Experiences of our First Timers (24-Apr-2023)

Submitted by Nancy Lambrechts

When I think back to my first experience at Regional Competition in Syracuse, I remember it as an amazing time.  It made me feel truly a member of the chorus after joining in the fall of the previous year, a rite of passage so to speak.

I thought it would be interesting to check in on our First Timers from 2023 in St Catharines. What was their experience? Read on and find out!

I had an amazing time at my first regional contest with Canadian Showtime Chorus! The enthusiastic positivity shared by every person in this amazing organization is unmatched! I believe it’s a contest where you can’t lose, because no matter what, you will leave feeling loved and supported and with new friends and happy memories. Chorus for me is a ray of sunshine in my week, and contest is like that times a million!

Even before we left, people were incredibly kind, making sure I had everything I needed, reminding me of things, and picking me up the morning of.
Despite the crazy 11-hour trip, people retained their positivity, were talkative, I got to chat with people I hadn't previously and continued to make friends in the chorus.  That positivity was present throughout the weekend.  I cannot recall a time in my life where I experienced 3 solid days of feeling cared for, encouraged and supported by so many, and a sense of collegiality not just within our chorus but amongst all the participants.  The general absence of ego coupled with female care and mentoring were wonderful.

I really enjoyed meeting so many people and having the time to connect with members of CSC on a deeper level. I’m so impressed with the barbershop culture - I’ve felt welcomed, encouraged, supported, taken care of, and doted on from the minute I joined CSC. The convention confirmed to me that this is just how barbershoppers are. It’s so comforting to know that there are some solid pockets of love in this sometimes turbulent and challenging world.
I’m truly inspired by this barbershop community and the culture it’s fostered. Particularly amongst the incredible women in CSC. I make it a point to take all of it with me and carry it over into my everyday life.  I don’t think it’s possible not to become a better person (or want to be) after singing with a barbershop chorus for any length of time. My circle of influence grew larger in St. Catherine’s. The CSC is incredibly special and I’m so thankful to be part of this amazing group.

I was very excited to be able to attend my very first in person Regionals after a long three-year wait because of Covid. The group sing along before the quartet competition started was magical …. Hearing all the choruses from Region 16 sing together was very inspiring. Being in the audience during the quartet and the chorus competition was so, so enjoyable and reinforced the coaching we get to exude energy and tell a story while singing. The dinners out were fun and getting to meet and chat with Chorus members that I haven’t been able to before, helps with getting to know people more. And when the pitch pipe blows and we all start singing in the restaurant and get applause, you feel like you are part of an amazing thing!