Hellllooooo! Catch-up Blog!!! (06-Sep-2019)

Hellllooooo! Catch-up Blog!!!

It has been a while!! It’s been busy!! It’s been such a ride!!

Seems like just yesterday, we performed our champion swan song on the Regional Stage in Syracuse and here we are, a mere 3 weeks – to the day– from the International stage in New Orleans! Yes – I said it – NOLA!!!

Inquiring minds want to know … what has Canadian Showtime Chorus been up to the last 6 months! Well plenty!

April was all about business and getting our administrative house in order. Luckily, our dedicated and talented Management Team members - who led us through our transition from outgoing/retired director Sandie Nason to incoming super coach turned director Joe Connelly - agreed to stand for office for another term and all were enthusiastically re-elected! Change is good but consistency ensures a thriving future! We are blessed!

Plans were laid and new music was added to our repertoire! Many hands make for light work and many new volunteers came out of the woodwork. Of all things, a new language emerged from our new culture! We have FADS (fabulous assistant directors), Quads (sections), Quad ranglers (section leaders) and note gurus (you know – those you can turn to for help with all those iffy notes or transitions), SVIs (Sandie Vocal Instruction) and Sectionals (quad rehearsal on a separate night).

Our PR Team is intent on turning our director’s vision into reality – blow the lid off the city’s best kept secret and increase Canadian Showtime’s public profile in the community. It’s all about branding and repeat events so that we become part of our patron’s calendars by putting on shows and hosting events not to be missed from year to year! It’s working!

To quote our director, “we have killer charts by Jay Giallombardo” of both the Canadian and American national anthems and we’ve shared them with sports fans at games in Ottawa. We were featured twice at Ottawa 67s hockey games and once – so far – at a Fury soccer game. On September 28th, we will sing at a Redblack’s game in front of a live audience of approximately 22,000. The game will be televised so watch for us on the big screen!!!! We were also privileged to sing our Canadian National Anthem at the Norwegian Ambassador’s residence in May to celebrate Norwegian Day. To honour our countries’ partnership, we phonetically learned their National Anthem and sang it with their band. They loved the unison rendition but have challenged us to learn it in 4-part harmony for a repeat performance next year! Game on!

Of course, fundraising is a key component of every Sweet Adelines chorus’s life. One way to put ‘fun’ in fundraising was to combine it with a June performance on a paddle boat river cruise on the Ottawa River. Add a jazz band to that and you have the perfect precursor to NOLA! Two performances + two separate audiences means double the fun! A whole new twist on taking this show on the road!! Let us float your boat!!

Yes, we play hard – those are the rewards! It does not come without a generous dose of hard work however!! Our long-time coach Erin Howden was in the house twice since April. On the first night of coaching, she always spends a couple of hours with the Front Row alone before turning her attention to the Risers. By the end of our time with her, she had us believing that we ARE the character. Wait until you see what she has created for us this round!

Our newest coach acquisition is Karen Breidert. Oh my! What a match made in heaven! It’s like she’s been a part of our team forever!! This mega talent enthusiastically shared her wisdom, talents and insights and her visit was such a tonic. We turned a corner! Some of our creative leaders got to spend an afternoon with Karen and picked her brain on all things creative and administrative. We can’t wait to see her in NOLA and have her inject her enthusiasm and wit into our onsite prep rehearsals!

She has always been in our corner, but our home team now officially includes former CSC master director 700 Sandie Nason. In May, we started SVI’s with her. The purpose was not only focused vocal production and teaching to meet each singer’s individual need, but also to develop a vocal inventory of the chorus. From 7 to 9 pm each Tuesday, groupings of Quad singers spent 30 minutes each in the back room with her. Each walked away with homework and access to her personal profile on the members-only section of the website, where detailed notes were posted of her SVI. Round 3 of the SVI’s were completed a few weeks ago and new sessions will resume after NOLA. This, combined with sectional work, has raised the singers’ individual awareness and is helping them focus their energies. With so much going on it’s important to work smart!

Hard to believe but yes indeed Joe Connelly has been OUR chorus director for a year! August 13th was our one-year anniversary! The paper anniversary! Quite symbolic actually! Paper! Contracts – work permits - standing rules and bylaws – reports – music, music, music – we’ve got this anniversary covered!! We look forward to many more anniversaries with our amazing Joseph who brings so much energy and positivity to our rehearsal hall! What a gift!

It’s a journey and we have a way to go but we have come so far already. Care to come and see for yourselves? We love performing for a live audience and with only two (2) weeks to NOLA we need you, your smiling faces and your enthusiastic applause to egg us on! Please join us at our Friends and Family/New Orleans send-off on September 7th. It’s free!! We will have had two (2) very full coaching sessions with the amazing Erin Howden Friday and Saturday so we will be pumped! It is a dress rehearsal. Be the first to see our brand-new costume up close and personal! We hope to see you there!!

When: Saturday, September 7, 2019

Time: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Where: Jim Durrell Recreation Center,1265 Walkley Road, Ottawa ON

Too many people to thank for keeping this boat afloat so suffice it to say that we are grateful and appreciate you all. We aim to make you proud on the international stage in NOLA! Keep watching this spot! More (shorter) blogs to follow including some live bits from the Big Easy! Even if not on site, we want you with us every step of the way!

JD Crowe

CSC Blogger