I’m mentioning this now so that as rehearsals start up for the year, we have time to begin to deal with whatever it is that makes us unhappy as we’re about to walk onto a stage.
Every choir has its own characteristic issue that keeps cropping up right before performance. Well…actually, every Director has some sort of blind spot during rehearsal that keeps them unaware of a problem until the nerves and the hyper vigilance of the backstage warm up kick in. Having been in that situation many, many times I’m familiar with the inner wail, and the gnashing of teeth as I’ve tried to hold my face in a positive positive positive expression.
Here are a few of my backstage revelations from years gone by:
Wow – they still don’t know the notes in that section. Oh my, oh my, oh my.
Yikes – (Name here) sings right notes – but I had no idea she was popping so far out of the texture.
Should have worked with the Basses on getting to beat one on time. This thing is going to be dirge tempo before we’re done.
They’re really nervous. I should have done some small ensemble work to help them feel the nerves before now.
Hooooo Boy! Guess I spent so much rehearsal time singing along with one of the parts, I really had no idea of the overall sound!!!!!
Directors – if you haven’t been able to handle a problem in 8 weeks of rehearsals, it’s not going to get fixed 15 minutes before you go on stage. So carry a flask – take a swig and go out there, enjoy what you can, and just take your lumps for the stuff that doesn’t work. Remind the chorus about all the great things they’re doing and stride on out there! If worst does actually come to worst, (because sometimes it will) remember that it only feels like the end of the world – and it’ll probably be really unpleasant for only about half an hour afterwards. Then it’s time to Snowglobe the whole experience. https://betterchoirs.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/magic-choral-trick-28-ditching-emotional-baggage-snow-globe/
But the good news is that you have some new and valuable information. You know something really specific that needs to be incorporated into your rehearsal plans. And there’s never been a better time than right now.