Saturday, December 28, 2013

Concert Recap 2013 -- Almonte United -- a cozy start to our Christmas caroling season

Rehearsing just before the concert at Almonte United church
       Saturday, Nov 30th at 5:30 PM, Pete and I strolled into the empty Almonte United Church and waited for our tech crew to arrive for setup. Because Pete is director, and because that's just the way he is, we always have to be at the venue FIRST. Thanks to Rene, we never wait long -- in fact, he is often early and arrives just as we do.
Pete and Andrew sort cords while Rene and John adjust lights
Hey, it's a GOOD habit...

For some reason, we always need more time than we think and Pete makes sure we never run out by planning well ahead. We follow his direction with care -- he's usually right!
Tree all a twinkle thanks to Google

By 6:00 pm everyone has arrived and we file up to the Sanctuary (where the altar is located).
Pete decides where everyone will stand and whether to use risers or not. This can be tricky, especially if singers are absent (due to colds, laryngitis or flu -- 'tis the season). 
Pete and Diana address the group about last minute concerns

Pete spends up to twenty minutes arranging us, then running through some pieces to check the sound.

Then he checks that everyone can see him directing (yes, he does direct -- from the tenor section -- with subtlety).
Just the boys -- practicing Suo Gan -- a carol for Basses and Tenors
Then, Pete walks down the aisle and makes sure that every singer can be seen from the audience.

While all this is going on, we run through all the songs in the first half to practice beginnings and endings.

At 7:00 pm we return to our "green room" to relax for a few minutes . At the last moment we don our ``cloaking devices`` (thanks David for that) and at 7:30 we climb the stairs to the stage.

Bill and David discuss a point while John and Denyse
do some last minute fine-tuning
Oh yes, somewhere in all that we have to practice the entrance and exit (different for every church). Chickens with heads cut off in green cloaks comes to mind. And I always forget who I'm supposed to follow -- practically a tradition at this point.

Thanks to Michelle for heading up the CD sales tables again this year!
Anyway, the concert was so much fun -- our first of the season is always a special one. And for some new to the group it was their first Christmas concert with the Stairwell Carollers! I`m glad their first concert was at Almonte -- it is always warm, inviting and one of the friendliest audiences anywhere!

Special Thanks to the organizers who were there to greet us and help us find electrical outlets and bathrooms etc :)

A great start to a great season!

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You can also email your questions to me - info (at) stairwellcarollers (dot) com.
Holly :)

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