Tuesday night was our second last rehearsal before this weekend’s season opener, the Coffee House Concert, coming up Saturday, October 26, 2013. It was the first time our special guest, Mark Corfman, met the choir and sang with us. And it was also held at our concert venue—the better to figure out exactly how to place nearly 70 people in a tight but comfortable formation. If you follow our facebook feed, you know that it was an intense note-pounding, but also one of the most fun, sometimes comic show week rehearsals VCS has had in quite a while. Because here’s how the evening went:
- Folks arrive early to schlep and set up risers so we don’t have lift and carry on Saturday. Because it would be nice not to get sweaty in our tuxes and hose just before doors open, don’t you think? Naturally, several of us walk around constantly hitching up our pants, muttering about how we shoulda maybe worn belts.
- Jen arrives – checks mics, they work! Only, they sometimes…don’t? Some “testing testing 123” follows. Naturally, some of us think, “Beuller, Beuller…” Oh wait, we said that out loud, didn’t we?
- Jen finally calls us to order by fixing the wiggy mic and singing “What would you do if I sang out of tune….” Oh hey, that’s our cue! Then Greg throws out a “whoop!” in the middle of the Joe Cocker anthem. And the rest of us realize what dorks we’d look like if we tried that.
- Note-pounding is now in full swing, and pretty soon Jen demonstrates—for the benefit of new folks who may have missed it—the “chicken neck,” and how that is not a good thing. Much cackling from the second soprano section, the third row of which is nearly all newcomers. The laughing-est rehearsal of the season has begun. Because the chicken neck is swiftly followed by this choral directing gem….
- “If you’ve been holding back, if you’re gonna break it out and wail, please for the love of God do it at this rehearsal!” First to see how that sounds, second to figure out your limits, third to establish that for many of us the simple singing math of (I’M ON!) (GAME/STAGE FACE!) + (MORE/HARDER/LOUDER) ≠ BETTER!
- Then she adds, “Don’t hold back on having fun.” So naturally the bases began to razz Don Schlienz, who is out front doing his solo of “Fire And Rain.” Because, apparently, why not?
- Next up, finger snapping! “Yeah, just don’t do them like you’re in the Addams Family!” We copy that, snap snap.
- And now for the song that has no real words. Except for that one African word, which we spend a full five minutes working through, to the director’s exact satisfaction. Because exact is necessary when the note will be sung in a quiet room by Jim Voice-Of-God Stephens and his lot.
- Quick note from Jen, as we move into a happier song, that it’s perfectly okay if we want to get into the rhythm of things. Otherwise we just stand there looking like we’re clearly fighting the beat. Madame director channels that dorkitude to show us what that looks like, so we know how not to be. More laughing ensues.
- Next up: Animal noises are welcome! “Go for it!” (Really, you just gotta be there Saturday for this one to make any sense.)
- Next up, a complicated piece about which Jen asks the question, discusses it between her and herself, answers it, and dismisses the issue—to the hilarious bafflement of the choir.
- This is followed by another reminder from Jen, especially for newcomers, that it really is okay to move! Upon which people break out into random unsynchronized versions of those much loved modern American dance classics—YMCA, the Tony Manero finger, the Electric Slide.
- And finally, the best line of the evening, “Don’t go opera on me. That was last concert!”
All of this before the break.
Really, just be there. Because it’s going to be a great show.
We will have tickets available at the door, but if you’d like to skip the rush or get season tickets (not too late for that!), you can get them online right now.
See you Saturday!