Random Blog Clay Feet: June 22, 2011
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Upcoming Director

A week ago my wife and I went to the last practice of the Barbershop Chorus I am a part of before their annual show last weekend. Since I was not singing in the show we decided to sit in on the dress rehearsal which would be the next best thing to attending. At the end of each rehearsal every week it is a tradition worldwide for Barbershop choruses to sing the anthem of the society, “Keep the Whole World Singing”. Our director usually selects someone from the group to direct it and the chorus usually pays close attention to that director to follow whatever they might do in their leading of the song.

In the past when I have been chosen I have usually made the song rather unexpected which requires the men to watch quite closely to my directing. Since I have not been to practice much over the past couple months I suspected in my mind that he might select me to direct the song. I said to myself that if he chose me to do it I would get my wife to do it in my place.

Sure enough, the director asked me to lead the song so I turned to my wife and invited her to lead it in my place. She was extremely reluctant and embarrassed to be so assertive in front of so many people, but upon a little physical coaxing and encouragement from the men she finally stood up to direct.

Since she has never done anything like this before and had no idea of what is involved in directing a chorus and didn't even know the song, she asked me what she should do. I told her to just wave her arms around and see what might happen.

Sure enough, as soon as she began moving her arms the men began singing the song according to her gestures. She seemed rather shocked and sometimes just stood there while they were stuck holding a note. I had to encourage her to keep moving her hands so they could finish the song. It was all very interesting and after the song we all gave her a standing ovation. (Well, they were all standing anyway)

If any of you like to sing I would encourage you to check into finding a Barbershop or Sweet Adelines (the female counterpart) chorus in your area and at least listen to a practice or concert. These societies are open, relaxed and have a lot of fun together. Its also a great place to make friends and improve your musical abilities. You don't have to feel obligated to be a professional but if you want to learn they are always teaching skills that can help you learn how to be a better singer.

For more information or to find a chorus in your area you can visit their worldwide web site at Barbershop.org.