2016 – That’s a Wrap! 2017 – The Best is Yet to Come!!

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It’s been a while folks but that doesn’t mean that Canadian Showtime Chorus has been sitting idle!! Au contraire!!

There is nothing like a retreat to bring renewed energy, focus and commitment to a chorus. Not to mention unleashing creativity and discovering hidden treasures and talents in our ranks – we welcomed two new front row members on Saturday morning and one nearly new front row member Erica emerged as a great teacher and talent and is now our new choreographer!!

Canadian Showtime Chorus’s travelled to Cornwall ON for a brilliant two- day retreat at the NAV Center, a beautiful facility that perfectly met our retreat needs! Add our two incredible coaches Erin Howden and Joe Connolly to the mix and you have yourself a pretty amazing weekend!

Our master chorus director Sandie Nason had assigned each riser row a Vegas character. Each row then worked together to plan costumes and strategies to keep our character a mystery for as long as possible until the big reveal at dinner on Saturday night! The idea was to layer our costumes – by that I mean show off a small piece/clue at a time and stay in character as much as possible throughout coaching on Friday night and all day Saturday. There were distractions and false clues thrown in the mix just to make it all more interesting. It was a hoot!!

But it was not all fun and games – there was much serious hard work and the ladies of Canadian Showtime Chorus rose to the occasion. How could we not with the dynamic trio of Sandie, Erin and Joe!! They spent many hours teaching, observing and discussing and have come up with a firm plan for our journey to Vegas 3 in October 2017! We are WELL on our way with many months of polishing and fine tuning – and more coaching – left!! Viva Las Vegas Baby!!

November was all about reinforcing what we learned at retreat. Sandie is a master at retaining what was thought at a coaching session and brings it right back to the rehearsal hall, shapes it, polishes and massages it and makes it our own. We squeezed another two rehearsal-night coaching sessions with Erin and prepared for our Holiday Happenings event the last Sunday of the month. It is a grand craft and bake sale, silent and live auction affair topped with a chorus performance for our family, friends and supporters. We even feed them! It is one of our favorite events and certainly one of our most profitable fundraisers!!

We are always looking for ways to give back to the community and one of our members’ came up with an incredible idea! We are barbershop singers, we are women, we have hair! What could be better than to partner with Hair Donation Ottawa whose mission is to raise funds for cutting edge child and adult cancer research and empower kids with hair loss by providing them with free wigs!! The ultimate objective of this valiant organization is in support of “Cutting Edge Adult and Childhood Cancer Research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute.”

Our very own Nicole Wieczorek met with the President and CEO and Founder of the organization, Helene Hutchings, to pitch her idea! She loved it! Helene visited the chorus on December 6th. A cancer survivor herself, she is a passionate, energetic and dynamic community leader with a servants heart! She talked about why she decided to start Hair Donation Ottawa and shared her personal journey and her battle - and win - over cancer. There was not a dry eye in the house! Helene’s story struck a chord with us as several of our members have battled cancer and won but sadly a few didn’t! As Helene talked, we heard that several of our members or their relatives have donated hair to Hair Donation Ottawa in the past! This appears to be a match made in heaven!!

This is how we are going to support! On Sunday, April 30, 2017, Hair Donation Ottawa is holding its annual large-scale hair donation and fundraising event! Canadian Showtime Chorus will be performing! Also, Saturday, April 11, 2017 is International Barbershop Harmony. On that day or a few alternate dates in April, our quartets will be going around to Ottawa barbershops and participating Hair Donation Ottawa salons to serenade their patrons and raise funds/donations to be presented at the big event on April 30th. We are excited about this partnership and a creative team will start looking at other ways to fundraise for this worthy cause. We look forward to many more joint events in the future too!! http://hairdonationottawa.com

Our 2016 wrapped up with our Christmas party on December 12th. It was lively, with delicious food, song and laughs yet bittersweet as we miss one another so when we are not together at chorus on Tuesday nights. This blog is written today to replace this week’s rehearsal. Today’s nasty freezing rain would likely have kept us away tonight but nothing will stop us next week – our planned return – Tuesday, January 10, 2017!!

CSC ladies, we committed to the 6-minute regime! Are you on it? See you in the rehearsal hall next Tuesday, on the risers by 7:15 sharp for a heart pumping, energy-filled physical warm-up – then on with the show!! I can hardly wait! Can you??

JD Crowe, CSC Blogger