Coaching Weekend with Sally McLean
Fascinating Rhythm members spent the weekend at Turnberries Community Centre enjoying two days of vocal coaching with Sally McLean, Musical Director of the White Rosettes.
On Saturday, the chorus split into Sections, giving each voice part the opportunity of an intensive monotone session as well as a duet with one other voice part. First up, in the morning, were the Leads and Baritones, followed by the Basses and Tenors in the afternoon.
On Sunday, the whole chorus came together to work on our favourite song, “And So It Goes”, and a new addition to the repertoire, “Titanium”.
Originally, Fascinating Rhythm had planned to go on a chorus retreat weekend in April 2020 for an immersive coaching experience with Sally. Unfortunately, the covid-19 pandemic and lockdown meant those plans had to be cancelled.
Throughout lockdown, Fascinating Rhythm’s Musical Director, Jo, stayed in touch with Sally online. Sally made a guest appearance at one of the choir’s Zoom rehearsals and led a virtual coaching session that included evaluating one of the White Rosette’s performances.
“As Musical Director, I have really appreciated staying in touch with Sally, if only to get a sense that the things we were struggling with were also the same issues for her chorus,” said Jo. “The pandemic isolated us in more ways than we could ever have predicted.”
“It was simply fabulous to actually meet in person this weekend with my friends at Fascinating Rhythm,” said Sally. “I have so missed everyone, and although I dislike technology, I was grateful over the last 18 months to be able to see familiar, smiling faces on screen, holding on in there until we could meet face to face again; and to chat with Jo about anything and everything, whilst we waited patiently for a return!”
Normally, at this time of year, Fascinating Rhythm would be hard at work preparing to compete at the annual Ladies Association of British Barbershop Singers (LABBS) Convention. This year, due to covid-19, an ‘Unconventional Convention’ will look a little different, with a number of regional events across the UK followed by an online celebration of barbershop singing.
Instead of polishing a Convention package, Fascinating Rhythm members are focusing on slowly returning to normal, having recently returned to indoor rehearsals at The Greenfield Centre.
“This weekend has been a significant step towards more normal ways of working. We know that things may never be exactly the same as they were pre-pandemic and, actually, nor should they be. We have learnt over the last 18 months just how creative we can be and how strong we are as a team – these things we should never let go of.”
As Sally headed back to the White Rosettes, she left a positive note for the chorus. “Thank you, Fascinating Rhythm, for an uplifting weekend of friendship and music. Until next time!”
If you are interested in joining a choir and would like to find out more about Fascinating Rhythm, please get in touch via our website.