Solid footing! Clear Sailing! What a transition!!
Our last blog reported on our final success at Regional Contest with our master director 700 and talked about a transition team that would guide us through the winding waterways to port where we would meet up with our new captain, Joe Connelly! This deck scrubber is excited to report that although we may have set sail with some trepidation, some self-doubt and perhaps a wee bit of fear of the unknown, the journey was clear sailing and all survived! In fact, we picked up a few new singers along the way – some who had drifted away from us for a while; and some singers who are brand new to us but not to barbershop and Sweet Adelines! Loads of room on our singing barge, so they climbed aboard! Welcome mateys!!
With May came beautiful blooms and new music. Joe picked a few gems for us and tasked the music transition team – Nora McEwen, Julie Sykes and Aileen Carney – with guiding us from learning tracks to risers. They planned our rehearsals, incorporating many of what the chorus members listed as important to them during our visioning session in November 2017. The evenings were well paced, offered variety, included section work and gave each of them time on the floor to work with us. Throwing the baby out with the bath water is never a good thing so some familiars remained – like vocal warmups with Janet Cadman and Julie and physical warmups and visuals with JD Crowe and Erica Hills. Business got moved to mid evening and the nights ended with a recap of what worked and what could be better, and whenever time permitted, we sang a regional song to help everyone add those to their repertoire for singing at Regional events!
The energy in the hall has been palpable and contagious. Under the guidance of our fearless Team Coordinator Nancy Mantle, a new culture is emerging. With so much coordination required with Joe still being in another port, an assistant or liaison to our new director has been named. Belinda (Bill) Boekhoven takes on that role and she and Nancy have become somewhat inseparable. In fact, so much so that a nickname for them was required – they are Nill! Not in the negative sense – just in a cute and funny sense! Their banter during business is fresh and entertaining. Bring it on ladies – we are ready for whatever you throw at us!
Jumping in to June meant Joe was in the house! And yes – he was jumping with energy. While here, he met with all business and musical players and shared his vision – his goals for the chorus – his philosophies – his passion! These were interactive meetings and he was in listening mode too and asked many, many questions. Having been provided with the outcomes of the visioning session in November, he was very familiar with the wants of the chorus members and that was reflected in his thought processes and future plans! Exciting times indeed!!
The music we made together those two nights Joe was in town was electric! Because of the time and effort put in by the transition team and the singers, our new ballad was ready for Joe to put his spin on it, to finesse and massage and the outcome is delish! He left us wanting more! We see it on the horizon!!
We continued to work our new music post Joe in June; we received a new uptune; meetings continued both on the musical and business aspect of the house; new volunteers came out of the woodwork – many hands makes for light work – in consultation with Joe sections leaders were named (congratulations Santina, Karen T., Gracie, Glo and Bill) – a couple of surveys were issued for input on costuming and other stuff - and dare I say, the sails were drawn down in preparation for drydocking our singing barge while the chorus took a well-deserved summer break.
One week from today, Canadian Showtime Chorus members return to the risers! And Joe will be in the house – permanently! He will continue to travel for coaching but on Tuesdays he’s ours! There are great fundraisers in the works – great performance opportunities – great educational events to attend – but let’s keep that for future blogs! First and foremost is our official welcome aboard to captain Joe Connelly. We are ready to get this boat ship shape for New Orleans! Aye Aye Captain!
Let’s go Canadian Showtime Chorus singers – Seas the Day! No regrets!!
Twenty years from now
You will be more
By the things that you
Than by the ones
You did do.
So, throw off
From the safe harbor
Catch the trade winds
In your sails
Explore, dream, discover