Becoming Alive: A Photo Tour

 

Our Velveteen Rabbit concerts filled an entire weekend with music, story, and joy. We traveled across the Dallas metroplex making music and friends while we shared a concert experience that was unique for both audience and performer.

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Over the course of the weekend, we performed three concerts in very different venues. Friday night’s concert was held in the chapel of St. Andrew United Methodist Church. The space was intimate and every seat full.

 "Tell us a story, Kent!" Sound check giggles before our Friday concert. Photo: Mark Zlotsky

"Tell us a story, Kent!" Sound check giggles before our Friday concert. Photo: Mark Zlotsky

At our dress rehearsal at St. Andrew United Methodist Church, we heard the narration, choral music, and original synthesizer compositions of Kevin Shoemaker come together for the first time. The entire roomful of collaborators could feel that something incredibly special was being brought to life. Everyone left that Thursday evening anticipating the three upcoming concerts with mounting excitement.

The flurry of sound check before our very first full-length concert. Captured by Kevin Shoemaker

On Saturday afternoon, our performance was specifically geared towards families and children. We performed at First Baptist of Farmers Branch for an audience of all ages. The concert was free and made child-friendly with lights on, coloring books and bunny ears, and a no-shushing atmosphere.

 Photo: Dickie Hill

Photo: Dickie Hill

 Tuckered out after almost an hour of being a good audience member. Photo: Dickie Hill

Tuckered out after almost an hour of being a good audience member. Photo: Dickie Hill

Sunday’s concert was held at Royal Lane Baptist Church. By the time we were singing our third concert, we were feeling fully comfortable with the flow of the concert. Harry Wooten, a dear friend of Sam's, is the music director and offered some wonderfully embarrassing anecdotes about the first time he met Sam. 

 Epic capture by Dickie Hill

Epic capture by Dickie Hill

For the musicians, several aspects of this performance experience stood apart from other gigs. As we sang, wearing bright, youthful colors (as opposed to concert black), we developed a relationship with the narrative of the concert and each other. There was an air of collaboration and interaction in the performance that was refreshingly human. Rather than merely crisp, focused delivery of quality sounds, there was a dance in our delivery that brought life to our singing and understanding to the audience. I had several audience members remark that they’ve never seen a choir as interactive and engaged with each other as we were.

 Alex Bumpas getting wonderfully out of control on his solo. Photo: Dickie Hill

Alex Bumpas getting wonderfully out of control on his solo. Photo: Dickie Hill

The weekend was pillared by the work of two amazing people, Jonathan Greer and Kevin.

Jonathan lead the charge at the ticket table every evening, greeting guests with his signature blend of warmth and snark. At all three concerts he arrived early to set up, and then ran back and forth between sound check and table until the concert began. We would not have been able to make the weekend happen without his consistent, expert help.

 Jonathan sporting his mischievous smile while working the front table at our Saturday concert. Photo: Dickie Hill

Jonathan sporting his mischievous smile while working the front table at our Saturday concert. Photo: Dickie Hill

Kevin was truly the star of the weekend. His originally composed incidental music provided the glue that made the concert feel like a single piece. The sound underlay for Kent Williams narration brought out depth and color in the story so that even those very familiar with the tale heard it with fresh ears.

Kevin checking balance and sound before our Thursday dress rehearsal. Video: Sam Brukhman

 Kevin working synthesizer magic. Photo: Dickie Hill

Kevin working synthesizer magic. Photo: Dickie Hill

The entire team felt so fortunate to prepare this unique piece. We are all hoping that we can resurrect this program in a future season. Tickets for our Christmas are now available online at verdigrismusic.ticketleap.com. We can't wait to share our next project with you.

 
Erinn Sensenig