Canadian Showtime Chorus – Shine On!!!
Sunday, April 17, 2016
Chorus contest morning! A more relaxed affair for our competing quartets – who were oh so fabulous on Friday – as stepping onto that stage with only 3 friends to anchor you, is so much harder on the nerves than stepping out with 70 of your closest friends!!!
The routine in my room went like this and I can pretty much guarantee that every Sweet Adeline’s room in the building followed pretty much the same pattern. The keeners were up at the crack of dawn to put their eyelashes on and do their hair. The first coat of foundation went on – a light breakfast either in the room or in the restaurant was consumed to help fuel us before setting off to either work backstage/webcast or go to rehearsal! We’d been reassured by the Convention Team a couple of nights earlier that the Donald Trump rally at the Oncentre just a block away from the Civic Center and the auditorium may impact our traffic patterns but they urged us not to worry as contingency plans were in place and the situation was well in hand – knowing this Convention Team well, I assure you there was absolutely nothing to worry about. And in the end, having Trump in town left no negative mark on our contest day experience at all! Well played City of Syracuse – well played!!
By all accounts, our morning rehearsal was spectacular – happy director – happy singers! No more to be done – no more to be said! We were ready for the stage. Liz Gibbs and I missed this fabulous gathering, as we had to go to work with the lights, sound and webcast techs. Arriving at the auditorium that early may have been overkill but we weren’t chancing traffic jams or road blocks. In the end, there were no issues and arriving early afforded us the opportunity to settle in gently, breath and get ready for the busy day ahead! Master Director 700 Sandie kind of liked having us backstage early as we became her lifeline and were able to relay important messages – keeping her in the know - and similarly she able to report issues at the hotel that we were able to resolve with a phone call to the right person on the Convention Team. Broken down elevator fixed in plenty of time to get the choruses to the main lobby in preparation for bus loading!
Liz and I made arrangements with Barb, Convention Team Busing Manager, to get on a bus to return to the Crowne Plaza to meet up with our chorus instead of waiting backstage until they arrived. LOVED this new way of hooking up with the chorus! We arrived to a sea of red and beautiful smiling faces! What a welcome home!! A few intros and tags here until suddenly it was time to load the buses and head to the auditorium for our turn to line up in the backstage hall leading to the Bavard (mirror) Room! I have to comment on the mood in the buses – it was quiet and calm – some singers with their eyes closed obviously visualizing the experience! The walk down that long hall to the Bavard room – us lined up two by two waiting for the competitors ahead of us to vacate the mirror room – picturing ourselves in the mirror room – wow – what a reflection looking back at us – intros and tags – wow – what a sound - the door opening and hearing Shelley say “Sandie, it’s time!”. Walkon protocol instructions – it’s showtime! Picturing ourselves on stage – Sandie walking across and making eye contact with every single riser singer – the pitch being blown – the signal being given to stage right confirming that we were ready – lights – big, bold bright lights! Hearing our introduction and roaring applause – the judges in the pit watching us – smiles from ear to ear. Sandie setting the mood and gently pulling us in to the ballad – this most powerful ballad! A standing O – a most appreciative audience! A shift in character – our cheeky yet bold and scorn woman gives him heck – shows him who is really in charge! We feel the audience is in our corner – they are loving our characterization - another spontaneous standing O!!
That’s the power of visualization! Because in the end that is exactly how it happened! We took to the stage with confidence – we moved our audience – they bought into our character – and they gave us that standing O!! We came off that stage knowing that we had given it our all and that we would be rewarded for it! It felt great! We held our breathe during the call-off and were so very grateful when we heard – “Second place chorus, with a score of 657 - Canadian Showtime Chorus – we jumped for joy!! We were thrilled to come second to the amazingly talented North Metro Chorus, this time under the direction of the incomparable Erin Howden!!
With an extra bounce in our step, we returned to change out of our costumes and into our finery for an evening of celebration. We were doubly excited and delighted when Sandie came into the Lafayette Room for our chorus dinner waving the score sheets saying “You are going to LOVE the comments.” Well that was an understatement! Our focus, hard work since January was on point and reflected in the judges’ comments. We know exactly where to go from here. There is no way but up!! To infinity and beyond!!
It was a late night for many but we are now all home and tucked in for a well- deserved rest! It will take some time to come off this high and it will be a thrill to get back on the risers in a couple of weeks and continue this incredible journey! There will be new music, new choreo to learn and a whole lot of planning for the future. I can’t wait to get started!
We proudly wear our 2nd place medal! We’ll be watching to see if we maintain a wild card placement in anticipation of sharing Vegas 3 with our wonderful champions North Metro Chorus! I can’t imagine a better way to end the next leg of our journey!
A wee bit tired but so very much in love with this organization, this music, this sisterhood, and the passion! Sleep well tonight Canadian Showtime Chorus and get ready for a ride of a lifetime. The best is yet to come!!