We’re in the final weeks before heading off to our second Area Contest & Convention (AC&C) up in Rochester, N.Y. We’re super excited because we’re taking a song we LOVE (“Secondhand White Baby Grand”). It’s a song that means a lot to Bella Nova. It earned us a medal last fall at IC&C and it’s come to signify the Bella Nova journey. It’s a bit like slipping on your favorite pair of jeans…it always fits just right.
But our second contest song is a new uptune that we’ll be debuting with our Area 3 sisters on April 30th. It’s new-ish and the choreography package is super new-ish. We’ll be honest–we were more than a little nervous heading into last weekend’s rehearsal. We still had plenty of finishing touches to put on the song and we had been missing a slew of members due to sickness, work, life, etc.
Any singer who has experienced the weeks leading up to contest certainly understands how that deadline puts a healthy amount of pressure on a rehearsal. We were feeling it, no doubt. In fact, we even decided to push pause on our live streaming of rehearsals via Periscope so we could lock things down and channel our focus.
Then…in typical Bella Nova fashion… a few things happened:
- We scheduled a LuLaRoe fundraiser for the morning of our rehearsal. Suddenly, we were more focused on cute patterns, and “omg, that dress is SOOOOO you,” and teamwork, and writing (BIG) checks. Shopping is therapy, people. Trust us.
- At the previous rehearsal, we identified a few holes in our visual plan and asked the chorus for feedback. Long story short, the emails started flying and we basically crowdsourced the rest of our choreo package. Together, we came up with a plan that would work for area…and we have more enhancements in store for International contest (should we be fortunate enough to make the numbers!).
- We rolled out this crowdsourced choreo at rehearsal. We were fierce. We were committed to getting it right. We worked it… HARD.
- Then, a moment of utter “eye of the storm” breathlessness. As our two fabulous LuLaRoe consultants (thank you Jessie and Stephanie!!!!!) were cleaning up and preparing to leave, we asked them to join us in the rehearsal hall itself so we could properly thank them for supporting Bella Nova on its journey as a chapter. We guided Jessie and Stephanie to the center of the front row and we surrounded them in a great big Bella Nova circle. Then, we sang them our Bella Nova “goodbye” tag. From the first chord we hit, the ladies were physically affected. Jessie, in particular, immediately began shaking and teared up. Then we teared up. Her reaction was so powerful it was breathtaking. It stopped us in our tracks and suddenly our stress about finishing off a contest package was gone. For the ladies in the chorus who stood in front of her, it was a moment we’re unlikely to forget for many, many years. We love you, Jessie. Come back and join us… you’re a part of our family now!
- We talked. We talk a lot as a chorus. We talked about what it means to want to do our best, but not at the expense of anyone being uncomfortable or not having fun. We talked about being our own bratty selves on stage. We talked about what it means to be “Bella Nova” authentic. We’re probably going to execute a less-than-perfect plan, but our goals have nothing to do with being perfect. They have more to do with experiencing this journey as a family.
There are a lot of Bella Novas who are probably sipping some wine and going to bed early tonight. Sunday’s rehearsal was killer in so many good ways. We were nervous, until we weren’t, and now we’re cruising toward Area 3 contest with the Bella Nova spirit, complete with half-baked choreo, a few surprises up our sleeves, and a stronger bond than ever before.
That, in our opinion, is #winning.