This morning, day three of the Workshop, the whole Chorale woke from our slumber at 7 am. Every morning, some singers go for a short run around campus. Exercise has been found to reduce stress, anxiety, and tiredness, which can improve our body, mind, spirit, and voice. Justin and Josh particularly seem to love staying active.
Getting our energy started for the day, the Chorale enjoyed a breakfast of epic proportions, featuring delicious French toast and scones. Many singers have taken a liking to Muskingum’s white chocolate raspberry cappuccinos.
Breakfast was followed by our first rehearsal of the day, with men and women separated. Staff member Josh S. led the warm up of the tenors and basses and included a throwback to elementary school; using “Ti-ti’s” and “Ta’s” to represent what our age group now refers to as the “eighth notes” and “quarter notes.”
The basses really enjoy the new piece, “Ol’ Man River” because of its insane low notes. The men made remarkable progress on Billy Joel’s pop hit, “The Longest Time,” a song they have wanted to perform since last Workshop. The women worked on their new featured tune, “Breaking Up is Hard to Do,” and had a lot of fun.
After lunch, the Chorale and staff split off into their electives. Today’s activities were based on developing the mind. Some of us learned about music theory, while others became educated on the history of music or studying abroad. The “Mind Games” elective was especially interactive, as four groups had to work together to win a game… without talking group-to-group. It’s a good thing that we are all friends and that we could agree on a strategy!
Patrick Sulken, a former Chorale member and staff member, who now works on Broadway, arrived today. Mr. Snyder asked him to give a talk on proper hugging etiquette. After preaching about the power and meaning of hugs, he asked his partner Jordan to help him demonstrate different types of hugs, including the “Awkward hug”, the “Praying Mantis”, the “Bone Crusher”, and the “Forklift.” If you wish to learn these types of hugs, ask any Chorale member, who are now very well-versed in hugging. But most important of all is the “Cardinal Chorale hug,” a hug that displays the most emotion and love for one another.
After the wonderful and inspiring hug demonstration, we sang several more songs together Patrick led us through a new song that he arranged just for us, “A Wonderful Day Like Today.” Dinner time soon came around and we sat at our assigned tables, continuing the Chorale tradition of “forced mingling.” We ate a nice meal of steak and potatoes, then headed back to the music hall for more rehearsal time.
One song in particular, “Exultate Justi,” has been pretty frustrating, but we made some huge strides with it today! One of those exciting accomplishments was adding the Latin text. We sang through several more songs and even had a chance to ask some of the staff members questions about their careers and their lives. Then, it was time to walk over to Caldwell Hall for the evening show.
Tonight, Patrick put on an amazing performance for us! With the help of some staff members, he demonstrated the rights and wrongs of auditioning, for both a collegiate production or other musical organization. His own renditions of several musical theater pieces were, of course, nothing short of fantastic. We are very excited to have him here with us for another day!
After the concert, we made our evening circle on the stage of the performance hall. High praise was given to Patrick for his sheer amazing-ness. We ended the circle tonight with Patrick directing us through “The Song of Farewell”.
There was a lot of laughter and many stories told on our walk back down and over the hill to the dorms. We were slap-happy from the long day. Whatever the reason, we definitely made some new friends over the laughter that was exchanged. We arrived back in our rooms to rest up for the next day full of singing and being with amazing friends. Tomorrow is our mid-way point!