Coaching weekend with Joe Connelly!!!! It didn’t happen at Canadian Showtime Chorus’s usual venue at the Nepean Creative Arts Center – we settled instead in the hall at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Stittsville! The risers were all set up when we arrived and the coffee was brewing in the kitchen! It’s the people that make the home and in no time the room was buzzing from the prospect of the day. While waiting for Sandie and coach to arrive, the troops were gathered for a physical and vocal warmup. The energy in the room was palpable and no doubt this wonderful few days in the presence of greatness will go down in our recent history as one of the greatest and most exciting events ever!!

The entire coaching weekend was planned around this being Sandie’s last coaching date with the almighty Joe Connelly! Joe’ism’s were collected – cards were written – a frequent flyer t-shirt was purchased for him – previous Joe coaching day pictures were posted in our borrowed hall – cakes were displayed!! It was going to be a grand affair! What a giggle when Sandie confessed on Saturday morning that Joe at dinner Friday night sheepishly asked – “Doesn’t your book have me in for a January 2018 date??” A peak at her book didn’t show any such evidence but following a quick tête à tête with our Team Leader Nancy first thing Saturday morning, it was confirmed that a date was a date so Joe WILL BE BACK for one more coaching session with Sandie in the house!! And the party went on!!!!
We are a mature and experienced chorus and have been around the block a few times so we know that whatever we present on Friday night of a coaching weekend will set the bar for coach and that is the level he will start working from! Well that 701 level earned a couple of years back is what we put out and where the tweaking, polishing and refining started! We were putty in his hands. Joe and Sandie have an incredible working relationship; one best described as collaborative and respectful! A “shake it out champs” from Joe means he wants to run something by Sandie before moving on! He turns his back to us and they confer – it always results in a win-win for all involved! With this dynamic duo at the helm, we are focused, trusting and all in! They believe in us – we believe in them! We work hard – we laugh hard – we make great music together and we are ever so grateful to be on this incredible journey together!

The Canadian Showtime Chorus we all know and love has had one amazing journey under the caring and expert guidance of our founder and Master 700 chorus director Sandie Nason!! This blogger got a lump in the throat a few times this weekend as we are on the last legs of our journey with her!! You will recall that after Vega II, Sandie announced her retirement. One more International contest in October 2017, one more show in February 2018 and one final Regional in April 2018. Two years advance notice!! Loads of time, right!! Aaaayyyeeee! Where has the time gone? WE are on the home stretch!!

 We are a mere 8 weeks away from Vegas III – our last time on the International stage with our Sandie! Do we want to give our best performance ever at the big dance (a Joe-ism!!)? Of course! Do we want to reach our highest rank ever? Of course! Is that the most important thing to us? Absolutely not!! We want to make this last dance with her our best experience ever – Sandie’s best experience ever! One that will rank amongst our best memories ever!! Come on girlfriends! We can do this!
A grand weekend like this does not happen without the participation of the entire village! Thanks to Sandie for her vision – thanks to our management team for their fiscal responsibility, diligence, organization and dedication – thanks to our membership leaders and the party planners for always keeping us refreshed and fed – thanks to Marian for sharing her place of worship with us - and a HUGE thank you to the riser team for transporting our risers to our borrowed home. Having to load them in the truck in the rain could not have been any fun!! You are the best!! And of course, thanks to our big brother Joe - we so love working with you!!
Canadian Showtime Chorus is all fired up and having a trip of a lifetime! Pictures will keep use smiling but the music and harmonies is what will keep the memories alive. How lucky are we?
I am a proud Canadian Showtime Chorus member; I am a Sandie and Joe fan; I Am Sweet Adelines!!
JD Crowe
CSC Blogger