May 17, 2012

It was a great morning to sleep in!  Many choir members still rose early to greet the sun, take a run or a yoga class, or just start brewing the coffee for their roommates.  The group that walked in the rain last night went out for pizza to celebrate, and picked up some more choir members along the way – hooray for the Mellow Mushroom! (We also ate at this restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina on our tour in January.  I recommend the Caesar Salad Pizza.  Yum!)

Lunch at the Mellow Mushroom. (Left to right: Samantha Scully, alto; Shari Perman, soprano; Alexa Cotrell, soprano; Madeline Healey, soprano; Anna Lenti, soprano; Misha Barker, soprano)

On the way to rehearsal (ten minutes early, of course), there was just time to duck into a frozen yogurt place for a little bit of sweet.   You may have noticed that there is a lot of information about the Charleston food scene in this blog.  It really does seem like if we are not rehearsing, we are eating.  The abundance and variety of eating establishments is guaranteed to keep us interested over the course of our stay.

Dr. Miller took us through a vocal warm-up before the afternoon rehearsal began.  We were singing from the orchestra pit, and at one point we asked our director, Sam, to come over because we had a question.  It was actually that it was his birthday, and we sang for him in the true Westminster Choir style, with nearly as much divisi as there are members of the ensemble.  Sam loved it, and mentioned that it was the fourth time that the WC had sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to him at Spoleto, the first in 2000.

The rehearsal was fun, and a lot of the original blocking was changed.  The choir had to be flexible and alert, ready to instantly apply the new concepts.  Though we all take turns being fatigued, the spirit of the group is positive and supportive, and there is always plenty of laughter.  Many of us are responsible for moving various set items at different times in the show, and Myles Glancy is responsible for a prop affectionately known as ‘Lampy’.  This particular brass lamp was described by the stage manager as ‘the most expensive element in the show’, and is one of the only decorative pieces ever on the stage.  Myles has a voice for ‘Lampy’ that sounds a lot like Elmo, and he entertains the choir and the principles backstage when we are waiting for our entrances.  It has become really funny to guess whether ‘Lampy’ will actually turn on when he is supposed to…

This evening we sang folk songs while Mary Hewlett played guitar.  It is really fun to live so closely with other people who are all equaly invested in their craft, and are willing to go to great lengths for the sake of beautiful art.  Spontaneous four part harmony and some fits of giggles for interestingly chosen notes make for lovely moments with wonderful friends.

About Westminster Choir

Westminster Choir is composed of students at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, a center for music study in Princeton, N.J.
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