It’s All About The Journey!!
… and eventually, all journeys must come to an end! Lake Ontario Region 16 contest April 19 to 22, 2018 marked the end of Canadian Showtime Chorus’s journey with founding director Sandie Nason. What a parting gift for her – we won gold and will represent Region 16 at International Competition in New Orleans in September 2019. We could not be more thrilled!!
You can’t let a leader like Sandie Nason go without a special tribute and celebration! Secretly, we commissioned a song just for her. It is called Turn Around and was written by Tara Shannon and arranged by Mark Ferguson. We learned it in two secret rehearsals and sang it to her on the regional stage as part of our acceptance following our championship win! The message of the song was so very fitting … turn around – take that bow - step into the light - you made us shine - now it’s your time – turn around! To say it was easy to sing this beautiful piece of music to Sandie while she sat in the front row of the audience with her dear friends June Dale and Erin Howden would be a lie. But it was a beautiful, emotional moment that we will all cherish for years to come. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house!! We celebrated her with champagne toasts that evening and a proper trip down memory lane in our very own rehearsal hall the following Tuesday.
The evening was chock a block full of surprises – from stories to songs to a memory book to a surprise special appearance by our all time favorite show guest Dana Arrowsmith who turned our party into a proper east coast Cèilidh with her fiddling extraordinaire! Her energy is infectious and we were soon on our feet, jigging, hooping and hollering! Much clapping and knee slapping to boot! The icing on the cake was having 4 firemen on hand to carry her cake into the room! The chorus burst into “Oh you beautiful doll” putting great emphasis on Fire – my hearts on fire!! We got exactly the effect we were hoping for! She laughed, she cried and she laughed some more! To loosely quote Sandie, we could not have given her a better gift and send-off!
… and now a new journey begins!
The planning for this new leg has been months in the making! Strategic planning and goal setting with the entire chorus proved extremely productive in November of 2017. Out of that came the beginnings of a transition team charged with keeping the music alive until a new director was in place. A team comprised of music, visual and administrative leaders who would formulate plans using the outcomes of the November workshop. A team who would take the lead in making interim rehearsals productive, fun and inspiring! Long time coach Joe Connelly is in our corner and is selecting new music for us. Along with other guidance and advice, he is mentoring our in-house talent from afar for now and will be in-house in June and again after our longer summer break. He has tons of ideas our Joe does! The chorus is excited and energized!
Last night was our first rehearsal since contest. It is a new beginning so former Canadian Showtime Chorus members and experienced barbershoppers were invited to come out last night and test the waters. It was great to see old familiars and a few new faces too! They were tested for voice placement and immediately climbed onto the risers and made themselves at home. We had fun with basics, sang a couple of repertoire songs and started work on a yummy new ballad that we got a couple of weeks ago while on break. We also had the installation of our management team mid-way through the evening. The musical portion of the evening was skillfully led by Nora, Julie, Aileen, JD, Erica and Janet. Jackie did a great job with the installation and Nancy – our fearless team coordinator – wrapped the evening up with pearls of wisdom and guiding advice! For inspiration, we even had a visual reminder of Joe’s presence in our life from a life size stand-up poster picturing him at his motivational best!
We are well equipped and well on our way to a most joyful, exciting, invigorating and rewarding journey! We are fearless and we believe! New Orleans baby! Laissez les bon temps rouler!!!
Proud CSC Blogger