Last weekend we jetted off to Holland to host an education weekend along side aBSOLUT quartet for 16 Holland harmony and DABS quartets – what a privilege! Thanks to Eric Ideler for the photo.
We were invited by the brand new head of education for Holland harmony, Nelleke Dorrestijn who had organised a cracking weekend of singing, education, performance and most of all fun for everyone involved.
After a sticky start involving four quartet singers and only three passports, the weekend kicked off with group warm ups and sessions on “How to be a great..<insert your part here>”.
Then coaching of the quartets started in earnest, with each member of aBSOLUT and The MIX taking two quartets for 90 minutes of intensive coaching. Nearly all the quartets got to work up close with all of us on an individual basis throughout the weekend.
Key themes that we explored with all the quartets we saw were:
- forward placement
- Breath control
- Singing to ends of phrases
- looking and feeling comfortable on stage
Saturday night was show time, with each of the 16 quartets performing to the rest of the group – some of which had never performed to such a large crowd before. It was a really great opportunity to get out and perform in such a welcoming environment and a great way of gaining more performance experience. And of course there was the usual Afterglow activities after the show until the early hours.
On the Sunday we hosted a session about presentation, lead by our bass, Sandra who is a LABBS presentation judge. We looked at the detail that we work on when it comes to just walking on and off the stage, pitch pipe technique, the spread for the acceptance and overall just how to make an audience comfortable with your performance.
And we cant have a blog post about singing, without a bit of singing! Here are all the ladies from the weekend performing the tag from the song “Words” that we taught them as part of warm up. For those who are eagle eyed amongst you, we were working on breath control by engaging all our core muscles by singing on one leg.