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April 16 – debriefing

In the city, all the snow has pretty much disappeared. In the forest where I walk the dog, it is still like this. In a month’s time it will look like summer. A couple of weeks of quiet preparation and then two weeks of nature exploding into life.

If I moved abroad, the thing I would always miss is the changing of the seasons. I love the rhythm they give life in these parts. I just don’t like April. Or November.


The only real criticism of Saturday’s concert that I have heard (and even that from only a few people) was that the choir could have created a stronger forte. My first reply would be that the Music Centre concert hall is not a place where you can easily impress people with sheer power – it is almost the opposite: it is the softer dynamics that make the strongest impression.

But leaving it at that would be evading the question. The real reason is the ‘game plan’ I have been going on about. In my book, power comes through good singing, a ring in the voice. And achieving that takes time. I do not want to compromise good singing even for a while to accomodate for strength achieved by pressing the voice. In my view, that tends to lead to an imbalance, which then compromises the good qualities we have achieved (purity of intonation, balance, unified sound). The cost of breaking the system is too expensive for me. So I am prepared to live with the occasional criticism believing blindly that I will have the last laugh.


The debriefing discussion was active and thorough. It went on for 1 1/2 hours and covered a multitude of subjects. I was really glad there was a sense of looking forward and lots of ideas on how to do things even better.

On the whole, there was a calm sense of achievement. What I really enjoyed was that many of the guys emphasized how tight the group felt and how relaxed they felt on stage. This led to a freedom of expression and a high level of energy, which one listener acutely called synergy.

This was pretty much a perfect amateur choir project. Ambitious music of substance, plenty of preparation time, high level of commitment and an end result of quality. With a proper party to top it all off.

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