When our new songs were introduced at the beginning of the year, it seemed we had forever to prepare to bring our best to our Area Convention and Contest. But as we approach that late April date, the intensity of our preparation always seems to escalate. The journey from competence to artistry travels different paths for each given song or package of songs, but each time we recognize the importance of several key ingredients:
- Riser positions – When it comes to our place on the risers, we always say “don’t get used to it!” Optimal positions for singers within the ensemble change depending on who will be singing for a given performance, and as voices develop and change over time. In addition to considering how best to match resonance, certain voices serve to “blend” strong voices that – although important to the sound – might otherwise stick out of the “fabric.” Revisiting this regularly drives us crazy but keeps our sound fresh.
- Rehearsing together – Although we all have lives that sometimes take us away from rehearsal night, each voice is missed when not there! Singing together to experience the blend and balance gives us the confidence to allow our individual voice to contribute to the overall sound in its unique way.
- Movement and expressiveness – Although not second nature to many of us, incorporating movement to enhance the message of the song can be an impactful way to express a song’s meaning – whether of deep emotion or just pure fun. Even when a plan is intuitive, it takes a lot of practice to deliver it naturally!
- Singing with heart – All the moves, expression, and singing in the world will not be entertaining unless we tap something within ourselves to share with our audience. Finding a connection with each song and bringing it to life are key goals to making our performances as meaningful for ourselves as for those who experience them.
- The power of unity – We can’t do what we do without every single person on the risers. The true magic happens when we trust each other, connect with the music, and sing with one voice and one heart.
Let’s see what we can cook up together!