Taking the Day Off Post-Show

Chuck came downstairs today and asked/announced, “Can I take the day off?”¬†Amigo did almost the same thing an hour later. Why? you might ask. Day off from what? would be a good question, too.

Yesterday was the Big Spring Show for Amigo’s barbershop chorus. This Spring Show was bigger than most because, well, pandemic. This was the first actual Spring Show since 2019, so it was special. Important. Exciting. Insert any comparable adjective here, and it’ll fit just fine.

These guys, like many of us, suffered through massive cancellations in 2020. They had to cancel a show, cancel rehearsals, and lost a major fundraiser as well. Singing, you see, can be a super spreader event. A show in theater that seats 700 was out of the question. Eventually the directors consulted their college-age daughter who guided them in the process of Zoom rehearsals, which led to in person sectionals (masked), and finally in-person rehearsals.

You can read between the lines: this year’s spring show was a Big Deal. A really, really, Major Big Deal.

In a typical week, Amigo had rehearsals every Tuesday. Chuck usually drove him to rehearsal and stayed to help out if he was needed. The week leading up to the show was bigger and busier. Tuesday’s rehearsal was a tech rehearsal. Chuck, former broadcast engineer, always helped out with audio and microphone cues. In addition, the two actors who carried out the story line between songs couldn’t make it for tech rehearsal, so Chuck and Yours Truly played their parts. Fun, yes, but it was a late night and a tiring evening full of details.

The usual Friday night dress rehearsal included the regular actors, thank goodness. Chuck still helped the tech crew, but I was able to stay home and clean the kitchen (hahaha) and make fresh ice cream (yay!).

All things considered, by the time the show was done, all three of us were thrilled and happy and wiped out.

We were thrilled to be back into show mode, performing in person for an actual audience. We were happy to be perform and socialize with the rest of the chorus. We were happy to bring Petunia and Robin and even La Petite and her sweetheart to the concert. And after coordinating all of this and enjoying the show, we were tired. Very, very tired.

Really, folks, this is the best kind of wiped out tired there is. Covid19 isn’t gone yet, but numbers were low enough to allow a performance with audience. The emotional high from this day will be with us for a while. Meanwhile, I think we’ll all three take a day off.

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Harmony Weekend with Amigo

Like much of the world last year, the barbershop harmony world was largely shut down. Amigo’s chorus was rehearsing on Zoom, waiting for a vaccine so they could rehearse together again. Amigo took voice lessons, also via Zoom, once a week. The annual district fall contest was cancelled, as many other events in 2020. Fall of 2021, the Land of Lakes District of the Barbershop Harmony Association gathered in Minnesota.

To summarize briefly, Amigo’s chorus did well. They scored well and got some good constructive comments from the judges. They didn’t win, but they were pleased with their performance and feedback.

Summaries, however, don’t really show what the weekend was like. To feel the atmosphere of a barbershop crowd, imagine attending a banquet. On the surface, it seems like a regular banquet, with good food and a nice group of people at each table. But listen closely: you’ll hear a pitch pipe, followed by a table of guys singing standards, or Polecats in barbershop lingo. When one table finishes singing, another pitch pipe will sound at another table in the room. The ambience couldn’t be beat.

As the banquet program began, the entire room joined together in the National Anthems for Canada and the U.S. Four part harmony, of course, and a lump in my throat just listening. An all-chapter chorus followed, with Amigo representing his chorus.

As the announcer declared, it’s great to be at a conference that brings their own entertainment! Sitting at this banquet was a highlight of the weekend. Singing and listening, making new friends, enjoying coming together after a long separation. It’s a wonderful irony that Land of Lakes District abbreviates their name to LOL. There was laughter, out loud laughing, all around. Harmony and laughter? Now that’s a sweet weekend.

 

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