Tag: music

Train for E4, Belt out F4

Just for the Summer Singers
Just for the Summer Singers, just before a performance
August 2010

Some of you out there may know I sing with a chamber chorus, Just Voices. But during the summer we take a break, and the open-enrollment Just for the Summer Singers begins rehearsals, with a less challenging repertoire.

This upcoming concert will include the spiritual Too Late, Sinnuh. The song begins with a male soloist, singing “Too late, sinnuh!” with the notes: D4, D4, F4. (For your reference, in musical notation, Middle C is C4. Hmm… Nice coincidence!) For a bass like myself, these are very high notes.

Flashback: When I was a student at Georgia State, I wasn’t a music major, but I participated in the University Singers because I consider choral singing to be my creative outlet of choice. Back then I had not achieved my potential as a choral singer… not until a friend of mine in the chorus, Charles Hart, took me aside and helped me out. It just so happened at the time he was taking a vocal pedagogy class, and I was a very happy volunteer guinea pig for him.

Ever since I first began singing in high school I always had trouble once the music required me to sing notes above Middle C. C4 was okay, D4 was iffy, and E4 felt and sounded strained, at best. And then Charles came along and told me how to stand, how to prepare my voice, how to use my body to release a better sound. And before I knew it, I could belt out a fantastic E4.

Flash Foward: This past Tuesday’s rehearsal was time to audition for the solo. But remember I had previously trained to sing the E4. F4 is a half-step higher. That half-step makes a big difference once I’m up in that register. I raised my hand to audition anyway, not really sure what would come out. And what came out in my audition was nothing short of amazing. At least, it sure felt that way. I could feel myself glowing by the time I was done.

It turns out Too Late, Sinnuh has two solo parts, and I got the other solo part. But I still walked out of rehearsal that night feeling great for having stretched myself that extra half-step, for taking those lessons from years ago and applying them to stretch myself that much further.

When was the last time you stretched yourself a little further, whether artistically or in your business practice? You can train for that moment for years. But when the moment comes, that moment is a further stretch than you trained for or imagined. And then you come out of it, glowing.

Featured Member – Atlanta Jewish Music Festival

We want to tell the world about our members, so each month we will feature at least one artist member (coming soon!) and one member organization. This post is not about C4 Atlanta. It is about the people who make Atlanta a great place to live. We hope you enjoy!


This month, we are featuring the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival. AJMF was a founding member of C4 Atlanta. They are crazy busy right now preparing for their music festival next week, May 9 – 13, 2012.

AJMF Postcard with May 9-13, 2012 and logo


AJMF provides the Greater Atlanta community an opportunity for connection to and involvement with fresh Jewish music.  AJMF’s third season will provide diverse and engaging musical experiences through its annual Spring Festival (May 9-13, 2012), an extended artist residency, listening parties, open mic events and more.

Russel Gottschalk, Director & Founder, is a great guy to know. He is super involved in many aspects of the Atlanta community. I see him everywhere. Russel, in the midst of putting together a festival, was gracious enough to spare a few moments to answer a some questions about AJMF.

Photo of Dan Saks of DeLeon playing the guitar
Dan Saks of DeLeon - Courtesy AJMF
JH- How long has AJMF been around?
RG – Established 2010, we are in our third season.
JHWhy did you form?
RG – AJMF was created to connect musicians and audiences to Jewish music, culture and each other through fresh Jewish music.
JH – What have been the greatest challenges facing your “emerging” company?
RG – Like many start-ups and arts organizations, fundraising has been and continues to be our greatest challenge.  We are currently pursuing an independent 501c3 to help overcome this challenge.
JH – What is AJMF’s vision for 5 years? 10 Years?
RG – AJMF’s vision for 5 years and 10 years is not far off from where we are now.  We’ll continue to partner extensively with like-minded organizations, producing events year-round to complement our multi-day annual Spring Festival.  We’ll serve a wide demographic and support our local community with commissions and visiting artist residencies.  We’ll continue to innovate and create dynamic experiences that provide a unique, meaningful pathway to a shared Jewish experience.  And if we grow and thrive, we’ll have more opportunities to make a greater impact on our region, inspiring Southern Jewish communities like Birmingham, Nashville and Charleston to join the global Jewish music renaissance.
JH – Why is Atlanta a good fit for you and your organization?
RG – Atlanta has a young and vibrant Jewish community and is home to successful Jewish cultural celebrations like the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (established 2001) and the Atlanta Jewish Book Festival (established in the 1980s).  Our community identifies with Judaism through culture and AJMF has a strong network of partners and supporters.  Atlanta is an ideal home for an organization that represents fresh Jewish music and the fact that I’m an Atlanta native doesn’t hurt.
JH – Who is the festival for?
RG – The festival primarily attracts Jewish young adults (20s and 30s) but most events have a range of demographics and social backgrounds represented, including non-Jews.  One of AJMF’s taglines is “By Jews, For Everyone” so our festival is for all!                                                                        

JH – How does one get involved with AJMF?

Greencard DJs, photo of people with laptop, mixing board and headphones.
Greencard DJs - Courtesy AJMF
RG – Please drop a note to info@atlantajmf.org and let us know how you want to join the party!  We currently are looking for volunteers for our upcoming festival (5/9-13, 2011) and people who want to help with music selection (summer and fall, 2012).
JH – Why did you join C4 Atlanta?
I joined C4 Atlanta to learn and collaborate with my peers.  I believe social networks like this are integral for meaningful impact and personal growth.  I’m honored to be a C4 Atlanta member.


Thanks, Russel!


Check out the work of this young arts leader by visiting http://atlantajewishmusicfestival.org

The Guts of C4 Atlanta

The Guts of C4 Atlanta

This is our BUSINESS MODEL coming together. Oooohhh. See how it glows. One day, it will get it’s wish and become a real boy…uh, a real Business PLAN.

Okay. You want to know what we are up to–more specifically, what is it that we plan to offer AND how is that different from other organizations. Well, it is simple. It is true that we do serve the arts–we support artistry. Our services are designed to answer one HUGE problem for all artists and arts organizations: sustainability. By providing resources that help support artistry (access to insurance, collective bargaining, expert training opportunities, partnerships in K-12 education, technology innovation & a philosophy of social responsibility) C4 Atlanta contributes to the cultivation of a healthy arts ecosystem.

Jessyca & Lyre Work on The Business Model

How is that different from what others might be offering?

Research & Development – artists and arts organizations often do not have time to invest in honing in on the next technology, business or educational trend. C4 Atlanta does…that is what we do. We research. We keep up with national and local trends in arenas other than just the arts. Combine that with feedback from the people whom we serve, and we have a constantly changing network that saves artists time and money. We figure out the best routes for implementation and evaluation of services for an entire ecosystem.

C4 is somewhat like a social service program for the arts community. Our programs are interventions that help individuals and organizations create and sustain a business. However, we also believe in community. We believe in the intrinsic and extrinsic value of art.

Still Working On the Business Model
Joe & Lyre. Still Working On the Business Model

Just Around the Corner…

We envision a community where the arts are not some separate appendage from the rest of society; rather, it is an integral component of responsible citizenship–it is a measure of the health of the community.

Ingrained in our business plan is transparency. C4 Atlanta works with the community to find solutions to problems and to track trends and issues affecting the arts ecosystem. We do not see a hierarchy of organizations, sectors or people. That is out modded thinking. Networks (or image a series of webs) are how we learn, communicate and interact with one another.

In the spirit of transparency, I am posting a link to our guts…our wiki. This wiki contains brainstorms, notes and specific outlines about C4 Atlanta tasks. Feel free to comment, ask questions or add to the mix. You will not be able to edit, but there is a field for you to leave your thoughts. NOTE: keep in mind that some of the service we have outlined are short term goals, but many are long term that carry with them particular dependencies. Internally, we have goals for one month, three months, one year, and so on.

Enjoy! Here is the link to our Wiki: http://c4atlanta.pbworks.com

Beanie. He would rather be chewing on Jessyca’s shoes.

Meetings of Minds

I love talking to people. In particular, I love talking with people. Face to face.

The C4 team has been doing a lot of this lately…uh, meetings that is. And we are just getting started. We are gathering great feedback from artists and arts leaders. We have even met with consultants, Artistic Directors and technology leaders.

You see, we want this to be a community effort. We want YOU to help us shape this organization. If you want to meet with us to explore ideas for collaboration, programs, meetings, education, technology, whatever you fancy, pick up the phone or shoot us an email.

We look forward to hearing from you soon…really soon. Actually, we are working on a business phone line. 🙂