It’s Showtime …. Canadian Showtime Style!!

It’s Showtime …. Canadian Showtime Style!!

The Big Easy stole the hearts of our members this week! Fitbits clocked many a kilometer as our singers explored and discovered the charm, laissez faire attitude of the locals and the absolutely delicious cuisine and music they create! Not to mention, the beignets!!!!! It’s been hot and humid but that didn’t stop us from adventuring!

Being the keen and focused members that we are, we changed hats on Monday and started to shift our focus to the job at hand … contest preparation! We left home with an uplifting family and friends send-off performance and a last at-home rehearsal under our belts that set the tone for our ramp-up to the international stage in New Orleans!

Some travelled down on the same flight; we also ran into one another in the hotel lobby, on Canal Street, the French Quarter, Frenchman Street and, of course, Café du Monde but it wasn’t until we gathered for the first time on Monday that this got real!

Lake Ontario Region 16 is well represented at International this week. We have competitors in all contests; Harmony Classic (Limestone City Voices), the Quartet semi-finals (S.L.A.M) and the Chorus semi-finals (us!!!!!). We had a blast at our Regional Pep Rally on Monday night! Thank you to everyone on-site and at home for your continued encouragement and support! It means the world!!

Our first alone time together was at rehearsal on Tuesday. It was short but electric. It was intended as a touchpoint; a regroup to bring our music back to the forefront! A time to reconnect with one another and shift the focus!! We do make beautiful music together, don’t we??

We shared the Napoleon Room A1-A3 at the Sheraton for rehearsal with Forth Valley Chorus from Edinburgh Scotland. The thread that connects us is Joe. He coaches FVC and we are pleased to share him with them! We had a fun meet and greet following our rehearsal! So many people to get to know! Where does one start?!? Well with an ice-breaker mixer of course! Find the member whose name is on your plate! Naturally, in searching for that person, we got to meet a whole lot more of them in the process as we directed one another to the person named on our plate!! It suddenly got really loud in the room as we made new friends along the way! We had a fun physical warm-up together (using the plates!) and we sang for one another! We are competitors in the semis on Thursday, but it is friendly, and we love any opportunity to sing and share a moment in song! We look forward to many more opportunities to collaborate at future International conventions! If ever in Ottawa FVC, you have a home and a place to put your head down for a kip! Come see us sometime!!

Wednesday was a large chorus connection day! We kicked it off with a team breakfast at Fogo de Chao. It was delicious and the perfect sustenance needed to tackle our afternoon and evening rehearsals. We kept these private to ensure focus. Only a few family, coaches and close friends were allowed in. We would have loved to greet more of you, but this year, we chose to make it all about us! It served us well! We could feel our confidence ramp-up from rehearsal to rehearsal. Our physical warmups helped us feel the emotion and freed up our bodies to allow the music to soar! We were getting in the zone!

And just like that, it was Thursday. Semi-finals day! We had a late draw (31st out of 34) and leading up to this big dance we had prepared ourselves mentally for a long day of waiting for our turn to load the competitor buses, but it turns out that our masterful director and leadership team had laid out a great plan of singing and personal preparation, and before we knew it, it WAS our turn!! A rehearsal from 10:00 – 11:00 am; lunch at FOGO de Chao from 11:30 – 12:45 pm; rehearsal from 1:00 – 3:00 pm; make-up check from 4:15 to 4:45 pm; in costume and back in Napoleon A1-A3 at 5:30 pm; gather at appointed location in the lobby at 6:00 pm and BAM – just like that it was time to load the buses at 6:30 for our on-stage time at 7:21 pm! The chorus was disciplined and focused through this – and through each rehearsal all week for that matter – and we quietly rode the short distance to the Smoothie King arena in virtual silence.

Intros and tags in the warmup room; HQ staff member Joey gave us our 10-ish minutes to get in the zone before leading us down the hall to the backstage area! We could hear the crowd – a roaring and enthusiastic audience by the sounds of it! We loaded the ramps two by two and waited patiently for the curtains to be drawn. The front row led us on and walked their circles before forming a human curtain while the balance of the chorus loaded the risers! Standing tall and proud we acknowledged our audience while the judges finished adjudicating the chorus that went before us! Joe releases the front row and we line up at the risers. He calls for the pitch and signals that we are ready! The stage is under dim lights but not for long! Suddenly the sun was shining on us and we could tell from the audience reaction that our fuchsia fandango costume was resplendent and shiny on stage. Just what we were hoping for!!! How’s that for a first impression!

From the time the emcee announced us to the tag of the uptune … 6 minutes … felt like 2! We executed the plan as rehearsed. It was fun – it was energetic – we loved it! Off the stage back to the lobby where we were greeted by our Fanclub of family and friends! They loved it too! Hugs and squeals of excitement – such love!

We didn’t make the upper echelon this round and won’t get to cross the stage in the finals on Saturday, but I am here to tell you that we will be back!! A year ago, we started something new with our fabulous Joe! We trust the magic of new beginnings – nothing but bright skies ahead!

JD Crowe

CSC Blogger