Have you seen but a bright lily grow Before rude hands have touched it?
Have you marked but the fall of snow
Before the soil hath smutched it?
Have you felt the wool of beaver,
Or swan's down ever?
Or swan's down ever?
Or have smelt o' the bud o' the brier,
Or the nard in the fire?
Or have tasted the bag of the bee?O so white, O so soft, O so sweet is she!
To present a song and honestly connect with your audience you must FEEL something. My passion to win got me beyond the non-understanding of this poem. There must be a passion there.
1. WORDS - The words in the poem above certainly have great meaning and as an adult I sort of get what Ben Johnson was saying but would ever sing that with passion? Nope! It doesn't mean that others don't, however. If the words are saying something that really hits you where you live then let those create the passion to make this the best song it can be. For many in E.T.S., the words in "You Raise Me Up" or "Wonderful World" really create that depth of feeling.
2. HARMONY - Sometimes, it is the intricacy of the harmonies that can make emotions flow. Once you have mastered a particularly tricky or rich harmony and understand how the parts work together and why, the piece goes beyond just presentation and enters the heart. Then, it connects. We have 3 really tricky chords in "Over the Rainbow" that took some doing to get just right. Now, when we get to that spot, it gives me chills and audiences have remarked similarly.
3. BODY LANGUAGE - If you slouch, lean back or just look rather dour, your audience with lose interest. Lean into your music with a balanced stance, good posture, lowered chin, and above all dancing eyes. Your eyes tell the tale. Sometimes, you can smile with your mouth but most often it is only your eyes that can tell the story without affecting the necessary rounded vowels . Whether you are having fun or feeling the love or deep sad emotions telegraph same to your face. Your music will be so much more interesting to sing and you will create that bond with the listeners.
4. CONDUCTING - There are as many opinions on how best to conduct a choir as there are people. My personal style is to use my hands not a baton which would be very dangerous to the safety of those in the front row. I am told, I really get into the music. I try very hard not to distract so there is a fine line between getting too involved and just enough to help the choir "get it". I loved the conductor from The Lion Sleeps tonight. Now that elicits emotion that easily transfers to the audience.
Get the words to mean something. Enjoy the music you are making. And above all HAVE FUN!!