Thursday, December 9, 2010


The trip with the show choir was essentially a success, and a good time was had by all.  We performed at 3 locations and went to a mall for lunch.  I spent most of the day downing cough drops, and I learned a few things...

Always bring a keyboard.  Our contacts at one location said to us that they had a piano we could use, but it turned out to be horrifically out of tune (seriously, think of the pianos you hear in horror films) and in a bad location.  Fortunately, we had an electronic keyboard with us (that we did need for another location) and were able to use that.

Try not to let the students sing on the bus.  Mrs. D is very relaxed about these sorts of things, but I'm convinced that the noise of a bus engine and its movement on a highway are so significant (yet subtle) that anyone who sings, over-sings (unavoidably).  It tires out voices, and I could sort of tell by the last performance (some singers were tending flat at lower pitches than previously).

I'm not sure what kind of "lesson" I gleaned here, but I had an interesting experience with one piece.  One of my selections is their most difficult, and I hadn't quite finished teaching it to them.  After the first performance, during which they did not sing this piece, we had time for me to teach them the rest.  So we had a crash course and they did pretty well, but we didn't have the kind of repetition that one gets in real rehearsals to even identify every issue.  Both performances of this piece later in the day were adequate; there were great moments, and there were moments that they barely got through.  Oddly, I was pleased, but if I were performing with my HS select choir and we did equally well, I would be downright embarrassed, even angry.  These are good singers — they deserve to have more rehearsals (and those who come to every one deserve to have ensemble-mates that do the same).

We got back to the school in time for the detention that I had scheduled.  The damn kid didn't show up.  Now he has an office referral and a fuming teacher; one who will find him wherever he is held (ISS or some other detention, I don't yet know) and give him the same talk that I had planned to give him today. Also, I picked up shards of broken PEN from the MS room's floor today, not just of a pencil!  I collected that and other trash to use as fodder for a lecture on respect.

We also returned to the HS to find that the Theory kids had drawn funny/weird things all over the board in the choir room.  I was quite amused.  I'm also really looking forward to showing them some musical demos that I have for them tomorrow.  I hope to post those links tomorrow :)

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