, African Americans have been the driving force of sonic innovation for over a century. Musical styles come and go, but there's one sound that has been a constant source of strength, courage and wisdom on any given Sunday. GOSPEL, the latest history series from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., digs deep into the origin story of Black spirituality through sermon and song.

More info:

Watch the Trailer:

Questions about the season?

Reach out to Alexandra & Jill at:

Our Producers are volunteers with busy lives! They will do their best to get back to you within 24 hours.

Notes from your Stage Manager


I am very excited to be your stage manager for Gospel season this year. We are all looking forward to this concert and from where I sit things seem to be coming along beautifully.


Please read the following information carefully as time will not allow for all of this info to be announced again at the dress rehearsal. Feel free to email me at if you have any questions.


Mary Steuart


DRESS/TECH REHEARSAL: Thursday, 2/22 at Cary Hall

●      Call time: 7pm. You should plan to arrive a bit earlier to get settled, use the bathroom, drink some water and check-in with other singers.

●      Warm-ups begin in the hall promptly at 7pm.

CONCERT DAY: Friday, 2/23

●      Call time: 5:00pm in the Hall for warm-ups/rehearsal. Please plan to arrive a bit earlier to get settled.

●      Coats should be left in the singer gathering space. Please do not bring coats to the hall.

●      Valuables room will open 6:45-7:15


●      We will not be providing water so remember to bring enough water to get yourself through both the dress rehearsal and the concert.

●      You will be standing for a couple hours for the dress rehearsal and again for the concert so comfortable shoes are a must!

●      During the dress rehearsal, take breaks if you need to. Sit on a riser or move to the audience chairs.

●      Don’t lock your legs while standing. Keep knees bent a bit.

●      Be sure to hydrate well this whole week! Water is best. Try to avoid coffee/tea/alcohol as they tend to be dehydrating.

●      Make sure to eat well/healthy. Food will be allowed in the singer gathering space on concert day.

●      NO food or drink is allowed in the hall so be sure to hydrate before both the dress rehearsal and the concert.

●      If you are diabetic – we suggest that you keep sugar tabs or something similar in your pocket in case it’s needed.

●      Get as much rest as you are able this week.

●      The lights and energy on stage can make it fairly warm so dress lightly.

●      Turn cell phones completely off please.

●      Un-wrap candy/lozenges before going on stage.

●      If you will need a chair for the concert, sign up this week

●      If you have requested a chair, please plan to sit through the entire concert. Standing will affect other singers’ ability to see the director.

●      While on stage:

o  please, no whispering or talking between or during songs

o  clap softly, especially if you are near a mic

SMILE AND HAVE FUN! Even if you wear a mask, your “smile” will show in your eyes. 

Concert Attire

Concert Attire:

Blue & Orange!

You may wear all black with blue and/or orange accents OR black bottoms with blue or orange top

Black on the bottom includes:

Black pants, slacks or skirt, black shoes and socks.

Tops may be SOLID black, blue or orange

Please stick to our three colors. The image above is meant to give you the general idea. No sleeveless tops or deep cleavage, please.

Accents may include be blue and/or orange:

Ties, scarves, jewelry, etc.

From our Potluck Coordinators...

Wouldn’t it be fantastic to get together, eat and drink, sing and reminisce about the season WITHOUT making a lot of Garbage!

Here’s a simple way:

  • get a cloth bag
  • put a plate, knife, fork, spoon, cup and cloth napkin from your kitchen cupboard in the bag
  • put the bag in your car
  • come to the potluck, eat the shared food
  • put everything you brought back in the bag and take it home

Thank you Ann and Jai


Want to help set up?

Ann Wynne

Online Auction

OK Mystic Gospel Singers! Here's your chance to represent the Gospel season in our annual online auction!

Over the past four years, it's been primarily Spring Season singers who have propelled our online auction into our big annual fundraiser. Now's YOUR turn!!

What's the auction?

Our online auction features dozens of items donated by Mystic singers to raise needed funds for the Chorale. Past auctions have raised $6000-10,000 for Mystic! This helps us keep singer fees low and put on our fabulous concerts!

What kinds of items are we looking for?

Items made by Mystic singers have been a bit hit, as well as other items, including:

  • Baked goods: Cookies, Cakes & Pies
  • One-pot meals: Your famous lasagna or specialty soup
  • Your own art & fine crafts
  • Gift Certificates to your favorite local shops & restaurants
  • Gift Certificates for professional services, such as massage, personal coaching, gardening, etc.
  • Jewelry, Scarves & Accessories
  • Items for the kitchen & dining room
  • Outings & Experiences, such as a guided hike, group class or museum outing, led by you!

How to donate to the auction:

Please fill out our auction donation form, here: Mystic Chorale Auction Donation Form

What's the deadline? The auction will be in the Spring, but we'd like to collect donations from Gopsel singers before the end of the season.

Last year's auction: To get a sense of our auctions, here's a link to see last year's items: Mystic Chorale Online Auction 2023

Thank you!


There's nothing more exciting than singing for a full house! Let's all do our part to spread the word!

We'll provide posters, flyers, an evite and social media posts to share. If we all invite even just a few friends and family, we can have the audience of our dreams!!

Forward the evite! Check your inbox - we will send it again tomorrow (Saturday) morning. We'll continue to send it once a week between now and the concert. Please forward to friends, family, colleagues & anyone who would enjoy our concert (and who wouldn't?!!).

If you haven't already, please pick up a few flyers at rehearsal and take them with you wherever you go - post them at the library, your favorite coffeeshop, shop windows, community bulletin boards and anywhere else you can think of!

If you're on Facebook, make sure to follow Mystic, and like, comment on, and share our posts. Why not do it now? Here's the link:

Go to the Mystic Chorale Facebook page...



Extra Informal Tenor Review Session with Bernadette

Bernadette has kindly offered to hold extra practice sessions for interested tenors at her home in Somerville. Please let Bernadette if you are interested, via email: or find her at rehearsal.


Nan's Notes for Altos - updated each week. See them there:

Members of other sections are welcome to share their resources, and/or organize their own review sessions, either at a singer's home, or at First Parish before rehearsal.

If you're like to organize something, please speak with Linda or the Producers. Thanks!

YouTube Playlist

A great way to learn and internalize our songs!

Even if you can't pick out your part (yet!), you'll learn a LOT by listening - words, timing, rhythm... keep listening and you'll get there!!

Go to the YouTube Playlist:

VIDEO: Last Week's Rehearsal

Annotated for easy review!

In this rehearsal:

07:34 - Marvellous

10:48 - Warm Ups

16:00 - He Will See You Through 

23:48 - Joy

34:00 - Something Inside So Strong

44:10 - Goodness of God

52:42 - Our Voices Matter

1:12:50 - Announcements

1:21:50 - How I Got Over

1:28:34 - Up Above My Head

1:44:50 - Joy

1:55:15 - He Will See You Through

1:59:45 - Trading My Sorrows

PRO TIP: Click on the video to open it in YouTube. Scroll down to find "Key Moments" - you may need to click "more" to find this. Click on the song you want and the video will advance to that spot for easy review.

Thank you Volunteers! We couldn't do it without you!

Production Chair: Bev Roche

Season Producers: Alexandra Lee, Jill Updegraph

Rehearsal Set-up & Break down: Ann Wynne, Michal Regunberg & many others who pitch in when you arrive!

Rehearsal Sound: Kristina Howell, Brian McGovern

Rehearsal Livestream: Jack Matson, Paula Tusler, Jai Anna San Antonio

Attendance & Check-in: Roz Hoffman, Misha Peterson

Late Check-in: Bev Roche

Chair Re-set Captain: Shannon Sweeney

Chair Re-set Team: Thank you to EVERYONE who has helped put away chairs this season!!

New Singer Welcome Reception: Richard L'heureux, Mabel Liang, Leslie Zheutlin

Concert Production Manager: Richard L'heureux

Stage Manager: Mary Steuart

Mystic "info" line: Bev Roche

First Night Check-in: Bev Roche, Olivia Tappan, Arlyn Roffman, Roz Hoffman, Misha Peterson, Mabel Liang, Richard Lheureux, Leslie Zheutlin, Jai Anna San Antonio, Paula Tusler, Jane Arsham, Gail Sullivan, Mary Steuart, Michal Regunberg, Gale Batchelder, Michael Monaco, Todd Harrison, and many others!

If we forgot your name, please email so we can add you next week!!

Board of Directors:

Patricia Stimpson, Co-President & Treasurer

Olivia Tappan, Co-President

Leslie Zheutlin, Secretary

Arlyn Roffman, Publicity Chair

Michal Regunberg, Fundraising Chair

Mabel Liang, Membership Chair

Richard L'heureux

Joan Toussaint

For Virtual Singers

Livestream Instructions & Tips

Welcome Virtual Singers!!

We are so glad you are joining us, and look forward to having you there "with us" in the rehearsal hall!

What you will need:

  • A computer/laptop (recommended) We recommend your computer or laptop - the bigger the screen, and the better your speakers, the more you will feel "with" us. But a tablet, ipad or phone will work, too.

  • Headphones, Earbuds or External Speakers (highly recommended). The better your speakers, the more you will hear the director and singers in the room.

  • A place to sit and sing comfortably. We suggest an upright chair, similar to what you would find at rehearsal. A soft chair or couch is not as conducive to good singing.

How to tune into the Livestream:

At 7:30 on Tuesday, click the video preview or link below, and you'll be with us! Each week, we'll post the livestream link here in News & Notes, and on the website, here

If we lose the Livestream signal:

Occasionally, we lose the livestream signal due to a poor internet connection. If that happens, go to the "Just in case" backup link below. We'll try to be back up and running asap!

How to watch the video after the rehearsal:

If you miss the Livestream on Tuesday night, it will be available on our website and a YouTube Playlist   after rehearsal.  

Livestream Rehearsal

Click the image below to join the rehearsal from home:

"JUST IN CASE" - Backup Livestream Link

Occasionally, we lose the livestream signal due to a poor internet connection. If that happens, go to the "backup link" below. We'll try to be back up and running asap!

Backup link (for use ONLY if we lose the livestream):


Rehearsals:  8 Tuesdays, January 2 – February 20, 7:30-9:30 pm. First Parish Unitarian, 630 Mass Ave., Arlington, MA.

Attendance Policy:

Please note that you may miss no more than 2 rehearsals to sing in the concert. New this season: You may count ONE Livestream rehearsal towards your attendance requirement. Sectional counts as make-up for a missed rehearsal.

Deadline to drop out with a refund:

Wednesday, January 10, by 12:00 noon

You will receive a refund, minus a $20 cancelation fee


Basses – Thursday, January 25, 7:00-7:55

Tenors – Thursday, January 25, 8:00-8:55

Altos – Thursday, February 1, 7:00-7:55

Sopranos – Thursday, February 1, 8:00-8:55

Solo Auditions:

Tuesday, Jan 30 after rehearsal

Tuesday, Feb 6 before and after rehearsal

Snow date (if needed):

Thursday, February 15, 7:30-9:30

St John's Episcopal, 74 Pleasant St, Arlington

(one block from our regular rehearsal location)


Dress/Tech Rehearsal: Thursday, February 22, 7:00-9:30

Cary Hall, Lexington, MA

Concert: Friday, February 23, Call time 5:00 pm

Cary Hall, Lexington

Concert Attire: Blue & Orange!

You may wear all black with blue and/or orange accents -OR- black bottoms with blue or orange top

Potluck: Tuesday, February 27, 7:00 pm Bring a dish to share and celebrate our season! Please bring your own plates and utensils to help minimize plastic waste - thanks!

Where to watch the livestream or video:

See you soon!

The Mystic Chorale | Website

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