So, we're now back from Abbotsford, where we performed our two best songs before a crowd of our peers and judges from the Barbershop Harmony Society.  There were 10 choruses and 10 total quartets (one was from "out of district" so they didn't factor in to the division scoring), and out of 9 quartets, we placed 6th, with a very narrow lead between the 4th and 6th placed quartets.  We felt very good about our performance, and we believe the scoring represents the growth we've made as a quartet over the last two years, which is when we last performed at competitions, as a novice quartet.

When we first competed, nerves definitely got the better of us.  The number one critique of our quartet was weak, quiet, tense singing (Hello Nerves!) and the remedy was to sing out and be more confident of what we had to offer.  This time, there were no comments of that sort - our singing was solid, our musical interpretation was thoughtful and for the most part accurate, and everything we practiced, we brought to bear at competition.

Now, we've entered into the next phase of our performing, that of working harder to engage the audience in our vision for the song we're singing.  This involves clearer body language (both unified and separate) via choreography, as well as being aware of different visual elements we can employ to draw the audience into a deeper sharing of the interpretation of the song.  We'll be working on this as we prepare for next year's competition.

Fortunately, all of these things we practice in preparation for competition are directly relevant for public performances, as one of the hallmarks of the Barbershop Harmony Society is engaging and entertaining public performances.  Every time we tweak and twiddle, it's all for the goal of bringing you the best entertainment we can muster.

You can see what we're capable of now by attending the Vernon Community Singer's spring show, called "Classics to Country", Friday April 15th at 7pm and Saturday April 16th at 2pm.  Things are only getting better!
What a joy it was to participate in the Vernon Rotary Carol Festival!  It's always a joy to perform, but this had the added benefit of allowing us to hear some of the other performing groups that are available in the North Okanagan.  It was a real joy to hear performances from both the Vernon Community Singers and the Aura Chamber Choir.

The Aura Chamber Choir, with about 40 singers, performed the Candlelight Carol and For Unto Us from Handel's Messiah, and put out a wonderfully tight and dynamic sound that was full of meaning and substance.  The Vernon Community Singers, with more than 130 members, performed Where Are You Christmas (from The Grinch) and Long Ago On A Winter's Morning, and also did a very good job of putting out a unified sound that conveyed the meaning behind the words well.

We were blessed to have participated in this worthwhile event, both for what it allowed us to give back to the community, but also in that it opened our eyes a little wider to the wonderful music that is being produced in our valley.  We've always known that Vernon has some great musicians; now we know where more of them can be found!

May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be white!