(photo: Barad'ur at night. ) Denis Laflamme called in some favours, I think. We got two extra hours of coaching from four top guns tonight. This was after the three hours earlier in the day. The focus was sectional practices to enhance unity of sound. For us leads this meant eliminating ' scooping' on notes. It is amazing how much we do this for emotive effect. It is also amazing how much we sound like one voice when we get rid of it. We also focused on keeping the same tone throughout our range, bringing our high voice into our lowest notes to keep everything clear and light. The chorus and coaches were rewarded for the time spent by an unparalleled improvement in our sound. You should have been there. The sound! The excitement from chorus and coaches alike!
The chorus is retaining so much of what we're being taught, and transferring what we've learned in one song to the rest of our singing. What great coaches and what a great bunch of guys on the risers. Denis is in seventh heaven (not the incomparable gospel quartet, but the emotional state) and well he should be. He has brought the chorus to this place wherein we can get such a great benefit from this opportunity.
Rodney McGillivray, always looking out for Papa's friends, got coach Gary Steincamp to stay behind to work with our gospel VLQ. We sang our best ever 'Still, Still with Thee' using everything we'd learned in chorus and then Gary (already very positive about our sound), by identifying diction as an issue and reminding us to move this meditative hymn from inward reflection to outward presentation, was able to help us make an even more beautiful and, dare I say, holy moment in singing. One of the questions we must now ask of every song is, "Who is there?" Still, Still with Thee is overtly addressed to the presence of God. In a pietistic way it is easy to sing the song to oneself as an enjoyment of the feeling of God's presence. But rightly it is directed outwardly to 'an audience of one,' and only as such do we really share, with an earthly audience, the rapture expressed in the song.
Back to the Cantina (after yet another rehearsal, this time (10:00 pm) with the Gold Ribbon First Timer's chorus.) 7th Heaven rehearsed there till they closed the place. I am very privileged to be supported by the rich tight vocal mesh of Rod, Bill Hawken and Andre Carriere. Also kudos to Neil Rask who sat in after Bill went to bed. Always a pleasure to hear Neil's voice.
My voice is feeling better after all the singing of Tuesday than it did after the first evening of Harmony U. Must be doing something right.