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Competition Day 4, Part 2 – The After Party

Don’t forget to read part 1 of the chorus finals day!

Since we were contestant #9 out of 10, we all go straight to our seats to watch Melodeers perform and then wait for the results. This is also the time when Sweet Adelines International provides a preview of next year’s convention, which will be in Las Vegas. I, for one, am thrilled that I will be able to drive there and also that I can go and be a spectator instead of a competitor for the first time!

To give us a taste of Las Vegas they have brought us…a lounge singer? Who’s not even from Vegas? What is this?!

He sings a Sinatra song, I can’t even remember which one. He’s an ok singer, but let’s think about the circumstances here. He’s at a convention of singers, many of whom are trained to listen for tuning, and we’re all exhausted and waiting to hear who won. We are just not interested. I was thinking they would have showgirls with feathers or…I don’t know, something. Anything but this.

Oh my goodness, he’s singing a second song. This time it’s Luck Be a Lady Tonight. He so…lounge-y. I actually turn to the person next to me and say “Don’t forget to tip your waitstaff.” That’s exactly what he makes me think of. It’s cheesy and not at all what I think of Vegas. I mean, we’ll all be staying at the MGM Grand for pete’s sake. It’s a classy place.

Speaking of which, instead of splitting everyone up among several hotels, in Vegas all competitors and people who register for blocks of rooms will be staying at the MGM Grand. Can you imagine?? We don’t have to get bussed anywhere. We can just go downstairs! And we can all sing tags together in one place!! (I’m excited, can you tell?)

But anyway, back to business. With the Sinatra wannabe off the stage, we are now sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for the call off. Each of the top ten choruses sends their director and president up to the stage. They all stand should-to-shoulder as the emcee begins “The 10th place medals will be presented by…”

They call 10th, 9th, 8th, 7th, 6th, 5th, 4th….Here is what we’ve been waiting for. Whose name will be called out of the top three choruses? Harborlites with a score of 3035! That is the highest score we have ever received. I know some members might be disappointed that we didn’t place higher, but really. When you’re talking about talent like Melodeers and Richtones, it’s an honor to be in the same strata with them. The difference between 1st and 2nd and then between 2nd and 3rd is about 1.5% of the total points. So I couldn’t be prouder of us!

The Rich-Tone Chorus comes in 2nd place and Melodeers earn the big gold medal! Everyone applauds as the entire chorus makes it to the stage to sing a song as the new champions. We stay to listen to their rendition of Pharrell Wiliams’ Happy and then head back to the hotel to change (thank you Jesus!), and head to the ballroom for our celebratory dinner.

There is a mass exodus from the convention center to the ballroom, and then the elevators of the hotel are packed with people. When we get back to the room, we start unpinning each other so we can successfully remove the outfit. Apparently we missed a couple pins, because trying to take off the top resulted in getting stuck about halfway through the process. Hmm.

I don’t even have the energy to remove my stage makeup or to do anything about my hair. It’ll have to stay on. I brought a nice dress for tonight, so hopefully that makes up for the rest of my appearance. After all, it’s just a bunch of Sweet Adelines, right? They all get it.

Ummm, who’s this HUGE person in my elevator? Maybe there’s a sporting event or something. Dang, he’s like 6’ 6” at least. Oh geez…stage makeup. I must look like an idiot. Oh look, the bar!

I see some of my chorus friends beat me here. The bar is absolutely packed with people getting drinks before their official dinner. I try to joke with the waitress as I join my friends “We’ve multiplied a bit.”

“Yeah, I guess that.” She said sarcastically.

Whoa! What’s up with that? Maybe she’s just overwhelmed by the size of the crowd here. We order some drinks and get an eyeroll from her each time we order. But overall we have some laughs, and are ready to head over to dinner. Except, when the check comes, all 8 or 9 of us have been put onto one check. Ok, no problem. We’ll figure it out.

I run downstairs to get cash from the ATM, and this time there are TWO ginormous men in the elevator with me. I think maybe the Baltimore Ravens are having some kind of event in our hotel. I’ve never felt so tiny in my life. That’s awesome!

Seriously, I felt like this standing next to those guys

Seriously, I felt like this standing next to those guys

Back to the bar and finally ready to pay…Wait a second. The drinks are listed by the brand of alcohol in them. So if you ordered a rum and coke, the bill says “Cruzan.” Well, how are we supposed to know which alcohol was in the drink if we didn’t order it specifically? It takes us a few minutes to discover that some of the drinks are incorrectly listed or missing entirely.

We flag her down to ask and she grabs the check from me and says “I’ll be back.”

A few moments later she rudely dumps a stack of bills on the table and leaves without explaining. She has separated each type of drink onto its own receipt. Ugh. Another 10 minutes later we have it all figured out.

Our ballroom has its own cash bar with a very polite bartender, for which I am extremely grateful. Dinner is served and since we no longer have to save our voice for anything, we’re talking loudly and laughing up a storm. Apparently our table is laughing so loudly, someone from another table has to come over and see what’s so funny. I love this group!

After dinner, our director gives us a few choice tidbits from the scoresheets. Not too many, though. We’ll get to hear all the comments and scores at our next rehearsal back home. She tells us that on the day of the semifinals, we were 4th. Wow. That surprised us, only because it felt so awesome when we were up there. I’ll be interested in seeing the individual scoresheets from each judge.

Then, an exciting announcement: after this week, Pam has earned the title of Master Director 700 because of our score and her certification earlier this year of Master Director. What a great accomplishment! Only a handful of directors can say that they have that designation.

Now for the medals. Pam calls each singing part up to the front and gives us our medals and a hug one at a time. Some of our newest members are so excited for this, the culmination of so much hard work and a whirlwind of experiences.

After dinner, any quartet who wants to sing can do so. Our new quartet champions, Bling! have come to sing for us. They sing Hallelujah for us, which is one of my favorite songs. Such a beautiful arrangement, too. Next up a quartet from our own chorus, The Champinellies, sings their own arrangement of All About That Bass. Super cute! They’re competing in the next Rising Star competition (for women under 25). I think they’ll do great!

Since we’re not staying at the headquarter hotel (where many other choruses, and it’s cold outside, we’re not getting a lot of quartets traveling around to sing for us. Not to worry, singing erupts from every direction. I love this part.

First, I grab other chorus members to sing some old repertoire songs. Then we run into a former Harborlite who knows even older songs, but we can’t seem to remember the right key.

Ooo, what’s going on over here? I find one of my friends who is a former member of Scottsdale and now sings with Toast of Tampa. We grab two other parts and sing a couple of full songs we know in common.

The Champinellis are going to walk over to the headquarter hotel and sing around and listen to other quartets, and they have invited me to come along. It’s like 1-something AM and all I can think about is sleep and what time I need to be up in the morning. I tell the girls that I am too old and can’t hang with the cool kids. So I opt for bed instead.

What. A. Day.

Medal and necklace


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