Choir member Rowena Russell wrote an account of the choir's first 'bootcamp' for 2019, which was held at the Tugalong Group Retreat at Canyonleigh in January, 2019
The January 2019 Choir ‘Boot Camp’ was held out at the Tugalong Group Retreat outside of Canyonleigh. This camp was the first time the choir had met up after the Western Front Singing Tour, so many were excited to get back into singing. This camp would be the first time the choir attempted many new things, with amazing results!
On the first day, the choir began to learn sight-singing, something very new for the majority of us. Everyone was pleasantly surprised, however, by everyone’s ability to pick things up quickly, with the help of OJ’s patience. The first day was wrapped up by a showcase put on by the choir. Each member was asked to do a small performance of something they did outside the choir, which was much enjoyed by everyone.
Day two kicked off with an early morning exercise session with Amy, our choir’s very own Personal Trainer, before we had a very tasty breakfast. The rest of the day was very relaxed as the choir worked more on their sight-singing and had several swims in the pool to cool off. We also began working on ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’, a challenging a capella piece with three harmonies, but everyone was determined to get it, and by the end of the day we had a solid harmony for the first verse of the song. In addition to this, the choir began to learn some dance moves for the first choreographed piece the choir has attempted. The song ‘This Is Me’ from The Greatest Showman had everyone busting a move or two, and everyone was excited to be able to perform it at our special boot-camp showcase for the parents.
Day 3 began again with our morning exercise and breakfast, and then we were back into our sight-singing and ‘Boogie-Woogie-ing’. More swims and dancing filled the day, as-well-as a short WW1 themed history/acting lesson from Amy. Divided into groups, each member picked out a card detailing a significant event that occurred during the duration of World War 1, and had to come up with a short drama piece to show what had happened. This again was a new thing for the choir, however many of the singers embraced it and made some spectacular pieces which would also be shown at our showcase the next day.
A spontaneous song-writing session also saw the choir writing a parody of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’, which brought out a lot of creativity and laughter.
Finally the last day of the camp arrived. Everyone was excited to be able to perform everything we had been working on. After a few more dance rehearsals and sight-singing lessons, the time rolled around to pack everything up and get ready for our showcase. The choir put on performances of drama, dance and singing, even performing a ‘Chariots of Fire’ skit, and their parody written the day before. The showcase was a massive success and everyone had so much fun being able to see what the choir got up to.
A massive thank you to Tugalong Group Retreat for letting us use their amazing facilities (the pool was a massive hit!), Julie aka Chief Chamouille, for doing the catering for the whole camp, Kylie for being the amazing ‘camp mum’, Alex for her amazing vocal coaching and OJ for all of her hard work and patience. We are ALL looking forward to the next camp!