Rehearsal on Wednesday morning was short and sweet — we didn’t even need the afternoon session, so I enjoyed the rest of the day off from work. Maestro Tovey was, as expected, very efficient and entertaining. A few jokes here, some clear direction to the orchestra and to the choir, and repeating short or tricky passages a few times to make sure he was getting the sound or the effect he wanted. Again, there’s nothing particularly tricky about this piece except the memorizing.
Unfortunately, I think we’re all as a choir still a little behind on the memorization. Some people are still flipping through their books to check things (guilty!) and in a couple instances, we’d drop out of the fugue in confusion. Once you fall off the fugue train, it’s hard to get a ticket to get back on! And if someone next to you is suddenly unsure, that may make you unsure, which makes the guy next to you unsure… yet another reason why singing is really about confidence. Confidence and breathing, and the rest will follow.
That aphorism about confidence and breathing is what I plan to tell 300 high school kids this morning. Thursday morning is an open rehearsal where we’ll run the piece for a small crowd, before opening night tonight. The chorus manager asked a good friend from the chorus (Laura Sanscartier) and I to participate in a pre-rehearsal talk for those high school kids, a task which we happily agreed to. What? You want us stage-loving, no-shame, happy-go-lucky people to talk to a bunch of students about how much we love singing? SOLD! It was only after we agreed that we found out that Maestro Tovey will be on the panel with us as well. We’re both pretty excited about the opportunity! Though I suspect I won’t be able to keep up with Tovey’s jokes.