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.
- One of the husbands hurt his back mere hours before contest and could not drive over to watch.
- We had a last minute scramble to replace a piece of our costume.
- The A on our pitch pipe stopped working 5 minutes before we were supposed to be in pattern (no lie, and yes the first song was in A - thank goodness our Bass had a backup!).
- And perhaps the worst string of "Murphy moments" was that more than half of our rehearsals (and some coaching sessions) ended up being duets or trios due to illness and travel. Our chorus gave us six chances to sing for the chorus during rehearsals; we were only able to sing with all four parts on three of those occasions (but those were SO helpful, thanks MNC!)
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.
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!