Sunday, September 26, 2010

Singing Sunday

It's been a long day with lots of singing. I started off the day subbing in the church choir--always a lot of fun to show up and sing beautiful music (and get paid for it!). After lunch, I picked up B's friend from ballet to spend the afternoon at our house.

Mid-afternoon was Alison Howard's memorial at her house. Voci sang two of Alison's favorite songs, we listened to all kinds of stories about her life, and enjoyed some delicious food.

After the memorial, we headed out to another Voci member's house for the soprano sectional (the altos had theirs on Thursday). We got a lot of work done in two hours, then we all went home for dinner.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

September Stuff

We survived Orinda Idol--they didn't win (although they did the hardest piece and performed it beautifully), but the girls had fun rehearsing all summer. So much fun, in fact, that three of them (A has moved to LA) are going to keep rehearsing and learning new music. We (the moms) think that we can find them little performance opportunities once they learn a couple of songs, and it will be a lot less stressful for all of us than competing!

M has decided to join the Boy Scouts. All of his friends are Boy Scouts, and apparently there's a merit badge to be earned by recruiting another member, so they've been inviting all of their friends. M was amenable to the idea (we did warn him to keep his atheist thoughts to himself), so we went out and bought him a handbook and Scout shirt this weekend.

B has a role in the school play, and M is running the light board, so they will both be busy with rehearsals. The play is "Snow White," and B has been cast as "Duchess Dahlia." The plays are always double-cast, to give more students a chance to participate, and her counterpart in the other cast is none other than her best friend L!

I'll try to post a little more consistently from now on--the last week of Orinda Idol prep completely wore me out, and it took me another week to recover!

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Moms' Team At Work

Yesterday morning's Orinda Idol rehearsal with the girls turned into a protracted brainstorming session with the moms.

Last night, as soon as the announcement about equipment came out, I e-mailed the organizers about the mic problem, and was told that it couldn't be changed. This morning, we e-mailed and called some other people that we thought might be more helpful, but their hands were tied, and they couldn't help us. M's mom called our choreographer (daughter of the original contest organizer), and found that she was in the same panicked state that we were. She and five of her friends are competing in the next age category, and they had also counted on the four mics available at the audition.

We ran the girls through their choreography without mics in their hands, and we all agreed it looked really bad. So, the decision was made to make dummy mics: props that were big and shiny, and would give them something to hold in their hands, while the actual sound was picked up by mics on stands. Which then led to discussion about where to place the mics, as I have been very carefully balancing their sound this summer, and having them move around the mics was going to create problems. I started researching mic placement (asking people with show choir experience, since I only perform classical music), and other moms went to Michael's to start work on the new props.

In the late afternoon, we finally received some good news: the girls will be allowed to use the emcee's mic, so they are going to have four wireless mics after all! The girls' choreographer appealed to her mom, pointing out that while the high school girls were fine with the change, it wasn't fair to the "little girls" to make them change their choreography this close to the performance. (My daughter laughed at being characterized as a "little girl," because she is a very dignified eleven-year-old, but she agreed that whatever works is good!) It went up the chain from there, and now we have enough mics. Thank you, thank you, thank you N!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

One, Two, Three, Four

B and her three friends have been practicing since May for the Orinda Idol competition, a week from tomorrow. A talented high school student did their choreography for them, I worked on music, and we've been assuming all along that they'll be using the handheld wireless mics they've used in previous years. We discovered tonight that they will only have THREE mics available this year (last year they offered us four, although we only used three), so they're going to have to rework some of their choreography. A week before the performance. Aargh!