Welcome to Renate's Baton. This blog is mostly for and about my choir, The York Region Community Choir.

But, While I'm holding the baton, I'm in charge. So, if I want to talk about other parts of my life, I will. :)

The choir itself is a community and I'm discovering that we have a lot in common with one another besides our love of music and singing.

When I go off on a tangent, there is always a crowd coming along. Join us!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Performance. You're on stage!

How we love being up on the stage! It is a dream we all share.

Or, so we sing in Regards to Broadway. For some of us, it's more of a nightmare.

I know that there are some people in the choir who would be quite happy if we just sang together every week in our rehearsal room in the Administrative Centre, and never set foot on a stage.

Don't worry. Performing on stage is anxiety-provoking, stage fright is fairly common. But, we're not giving a speech, being judged or graded, there are no spotlights, and you don't have to wear stage make-up. We're all dressed the same in black and white, like zebras, so that predators can't pick out individuals to attack. (remember to also wear black shoes and socks/hose)

Performing in a choir is awesome! You get the big adrenalin rush, the excitement of being on stage and the thrill of the applause and you're up there surrounded by your friends and not singled out for inspection. You worked hard to learn all kinds of music in 2, 3 and 4 part harmony. Now it's time to show off to our friends and family and neighbours.

You should relax and have fun, but there are some things to remember when the choir is on stage in front of an audience.

  • Blend in -like the zebras. Don't draw attention to yourself, unless you're doing a solo at the microphone. That's true for your voice and for your posture.
  • Hold your binders closed in your left arm, when you're not singing. So, that's also when we're walking on to the stage and off of the stage.
  • When you're not singing, look at the conductor or the soloist. Glance at the audience. Smile and look engaged in the performance. Pay attention to whatever else is happening on stage. Do not look at your shoes, drink, pick your teeth, frown...
  • When you're singing, smile with your mouth and your eyes. Look at the conductor. Glance at your music and at the audience. 
  • If you make a mistake, chances are nobody can tell. Don't make a face. Keep smiling, keep going.
  • When the audience applauds, look at them and smile. We will take a bow before we leave the stage.
There will be times during the show when you can sit down off stage. This is when you can have a drink of water, or glance at your shoes. But, while you are sitting down during the small group and solo performances, you must be excellent supporters of your choir friends and examples of good audience behaviour. Pay attention to the performance. You are still in front of the audience

If you feel stressed, that's ok. This is good stress. You'll get energy. If you're feeling yucky, breathe. You'll be surprised how much it helps to just take a good deep breath and let it out, phewwww. Think positive thoughts. 

Avoid coffee and alcohol before a concert. They not only mess with your stress, but also are bad for your voice. Water is important. Keep hydrated. There are also lots of ideas about what kinds of food to avoid, but the most important thing is to eat something. Don't overeat, but you will need lots of energy. Rest and sleep are also important. 

Women can tuck your white shirts or blouses in or wear them out- whatever makes you feel more comfortable. Notice in the picture above that it looks fine to have them out. Black pants or skirts should go down to your feet, or be worn with black pantyhose. We don't want to draw attention away from our faces. Trix will make sure we all have scarves or ties. Help your friends tie their scarves like Girl Guides. 

We're a great group and have fun together. It shows when we sing. People love that! We always have praise from our audiences about how we appear to be having a good time when we sing. We do have a good time. We enjoy ourselves. We love singing, we love music and we're going to share that with our audiences. 

They are going to love us. 

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