Sunday, October 16, 2016

Canadian Showtime Chorus' September 6, 2016 New Member Night

It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks since returning to chorus and our Membership and Marketing Coordinators and their teams have been busy planning Canadian Showtime Chorus' September 6, 2016 New Member Night. They followed up with previous visitors; they engaged in a social media blitz; they designed catchy and inviting posters and bookmarks; they encouraged members to spread the word and bring in a friend or acquaintance or two to join our ranks!
Wow! Did these efforts ever generate interest! We had more than 30 prospective new members show up. Existing members greeted and mingled with the curious and found that all of the methods above were highly effective. Yay Team!! 
Sandie Nason voice places a prospective member

What does a new member night look like at Canadian Showtime Chorus?? Well, the prospective member walks through the door - she signs in - she is enthusiastically greeted and given a name tag. She then takes a seat outside Studio One to wait her turn to be voice placed by Sandie, our Master Director 700. Once done, she takes one of the guest chairs in the main rehearsal studio and visits some more!
At 7:15 sharp while voice placing continues, those through the process are invited on to the risers for a rousing and shake-off the day kind of physical warm-up followed by a vocal warm-up. This is their first attempt at vocalization exercises and they are usually taught a round! First attempt at getting them hooked!  On to singing repertoire so our prospects return to their chairs!
We go through most everything we know and give it our all as, of course, we are out to impress! Second attempt at getting them hooked! When Sandie is finally done with voice placing, she returns, addresses the new class (what a beautiful sight they are) - talks about Sweet Adelines, the components of our barbershop singing, Canadian Showtime Chorus' trajectory to the International Stage in October 2017 and the plan to integrate them into chorus life should they choose to become members. They have met their New Class Mom and Coordinator Karen Frost and Sandie now introduces them to their New Class Director Nora McEwen who will work with them separately over the next several weeks to bring them up to speed on our contest material - their audition pieces! Third attempt at getting them hooked!    
Nora McEwen instructs the new class

At this point, the new class leaves and Canadian Showtime moves into rehearsal mode, dueting the new music; breaking the chorus down into pairs of rows and having that half sing for the other and vice versa! Amazing sounds coming from all formations - the core of what makes us a 700 master chorus! When the new class returns at the end of the night we perform our contest package and again give it our all! They applaud enthusiastically and we feel great about our fourth attempt at getting them hooked!!
We end the night with the inspirational "Hallelujah" and Sandie once again addresses the new class - tells them she hopes they will come back next week - hopes this is the right time in their lives to embrace this art form; this sisterhood; this journey - hopes that should it not be the right mix for them at this time that they will none the less find a place to wrap their hearts in music - that they will still sing! Fifth attempt at getting them hooked!!
I use the phrase attempt at getting them hooked somewhat in jest because it is something that just happens! No real effort required really!! If we do what we know, give it our all and remain all in; if we reach a person who is at that perfect time in their lives where they are ready to treat themselves with a life enriching hobby, they are in!! 20 years ago on my first new member night experience, I was hooked the minute I heard those chords ring! The meticulous and methodical way Canadian Showtime Chorus runs a new member drive certainly helped to keep me coming back but it was that sound and the hairs raised on the back of my neck that got me hooked!
20 years and counting! How I LOVE my hobby and my Canadian Showtime Chorus!! 
JD Crowe
CSC Blogger

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