One of the dilemmas that faces any performer is how, on one hand, to keep their material fresh and interesting in performance while, on the other, rehearsing it deeply to a state of polish and absolute reliability. Or, to put it more bluntly, how do you stop yourself getting bored? Obviously, bringing new material in is part of the mix, but you can’t just keep throwing out the old too quickly, both because that is very wasteful of rehearsal time, but more importantly because both technical expertise and depth insight are built on extended engagement with the material.
This is what I went to help Signature Singers with last Sunday. They have a contest set that they are not done with in terms of the skills and artistry the songs will help them develop, but they were feeling a bit bogged down with it all. Their heads knew they would benefit from working with the songs further, but their hearts were getting a bit jaded.