• North Coast Harmony

It's about to get real!

Updated: Aug 17, 2018

Three and a bit weeks to go, and it’s all starting to get very, very real...

We’ve had this new group planned for about four months now. The venue’s been booked for ages, and we’ve had lots, and lots, and lots of notes written on pieces of paper and in notepads. And we’ve had lists, lots of lists. We had lists about lists, lists referring to other lists, and lists telling us to write additional lists. Mel does like a list. It will be on her headstone, I swear - 'Here lies Mel. Mother, Partner, List Writer'.

North Coast Harmony, paper, lists
Lists, lists, and more lists, and notes...

We’ve done quite a few bits and pieces over the last couple of months though. Well, I say ‘we have’, I really mean ‘Mel has’. It’s been mostly adminy type stuff so I just let her get on with it (it’s her forte), while I offer token ‘can I do anything?’ comments, and make the tea.

From what I can gather, apart from the venue being booked, we have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, a dedicated email address and a website (which you’ll know, because you’re here!). We’re registered with every ‘find a choir’ website in existence, have editorials written in all the local papers, magazines and websites, and 75 laminated posters displayed on telegraph poles from here to Lands End (while avoiding areas that already have something similar; etiquette is a thing), and a journalist and photographer attending at the end of our first month.

Publicity: Check. 

We have sign in sheets, contact details forms, ‘who we are, what we do, what it costs’ handouts, FAQ sheets, vocal exercise lyric booklets, a DropBox account for teaching tracks, and informative leaflets regarding all manner of things, from resonating spaces to the importance of posture. We’re signed up to every conceivable ‘support’ website for MD’s too. Mel’s also been through the great mountain of notes we’ve written over the last few months, and either actioned, filed or binned them.

Admin: Check

We have a bank account, and spreadsheets detailing expenditure so far, projected income and expenditure, and a list of ‘things to buy when we have some money’.

Finance: Check

That’s three for three; we’re on a roll!

A few days ago, I thought it might be an idea to consolidate the music we’re going to use. I have a lot of it. An awful lot of it. About 2000 pieces I guess. And I want more! I always want more! I’m currently running a ‘want to sing’ list (see, Mels ‘list’ influence). If I get to teach everything on my list, I’ll be kept busy for at least the next decade. There’s just so much great stuff out there that I want, no, need to have a go at, but I’ve finally made my choice for the first piece to buy and work on…

… drum roll please…

The Chiffons One Fine Day

And I’ve arranged and recorded a dozen or so vocal exercises in to two, three and four part harmonies to use in the first couple of weeks. Go me!!

North Coast Harmony, Week 1, Plan, Book
Big plans!

Tomorrow, Mel and I will be working on ‘The Week One Plan’ (in bold, italics, and underlined to stress its importance!). ‘The Week One Plan’ is the most crucial plan we’ll ever write. ‘The Week One Plan’ needs to give the ladies all the information they need, it needs to be fun, it needs to be easy, and above all else it needs to make sure it does everything it can to make sure the ladies come back the following week. No pressure then!

I have to admit, I’ve been feeling a little guilty recently. Mel has been working her butt off getting all this set up, and I feel like I’ve not done much by comparison. But as she keeps reminding me, my time will come; in a couple of months when we’re settled and running smoothly, she’ll step back and most of it, the song choices, the arranging, the interpretation, the teaching, the directing, falls on my shoulders. She’ll still be there, doing the admin, making sure nothing gets missed, and I’m sure writing me weekly ‘to do’ lists. We’re a good team; I’m the creative force, she’s the logical, organised half of this partnership, and so between us, we always get the job done.

And now all that’s left to do is buy the teabags and milk, turn up, and hope we get some singers!

This is all so exciting. I’m so excited! Worried, terrified and nervous too, but above all else, so, so excited. But the fear is nothing; I’ve done this before and I can do it again. And when we get there, when we create those sweet, sweet harmonies, it’ll make all of this planning, all of this work and all of these ‘first night nerves’ absolutely worth it.

So bring it on North Coast Harmony, I’m ready for you to soar.

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