This choir has displayed wonderful cooperation, focus, and energy in the recording process. Since we made good progress yesterday, Wendell moved the call time this morning from 8:30 to 9:00. None of us minded at all. We mostly arrived on time and began with a short period of time spent turning our focus heavenward with short songs, scripture reading, and prayer. It usually takes us a bit of time to “find our sound” for the day. Warm-ups and various exercises help us loosen up, engage the breath, shape vowels, maintain support, etc. All those things that conductors and vocal coaches are forever harping on.
Recording with this group is intense, but very enjoyable. Our fine conductor Wendell is particular, but never far beneath the surface is that quick wit, ready to make some snide or hilarious comment that sends the whole choir into an uproarious fit of laughter. I might mention that he is not the only one in this incredible group of people that is capable of such behavior. It really helps us stay relaxed as we endeavor to record flawless takes on each and every piece. Unfortunately, flawless takes are elusive, and today was no exception. However, we are able to pull off “lovely” or “solid” takes. Brandon Mullet is our recording coach and he along with our recording engineer Robert, give us lots of helpful feedback.
Lunchtime, long longed for, finally arrived and we enjoyed another scrumptious meal provided by our dedicated and amazing cooks. This lunch included naan bread, which is a particular favorite of mine. After lunch some choir members had naps before work resumed.
The afternoon was spent much the same as the morning. It involved lots of singing. We did our best to stay focused instead of sitting down and crying when we consistently ended a certain piece a half step higher than when we started. A wonderful diversion happened halfway through the afternoon when a birthday hat and balloon were presented to Brandon and we treated him with a flawless rendition of the timeless “Happy Birthday”. Various caffeinated beverages from Merge Coffee arrived at the same time to give us an extra boost for the rest of the afternoon. We fittingly finished today’s recording session with several takes of Wendell Glick’s “We’ve Come a Long Way.” Following that, we consumed another delicious meal.
After dinner, a number of choir members who are current or recent voice students, gave a recital for the rest of us to enjoy, with alto Regina Brubaker providing piano accompaniment. How delightful it was to watch fellow choir members perform pieces that they have worked hard to perfect. It was a long but very rewarding and fun day. I’m so happy that we still have two days left to make music.
Jordan Drudge, Bass 1