The Acorn - Oak City Sound's Weekly Newsletter - Mar 8, 2023

Type of post: Chorus news item
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Nic Cols
Status: Current
Date Posted: Tue, Mar 7 2023

1. Notes for this week

  • Mar 6:  Our regular chorus meeting. We had 17 men on the risers this past Monday. 
    • Good Afterglow at The Corner Tavern with 6 in attendance (30%)!
  • Mar 10: Contest in Spartanburg, SC. Friday night quartet prelims start at 7pm. There are 3 quartets representing Oak City Sound this weekend. Be sure to attend the Prelims and cheer us on! Our Contest Weekend timetable has been distributed to all.
  • Mar 13: Our next Chorus meeting will be held at our regular location Searstone Retirement Community. 7pm to 9:30pm
  • Mar 20: Guest Night! Invite at least 2 people --- then probably one will come! To be held at our regular meeting place and time.

2. Carol's Korner

  • Let's head to Spartanburg for a fun weekend of singing together and with our friends in the District.
  • Take a few last looks at your music to be sure every word and note is correct and then trust me to lead you through the songs. Take the audience on a journey through the story you are telling with your songs.
  • And above all: HAVE FUN!! That's why we get together every week, right??
  • Song list for March 13:
    • Honesty
    • Desperado
    • Here Comes the Sun
    • You've Got a Friend in Me
    • Sweet Caroline
    • The Longest Time
    • Prayer of the Children
    • Ride the Chariot

3. Ben's Buzz

Hey - Let's continue our break from the 10-Steps to a Note series to talk about Stage Presence - after all, we have a competition coming up in just a few days! Below are a few pointers to keep in mind as we approach and enjoy the stage during competition, and for all of our concerts!

A few years ago, while I was singing with the Sound of the Rockies, we competed at the International with the song “Softly, as I Leave You”. It describes the tender memories a person has for their partner while they lay asleep and the deep dreams and hopes for the partner’s future as they know they are about to pass on. 

As we rehearsed “Softly”, I thought of my aging Mom and Dad and their 60-year relationship. I thought of them, my Mom actually, thinking, singing, “Softly” to my Dad as he slept.

Having that story in mind as we performed made all the tips Carol gives and the 10-steps we’ve been talking about pretty much automatic - they happened automatically because we’d rehearsed those steps many times. What happened though, is that, for me, it gave the song life. It gave me life. It improved my musical performance. It also improved my stage presence, because my audience could see it in my posture, in my face, and in my eyes. It often brought me to tears - and the audience as well.

My Mom died a year or so later and some of my SOR quartet buddies sang Softly at her funeral. Right after the song, my three sons and I joined them to sing a barbershop rendition of “It is Well With My Soul”. Needless to say, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house - not even my dad, who never cries. The tears were tears of both closure and hope. What we can do as barbershoppers is beyond amazing. 

See the 2019 performance here. ( 

What is your story, the one you’ll have in your head and in your heart as you sing?

… While singing “Over the Rainbow”? What is over the rainbow for you?

… While singing “Almost Like Being in Love”? What is the story that starts your bell ringing?

Explore that. Know your story.  Put it into your head and into your heart while you sing. It will touch you, and you will touch your audience.

4. Future Notes

  • Apr 3 (Monday): Oak City Sound concert at Springmoor.
  • Apr 23 (Sunday): Sing National Anthem at UNC Baseball game in Chapel Hill, est. start time 1pm.
  • Apr 29 (Saturday): Cary Spring Daze booth AND concert (timing tbd).

5. Long Range

  • May 8: Oak City Sound in concert at Templeton Retirement Village. Vern Pike lives there now and is our contact. The Templeton is located at 215 Brightmore Dr, Cary, NC 27518, across Kildaire Farm Rd from WakeMed Cary.
  • Monday May 29: Is Memorial Day. Searstone is not available to us. Make suggestions on what would be fun to do.
  • June 5: 7:15pm: Concert at Searstone! Please show up at 6:30. 
  • August 4 to 6, 2023. At Clemson University Campus in Clemson, SC. The Carolinas District is now partnering with the Dixie District to run a single Harmony Education Program ("HEP") in the summer for both NSC and DIX districts. This tot fab educational weekend will be held at Clemson University in Clemson, SC. Absolutely top-tier faculty is assembled for this training event. I can personally attest that this is a GREAT weekend of singing education, for individual singers, quartets, entire choruses, and chorus directors. Pencil this weekend into your calendar for now. Over the winter, we as a chorus will develop plans, as appropriate and beneficial, to attend this, if possible.

6. Champagne Room
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