Today we began our official World Choir Games . . . stuff. We went to our performance locations and got to practice there for 10 minutes per section (so the two performances in the Masonic Hall got two consecutive practices = 20 minutes). Walk on, try to centre on the stage, practice the bits we need to know the acoustics of, continue to try to centre, walk off (try to remember where we were that was centred and try to mentally fix that position some more for the Real Thing).
We had a short break for food and got to wander around a bit before meeting together again for a short rehearsal of Slangpolska. It’s one of our main choralography pieces, but when we compete we know we’re judged on our sound rather than our moves, so we try to pull it back and figure out how much movement adds to the piece and whether it’s worth having this or that. We want the music to sound the best, and sometimes the movement helps because it gets us in the right frame of mind, but sometimes the movement means we don’t focus well enough on the sound, and the sound is the priority.
Eventually at 4pm we met in Hall 1C of the Duke Centre, which was like a big warehouse. All the choirs in the World Choir Games arrived bit by bit over the next hour or two, and we rehearsed and sang and mingled. Then eventually at 6pm we began the parade that heralded the start of the World Choir Games (champions’ division). A USA choir that was performing at the opening went first, then our column went, led by the Greek flag (I thought they may have been the hosts of the next games, but I’m informed that’s Latvia), then good ol’ Australia! It pays off, starting with A.
It felt very much like the Olympics. Some streets had been closed to traffic so that we could all pass through, and people were on either side, waving and cheering. We waved our flags and cheered and sang. It was great. When we eventually arrived at Fountain Square the USA choir was singing along to some music playing in the background and we gladly joined in. They had some dance moves that we tried to imitate, but a lot of it needed more co-ordination than I could muster.
There were speeches and music, and it was a great opening to the World Choir Games. We’re all really looking forward to it. Tomorrow we have a Celebration Concert, which is a performance but not competition event. Our events are coming up on Thursday (since I’m not posting on quite the right days, I’ll point out that that’s the day after tomorrow as this is being written), and Friday. Not long now!