We are excited to announce our new confiiguration and to welcome Sharon Holmes and Michele Anderson as our Baritone and Bass! Our previous Baritone, Rachel, is moving to Ohio, and Deborah, after 8 terrific years with the quartet, needs to focus on other commitments in her life. We will miss them and wish them the very best! Looking forward to the next part of the Tessitura journey!
Rachel was part of Tessitura for just under a year, but what a fun year it was. She decided early in 2015, that she would move back to her home state, Ohio, in June. So we knew the end was coming, which was bittersweet. It made us appreciate her terrific personality and baritone-ness all the more (as one coach put it, "you are a treasure!"), and it made many of our "firsts" also our "lasts."
Our first contest wtih Rachel was also our last -- and although we did not get the score we had hoped for, it was a blast to go through every aspect of contest together.
After contest, the remaining three parts - who had been together since the quartet started in 2007 - sat down, as we do every year, to discuss goals for the coming year. We basically "re-up" every year, because lives change and we don't ask for more than a one-year commitment from anyone. Deborah let us know that she needed to step away from the quartet and focus on some other commitment in her life.
SO, the 2015-16 year starts with a bit up an upheaval, but Kat and Jennifer are excited to see what comes next.
Thoughts on 2014 Quartet Contest
This year was our first year in Region 4. The combined regions included almost all the medalists from both the "old" region 4 and region 23...so we knew it was going to be a tough competition!
Earlier this year, we learned there would be 31 competing quartets - including CRUSH, made up of 4 previous International Queens of Harmony.
We decided to view the contest as a performance opportunity - a chance to show what we've been working on and get feedback. We hoped to score in the top half of the field - and we did: 14th place. But more importantly, we felt GREAT about what we put on stage! Many people who've known us a long time said it was the best we've ever done, and many new Region 4 friends (who'd never heard us) said they really enjoyed our blend and the personality of our quartet. A great topper to a great year together!
On May 19th, Tessitura and Some Assembly Required Quartets were honored to be included among the dozens of musical genres featured at the grand opening of Nashville's convention center, the Music City Center.
Metro Nashville was featured on the main stage - what a fun day of music!
On June 1st Tessitura had a great time singing for the Mount Juliet Animal Shelter Adoption Fair. It was a lovely, windy day - and we sang "Chase the Rain Away" to keep the clouds at bay. It worked!
We have two more summer time performances on the books (so far) - stop by and see us if you can!
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We're working on changing some notes and rhythms on our contest songs. The changes should be really exciting, but it's interesting to be in the middle of trying to make the changes. You take something you knew pretty much at an unconscious level, and yank it back into the world of uncertainty.
It's a little scary, a little frustrating, and it has the seed of something new and better. But you have to work through the challenges to get there - or so we remind each other!
Wish us luck on getting to the other side, hopefully with much stronger songs!
2012-13 has been a terrific year for us, and we met all the goals we set last May for rehearsals, coaching, performances, and, oh yes, FUN lots of fun!
We had one simple goal for contest: Put our best performance on stage in that moment. And we met that goal with flying colors. We did not earn a medal this year, but we came in 6th - behind some great quartets who earned every point of their scores with ringing chords.
We didn't earn a medal, but we think we showed our mettle. No quartet experiences a perfect run as they prep for contest, we know. But, man, it was "Murphy's Contest" for us this year.
Here's the interesting thing, though: we came off stage flying high because it was, in that moment, the very best we had. And the reaction from members of the audience as we walked to our seats - including strangers and passing acquaintances not just those of you who know and love us - was so rewarding.
As singers we had worked on ways to connect with the audience, and the comments we got afterward told us we did!
When we reviewed our score sheets later that night, we found the judges did not feel the same thing that the audience members told us they did. Where an audience person described our ballad as "tender,"for example, a judge felt it was "tentative,"
But what a great challenge we have for this upcoming year: make sure that we maintain and strengthen our ability to connect with the audience AND use the judges comments to ensure we are hitting the marks in the barbershop form.
We were a little bummed at our post-contest dinner. It's hard to "fall off the medal stand" after a couple years with medals, even though we are so proud and happy for the 5 quartets who got medals.
But as sometimes happens, God or Fate put a person in our path who changed our perspective. One of the servers in the restaurant figured out we were a quartet and explained how HE loves to sing a capella. He coaxed us (ha!) to sing a song and we had a little concert on the street. He was so excited to hear the chords and later kept coming over to talk to us during our meal. And our actual server said she had been having a really bad day, but our song made her feel happy.
That was one of the sweetest moments of our 2013 contest experience - two strangers who felt our song and told us we'd made a little difference in their day.
How can that not be considered "a contest win"?
Can't wait to see what happens next year!
Regional Contest creates the rhythm of quartet life, even though it is not the purpose of our quartet life.
We try to keep contest in perspective. It's an opportunity to demonstrate how we've improved and get valuable feedback from knowledgeable judges. Yes, there are medals - and it was beyond thrilling to earn medals the past two years. But the medals are just one aspect of being in a quartet.
Our goal again this year is simple: put the best performance we can on the stage in that moment.
If we win a medal - in less than two weeks! - we will be honored and humbled. But if we do not, we will nonetheless be proud of this amazing year, our ongoing commitment to each other, and all the laughter and love shared during our time together.
The upcoming six minutes on stage are a thrill ...but they are just 6 out 525,600 minutes as a quartet.
This time of year, we do a mix of paid and unpaid holiday gigs. And while it's certainly nice to be paid, the grateful and enthusiastic response of the audiences/hosts of unpaid gigs is often more valuable!
This week, we had four quartet performances (Thur-Sun) and the two of us who sing with our chorus Holiday Ensemble had to other performances as well. It's been a whirlwind of costumes and pitches, to be sure.
It's also been just plain joyful. The songs of the season are full of memories and meaning, and when you combine that with lovely venues, new friends, and a quartet you love to be and sing with, you've got a winning combination!
Wishing you and yours the happiest of holidays and a truly magical 2013!
We were in Denver to compete with Metro Nashville Chorus (2013 Harmony Achievement winners- woo!), but what a great opportunity to watch the amazing top quartets compete and hear Queens.
It was clear that our goal of "energized freedom" is the right journey. These ladies make it look so easy and FEEL so real in terms of emotional delivery.
We are so thrilled to have seen these quartets up close and excited to continue our work together. Thanks for the inspiration!
And BTW - how cool is it that the Denver International Crowns look like mountains?