About halfway through tonight’s singing, I realized that there were a lot of singers present. I took a moment to count, and discovered that there were 30 of us, including three visiting singers from Baltimore. And there were eight of us in the bass section. It was loud; my ears are still ringing a little.
One of the Baltimore singers (I didn’t catch his name) got us off to a really good start. Early in the evening, he led us in singing no. 276, “Bridgewater.” Over the past few months, we’ve been singing at a generally fast tempo, and tempi at the All-Cal Convention were fast, too — this if fine, and it’s a lot of fun to sing fast, but we have been sacrificing a certain amount of accuracy as a result. So the singer from Baltimore stood up, gave us a really good pitch, and then proceeded to lead “Bridgewater” at a tempo that seemed slow to me at first. But very quickly, I realized he was leading it as exactly the right tempo. It was slow enough that he was able to include some very nice traditional ornamentation; and although not all singers in the urban revival sing good ornaments, his were tastefully chosen and executed very well indeed. More importantly, the slower tempo allowed us to really focus on our intonation, and the quality of our voices. We sounded really good!
And we kept on sounding good through most of the singing. Towards the end, as voices got tired, we got a little shout-y. But overall, it was a very good singing indeed.