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An Inspiring Session with Erin Howden & Sharon Babb

posted Feb 3, 2014, 2:19 PM by Kathy Scheel
As you all know, I am considering joining Pride of Portland Chorus as a dual member - for a variety of reasons.... 1) I miss my friends in Portland; 2) I love singing and performing and working at that level; 3) I love learning from Ryan and all the wonderful coaches they bring in; 5) I'd like to perform on the International stage with them in Baltimore; 5) I want and intend to bring the things I learn back to OSC.  That's one of the main reasons that Sweet Adelines International created the option of dual membership - to encourage the sharing of information and skills with both choruses. This weekend, I participated in coaching from Sharon Babb (Sound Judge and Judge Specialist) and Erin Howden (Choreographer for North Metro Chorus).   It was spectacular in every respect, and I'll be sharing lots of their inspiring lessons with all of you.   Of course, with Dede Nibler coming this week, these lessons will wait until the following week.  But here are a few of the highlights:
  • ALWAYS sing from your core - not just your face, not just planned moves - every part of your body should be involved and active.
  • Be AUTHENTIC when you perform.  The audience can tell if a performance is not sincere.  You need to touch them and pull them into the song, the music, the lyrics, the emotion.
  • While rehearsing or performing, be willing to give it ALL---- ALL THE TIME!   Make the choice to do your best every time you're together. As you know, a positive attitude is extremely contagious (as is a negative one).
  • Don't be the one to punch a hole in the boat - be the one with the oars!
  • LOVE should always be in the room - whether it's rehearsal, a performance, or at contest. 
  • If you are not giving 110% of yourself every time you sing, you're not giving enough.
  • Be the CHARACTER - not simply your usual self.   Move outside of your everyday life, and into the role of dramatic actress.  It is within reach of all of us but it takes practice.   Must practice it frequently to build this skill.
  • Trust your skills and just let yourself go  (OSC's song of this title will take on new meaning ....!).   I couldn't believe it when I did this - the results were so surprisingl and thrilling!
  • We need to LOOK like we SOUND
  • When singing a song, think about the conversation that took place before the song started.... What happened to create that moment when the poem was written that became a song?  Singing should be more like poetry.
  • We are ALL in the LAND OF BECOMING!
  • Skating vs. wearing boots (this will take a bit of visual demonstration).
  • The points at the higher levels are awarded for not letting ANY MOMENTS just "go by".  Every vowel - every word - every phrase is important.
  • Be happy with each step towards the goal - not just the goal.  If OSC is aiming for 630 points as one of our goals, rejoice in the steps you are taking as individuals to get there.  We cannot do it unless EVERY SINGER is committed to working towards that goal.
I came away from the coaching sessions exhausted but filled with inspiration to come back and share with OSC.  Be listening for some of the buzz phrases from me soon!