Oh my gosh, I’m exhausted! But in a good kind of way, you know? We just completed a marathon week of singing with Lustre and HCMC, and it feels so good!
First, last Monday night Lustre had a fantastic coaching session with our wonderful friend, Michael Gellert. As you know, he is the Master Director of HCMC. With Michael we always learn great lessons in musicianship, vocal skills, and the barbershop craft. And last Monday we had a great session with him. We worked specifically on a couple of new songs, but as always, the theme of the night was “better singing on every song.”
On Wednesday night, Lori, Lori and I had our regular weekly rehearsal with HCMC. Lori D. starts the night off and does a great job leading the chorus in the learning of our choreography – she’s such a great performer herself, and she’s a great teacher too. And then there’s the intense and fun work of the singing – Michael brings fresh energy and top-notch vocal instruction to us week in and week out. At the end of the night, we are always pleasantly worn out from the concentration and stamina that is required for our chorus rehearsals.
On Friday, HCMC began a full weekend “retreat”. This is when every member of the chorus checks in to an area hotel and we spend the weekend in one of the ballrooms singing, singing and more singing. Literally from Friday night at 7pm until Sunday at noon, we stand on the risers and rehearse, pretty much non-stop. We take breaks only for meals and a little bit of sleep. Ok, maybe there is a little party on Saturday night too… 😉 For these retreats we always bring in a top caliber coach from the Sweet Adelines International faculty. This weekend we had Tony DeRosa. Tony is hands-down one of the most energetic, talented coaches I’ve ever seen. He’s a stellar performer himself, having won the gold medal in the men’s Barbershop Harmony Society’s international quartet contest three times, and he’s the director of the top ten Sweet Adelines International chorus, the Toast of Tampa. All I can say is – wow!
And the weekend wasn’t over yet – Lustre had a quartet coaching session with Tony for three hours on Sunday afternoon. Even after such a long weekend of stamina-testing rehearsals with the chorus, we still found that Tony’s energy was contagious and we had a great session. He helped us take our stuff to a higher level, and we had a lot of fun doing it.
After such a crazy week full of quartet and chorus singing, I can say that my feet, my back and my voice are all very tired, but my spirit is flying high!