Saturday, July 04, 2009

The final practice

With that, the mega-rehearsal is done. We let the Masters leave first, since they’re performing earliest of these three choruses.

The VM actually has a little down time now – just a little. While the Harmony Foundation Show starts at 2:00, because we’re the last on stage, we aren’t gathering again until 2:15, back at the Sheraton ballroom. Of course, we’re expected to be dressed and made up by then.

I stop by my room to freshen up a bit, and then head down to change. The chair I grabbed yesterday to change on has been claimed by someone else today. Oh, well – as Clint Eastwood said as Marine Gunnery Sergeant Highway in Heartbreak Ridge, “Adapt. Improvise. Overcome.” It’s a motto that works well in the manly, rough and tumble world of competitive choral singing.

We do all of our own makeup today, so there’s no danger of Raggedy Andy reappearing.

Shortly after 2 o’clock, I meander back into the rehearsal room. VM Photographer Jennifer Anderson is off to one side taking pictures of anyone who wants their picture made in full show outfit, so I line up. We also start calling the rookies over, all 35 of us, to get a 2009 rookie “class picture.”

The call for “risers” comes before the picture is made, but we’re able to stall the rest of the chorus long enough to get it done.

So… this is actually, finally the last rehearsal for VM in Anaheim. In fact, it’s actually the last rehearsal for another month – we’re not scheduled to resume practices until August. I wonder if that will change now that we will have to compete again.

The whole “competing again” thing raises an interesting question. The normal path to the International stage in our District requires us first to compete in a Division contest, which qualifies us to compete in the District contest in the Fall before the International convention, which qualifies us to compete at the International. But this year’s Division contests have already happened. Are we too late to qualify?

I pose the question to riser-mate Dan Stafford, a veteran member who stands to my right. He has a good, ironic quip in reply, “Maybe if they look at our International scores, they’ll be high enough to qualify us for District.” Heh.

As the time approaches for us to board the buses to the Honda Center – which are picking us up here at the Sheraton, yay! – Show VP Mike Johnson has another bit of good news for us: “I’ve arranged for dedicated buses to bring us back after the show!” That is good news indeed – no fighting the crowds, no waiting for an hour after the show for a bus, and no returning to the Hilton and having to walk back here in tux shoes. My feet are very happy about that news.

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