Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We'll Sing Anywhere

Very interesting behaviors occur during a choir tour...choirs will rehearse pretty much anywhere. This may seem like a simple and even rational statement but I really can attest to the fact that I have sung in a variety of random venues. Normal tour spaces include the airport, outside on the sidewalk, within the courtyards of hostels, churches, and competition venues.

I do have to say that one of the most unique places I have sung was in...a parking lot. You must understand that this parking lot was in no way sculpted to be a performance venue, rather, the festival did not have a facility big enough for all the choristers so the cement tarmac was their next best choice. Maybe it wouldn't have been so grueling if we weren't forced to rehearse Handel's Hallelujah with hundreds of other choristers, in 40 degree humid weather, with no escape from the sun, and an angry Hungarian conductor waving his baton at us from the shade of a tree on a patch of grass next to the parking lot. He kept on complaining we weren't performing up to his standards. No we shielded our eyes from the glaring sun to stare in his direction, attempting to sing louder than the brass instruments in front of us, meanwhile, we could only to see the tip of his baton frantically waving over the heads of choristers in front of us. I just remember he kept on screaming at us, demanding that the sopranos sing their high A's with more gusto than what they were giving him. I wouldn't be surprised if some singers damaged their voices from that rehearsal. I remember our conductor, Heather, telling us not to sing at our full voices so I took that one step further and just mouthed a large part of the rehearsal :) I also remember trying not to faint by drinking enough water and using my choir binder as a sun shield since it was the late afternoon and the heat was relentless. As well, due to the fact that we sang so poorly, the Hungarian conductor demanded that we have an mandatory emergency rehearsal scheduled the next day so he could bombard us with further insults.

Good times...I remember we were going to skip out the extra rehearsal to rehearse our competition repertoire (since we have advanced on to higher levels in the competition) and send our festival tour guides (wearing our casual uniforms) to represent us at the rehearsal. However, this did not pan out as it was tipped off to the festival that we were contemplating not showing up. It's funny now when I think about it since it's quite amusing and inspiring to think how choristers will sing anywhere because they just love to sing. That, my readers, is the making of true musicians.

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