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Magic Choral Trick #280 Hurry Up and Wait Tip

Singing at banquets never goes exactly as planned – especially in the timing department.

My Med School choir was sequestered out in the lobby for almost an hour last week, waiting for our spot in the program. We zipped up the stairs from where we’d been warming up, expecting to just walk in and sing during the dessert course, when the scout we’d sent ahead told us that they were just clearing away the soup bowls. The banquet was running about 45 minutes behind.

So we stood around for a while and chatted before we clued in that we could be doing something much more fun – singing. Here’s the song we learned – Joe Liles’ Harmony Collage:

We decided that it needed some choreography, so I taught them a double sway (Beat 1 – Step Right, then just touch the Left foot to the floor on the 2nd beat. Beat 3 – step to the Left, and beat 4 – just touch Right foot to floor. Repeat many times)

Even that wasn’t enough for them after a while – so I then had them learn and rehearse a ‘Going Nowhere’ step (Step forward with the Right foot, Step across in front of the Right foot with the Left foot, Step back with the Right, then Step the Left foot back to the original starting position. Each step happens on the beat. Repeat many times)

The students even managed to nab a doctor who was unwise enough to come out into the foyer – and teach him the Bass part, and the choreography.

Much more fun that standing around stewing about how late everything was running.

This also meant that we were even more vocally and physically warmed up. Probably because of this, our actual performance went even better than we’d expected.

Here are a whole lot of a cappella Tags – the last few bars from many different songs. Really useful for ear training, learning to lock and ring those big chords, and also for filling unexpected spare time with singing – which is why we join choirs and choruses to begin with.


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