Saturday, May 17, 2008

What I sacrifice for my music

Performing with the third-ranked men's a cappella chorus in the world is a mighty awesome avocation.

Every now and then, it conflicts with my other avocations.

For example, today (and tomorrow too, for that matter, but Sundays are always out for me anyway) is Super-Con, the second of the Bay Area's two huge annual comic book conventions. For a comics fanatic, and especially an original comic art collection, a con of this magnitude is as close to nirvana (the state of spiritual bliss, not the grunge band fronted by that guy who blew his brains out) as it gets. Last year at Super-Con, I picked up several amazing new commissions for my gallery.

This year, I'm singing.

Today, the two Northern California divisions of the Barbershop Harmony Society mount their regional competitions in beautiful downtown Stockton. (Remember Mudville, in the poem "Casey at the Bat"? That's the place. Yes, I'm excited too.)

My chorus, Voices in Harmony, will be one of 17 choruses in the contest, which also will showcase 24 male quartets. It's our first step toward next year's International competition, as well as our major tune-up for this year's International, coming up the first week of July in Music City USA. (That's Nashville, Tennessee, for the benefit of the culturally impaired among us.)

To all of my artist friends accustomed to welcoming my commission dollars at Super-Con each year, I'll miss you. I will especially miss acquiring fresh examples of your work to salivate over for years to come. Some of you I'll catch up with at WonderCon next February. Don't injure your drawing hands before then.

Although part of me regrets skipping the con, my heart knows the score. When I've gotta sing, I've just gotta sing. There is no substitute.

As I read on a T-shirt once...

Singing is life. Everything else is just details.

(Did you order your tickets yet for Voices in Harmony's upcoming concert, on Saturday, June 7, in San Jose? If not, you're ten steps behind all the cool kids, buckaroo. Score yourself some ducats today — it's the right thing to do.)

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5 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Blogger Sank offered these pearls of wisdom...

Ohh Stockton... my "home" town, may I never return. I used to sing barbershop there in High School and a bit with the local SPEBQSA (?) chapter, the Stockton Portsmen I think. My girlfriend at the time was big in the Adaline's at the time. I believe she's stuck with it.
Good luck. You guys sound amazing on the website. I like how the guys are all moving around as they sing, like they're in their own quartets. Very fun

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Scott offered these pearls of wisdom...

Do you watch King of the Hill? Did you see the episode where Bill joins the Harmonaholics, an all male choir? Funny stuff, all about sacrificing your life for yout pursuits.

Anyway, have fun!

6:43 AM  
Blogger SwanShadow offered these pearls of wisdom...

Sank: You truly are my brother from another mother. Your old mates, the Stockton Portsmen, were our contest hosts this past weekend — and did a magnificent job, I must say.

The Atherton Auditorium at Delta College is a lovely venue, and nicely suited to what we do. The stage was a great place to sing. As cities go, Stockton's not much of one. But I wouldn't mind spending one Saturday there every spring, if we can get that location on a regular basis.

Thanks for the kind words about VIH. We won our division contest by 25 percentage points. We'd have liked our scores to be slightly higher, but (a) spring contest scores skew low as a rule; and (b) this was the first time we'd performed either of the two songs in our new contest set in front of an audience. We learned a few things that will help us take some big steps forward in time for International on July 4.

4:11 PM  
Blogger SwanShadow offered these pearls of wisdom...

Scott: You know, I have never seen King of the Hill. I'm not really much of a sitcom fan, animated or otherwise. (I've only watched one or two episodes of The Simpsons in all these years. I have never viewed an entire episode of Seinfeld, Friends, or Frasier.)

The Harmonaholics would be a terrific name for a barbershop quartet or chorus, though. I know plenty of guys who'd qualify. :)

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Scott offered these pearls of wisdom...

You probably haven't missed much. ;-)

9:24 AM  

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