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posted Jan 21, 2018, 6:42 PM by Kathy Scheel   [ updated Jan 22, 2018, 10:04 AM ]
HOORAY for all of you who participated in this weekend's coaching sessions with Tori Postma!  I was so very proud of how hard you worked, how far you stretched yourselves, how willing you were to try anything and just GO THERE!   It was so absolutely thrilling to hear your singing at a B+ quality and I hope that you agree with me that it's something that's deeply satisfying and worth striving for each and every moment you sing.  Let's make that our new normal, okay?!  It takes that level of work and energy but it's soooooo worth it!

I'm sure you are as happily exhausted as me and I'm so excited about where we are at this stage of these songs! Tuesday night is going to be fabulous as everyone will be there (I hope) and we'll get to hear the full impact of what was accomplished this weekend.

I'll be cleaning up the music and getting it to you with the changes we made, but I expect each of you to take the time to go thru your own music and mark it in whatever way works best for you.  Do this ASAP so you retain as much as possible!  Wouldn't it be thrilling if we could all try to START at the high level we achieved this weekend?  What would it take to make that happen?
  • Review the songs and rehearse them at least 2-3 times each on Monday, adding more layers and skill each time.  Find just ONE thing you want to work and and really focus on improving that skills, then repeat the song and work on something new....3-pronged breaths, energized body language, passion and characterization in facial expressions, pure tall vowels, etc..  [Note: Will someone volunteer to make us a wall of shoe boxes or similar so we can climb the wall of "bricks", climbing over all the skills on our journey to excellence?]
  • Check with your section leaders to be sure you know all of the changes we made (especially if you were absent for any of the sessions).  
  • Mark your music with the changes.  That kinesthetic activity really helps to solidify it in your mind & body.  Don't rely on someone else doing it for you - take charge of your own growth and impress everyone around you with how great you are at remembering all the new stuff!
  • Check to be sure you are singing every note accurately and all intervals are tuned correctly. Record yourself, listen to it, analyze it, and correct anything that is less than your personal best.  Those self-evaluations are critical to knowing what you're actually doing, training yourself along the way. We'll be doing row-by-row quality checks in the next couple of weeks and I'd be so impressed and very happy if everyone could achieve 100% accuracy on both contest songs the first time through.  
  • Look in the mirror and see if you are performing with at least the baseline amount of energy or more! When you did that exercise this morning (row by row) and then sang with that level of energy and body/facial expression, it was absolutely the best singing you did all weekend!  It makes THAT big of a difference.  But it takes lots of practice for it to become habit (unconscious competence) so go for it!
On Tuesday, we'll start the evening in sectionals where you'll have an opportunity to review your parts, share what you want to be sure and remember, and talk thru the songs before we sing them on the risers.  [Note: Those who missed the sessions will be asked to watch the first few times so you can see and hear the progress in both songs, as well as make notes and record the changes.]  

One of the things we all need to work on STAMINA.  This is an important element that all the judges noted last year, and I'm sure you noticed that when we got tired, we had no energy, it was hard to concentrate, and it was impossible to stay in tune.  I'd love to see everyone make a commitment to building your personal stamina so we can perform our very best every time.  Maybe someone can come up with a great slogan for this stamina-building, helping each other along the way.  If someone would like to lead the way in a stamina-building program, I'd love it.

We've got two more weekend sessions planned and I sincerely hope everyone can be there to learn and grow together. It's just impossible to capture everything via videos.  We really missed the 9 people gone on each of the days this weekend but I know you'll be able to catch up quickly with a little diligent homework.  We've hired some high level coaches this year and I would be so grateful if ALL of you could find a way to be there for these enormously helpful and inspiring sessions when we grow closer together as friends as well as an ensemble.  There's just nothing that compares to the thrill of singing at a high level - and being able to do it every time, conveying all the emotions of every song from the depths of your hearts!  LOVE IT!!

Coaching dates:
-  Tuesday, Feb 6 - Ryan Heller (6:30-9:30)
-  Saturday-Sunday, Feb 20-21 - Sandy Marron (and Tim Marron doing PVIs) 
-  Tuesday, Mar 6 - Ryan Heller (6:30-9:30)
-  Saturday-Sunday, Mar 10-11 - Lea Beverley (overnight Advance, approx $100 ea)
-  and mark your calendars now.....February 2-3, 2019 - Tori Postma!

It was very special to feel the love and excitement pouring out of you this weekend, and I know that you felt it, too!  I personally felt the love and that means more to me than you can ever imagine, and that you trust in me to lead you as far as you want to go.  So let's START at that level on Tuesday.  It's up to each of YOU to make that happen!  

Reminder:  We have a performance in just a couple of weeks.  If you are planning to perform, you MUST attend both of the next two rehearsals (unless you have made arrangements with me personally).  We will go thru those songs on Tuesday night, so be prepared to sing them at a B+ quality.  

Bring your 110% on Tuesday night, and truly embrace and live up to the beautiful OSC's values.

With much and pride -   Kathy