Last Saturday afternoon, we had a coaching session with Ida Bilodeau, renowned SAI Showmanship Judge and a fantastic coach for quartets and choruses here in Region 19 and beyond.
In order to get the full effect of our on-stage performance, we made arrangements to use the stage in a local community building. With Ida sitting in the front row, we rehearsed our entrance, our songs, our bows, and our exits. We were really on a roll, working out our best showmanship plan in preparation for our contest coming up in April.
All of a sudden, sirens starting going off, lights started flashing, and we knew that the fire alarm had been tripped in the building. The sound was deafening! There was no way we were going to be able to get any singing done!
We walked around the building and found that it was a false alarm – but the fire department could not get access to the alarm panel to turn the alarms off. So the noise continued. Over. and over. and over.
In an effort to make good use of Ida’s time, we attempted to continue to use the stage, speaking through our songs instead of singing them. We practiced our choreography, our facial expression, all the visual pieces of a performance. All the while, the sirens were wailing in our ears until our last nerve was completely shattered!
But we still had time left before Ida had to drive back up to Valley Forge, PA. So rather than end our session early, we rallied together and took our rehearsal outside. Outside in the dark, cold, snowy parking lot! We still had to fight against the siren sounding inside, but at least we could sing and hear each other there.
Finally after about an hour and a half of this untenable situation, we finished our rehearsal. We are so thankful to Ida for sticking with us during all of this mess – she was a real trooper! We definitely feel that we can now handle any type of distraction during our performance. And our chances at contest? We really feel like we are ON FIRE!