Sunday, 10 March 2013

2013: Weeks 9 and 10

Where do I begin with the last couple of weeks? I have been so busy that I haven't managed to keep up my blog between Glee and assignments. Why have I been so busy, you ask? Well, for the last month or so, Warwick Glee have been rehearsing for the Masters of Show Choir 2013 competition. Masters of Show Choir is the only inter-University show choir competition in the country. Last year Warwick lost to Cambridge, so our President and Creative Director really wanted to step it up this year and show them what we're really made of.

These last two weeks of rehearsal have been intense, the last week especially. We had 5 to 10 rehearsals every night. I was actually only a reserve for the team, but I wanted to be there for as many rehearsals as I could so that I knew the songs and the dances. Ok, I didn't really know the dances in the end. I knew the moves (sort of) but not where they went, or in which order... It's a good job really that no one dropped out!

Apart from wanting to know the set, I also really just enjoyed being with Glee. Sure the rehearsals were long and tiring, but the people in Glee are some of the nicest, geekiest, funniest, weirdest, cutest, most talented people I've met and I love them all for it. We actually got to the point where we'd been spending so much time together, that quite a few of us were dreaming about Glee club!

But onto the actual competition. As it was down at Royal Holloway University in London, and we had to be there quite early, it meant we had to be up and meeting up at 8.30am... on a Saturday... after a week of daily 5 hour rehearsals... It was so worth it though. When we got there, we had to do a tech rehearsal so we could sort out any problems with lighting and sound. Later on we had a dress rehearsal to see how the set would be on one full run through. Here is where we ran into some problems. I don't know why, but the band was fine with everyone else's music, but as soon as it got to our set, they played too fast, they played too slow, they played the music completely wrong, and were generally just rubbish. It's not like the music was overly complicated either, and they were sent a recording of how it should sound as well. So our dress rehearsal wasn't exactly a run through. A couple of times our Creative Director had to stop the set to tell the band what to do. It wasn't helping the nerves of the team at all.

Luckily, everything was running ahead of schedule, and they were kind enough to give us an extra slot of time to sort out the problems. After that, we just sat around waiting for the show to start. I read my kindle while everyone was getting into costume or taking naps. Eventually it got to show time.

As I wasn't actually on the team, I got to watch all of the performances. Cambridge were up first, then it was Sussex, Swansea, Warwick and finally Royal Holloway. Each team had roughly 12 minutes of performance, then comments from the judges. It felt very X-Factor and Britain's Got Talent like. I have to say, even though I am totally biased, I enjoyed our set the most by far. Cambridge were very good vocally, and Sussex did an amazing a capella version of Black Bird by the Beatles, but our set was the most fun. The singing was great, the dancing was fantastic, and they just looked like they were having the most fun. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the other performances as well, but I just got such a buzz after Warwick went up.

After all the teams had performed, there was an interval while the judges went to discuss their thoughts and choose a winner. Naturally, me, the other reserves, and a couple of other members of Glee who weren't in the Show Choir team ran upstairs to pounce on everyone. I have never given nor received so many hugs from such smiley people in that short amount of time. Everyone was so pleased with their performance, it was lovely.

When they called the teams to line up again so they could go back onstage, we returned to our seats in the audience. I don't think I've experienced a more intense moment than while we were waiting for the judges to come back so they could announce the results. I was literally shaking with excitement.

There were 4 awards to hand out. The first was a Special Recognition award, which could go to an individual, or a team. When they were describing the reasons for choosing the team they did, based on the previous comments we'd heard, we guessed that it would go to Cambridge. When it did, we began thinking, "Can they win Special Recognition, and Masters of Show Choir? Is that possible?" We thought Cambridge were our main competition, so we began to get hopeful. The next award was for best arrangement, and deservedly went to Sussex for Black Bird as I mentioned before. The third award was for best soloist. There was one girl from Cambridge who I thought it could go to, because she was really good, and made singing Alone by Heart sound easy. But when the judges said that the award was going to a pair of soloists... for their amazing version of a solo song turned into a duet... everyone from Warwick knew who it was for. They were on our team!! And to be fair, they did sing Run by Snow Patrol amazingly. I must have heard it a thousand times, and I would still listen to it more, and still get goosebumps.

Then the moment came. The final award for Masters of Show Choir 2013. Honestly, I was so happy for our soloists that I didn't actually care about what would happen the rest of the evening. Saying that, it was still very nerve-racking waiting for the results. As with the other awards, the judges gave a mini speech of the reasons why they picked the team they did. They said it was a very hard choice, because there were two teams that were very deserving. Then they used a lot of keywords that slowly made every Warwick jaw slowly start to drop. Individuality. Personality. Interaction and friendship between members of the team. Basically everything we put in our show. When they finally (after what seemed like forever!) announced the name of the winning team, they screamed, we screamed, they hugged, we clapped and cheered and screamed some more.


They came back on to perform their big dance number I Don't Feel Like Dancing by the Scissor Sisters, and it was even better than before. Everyone was so happy it was just amazing to watch. Then of course there was much more hugging and congratulations and even some crying by our Creative Director!

The bus journey home involved a lot of alcohol and singing. That was probably my least favourite part of the day because I was sat in the front, so I couldn't really join in and felt a bit left out, but it was nice to hear how happy everyone was. But then one of the girls actually thanked me for all the help I'd given, even though I didn't think I'd really done much, just pressed a few notes on the keyboard sometimes. It made me feel really happy.

So, even though I wasn't really on the team, I feel honoured to have been there for everyone. This past month has been one of the best experiences of my life. I would especially like to thank our President and Creative Director for letting me be a part of it. Love you guys <3

Note: I will add any videos as and when they get put on youtube!