Wednesday night, I was honored, even flattered, to speak to Apostolic Tabernacle Choir of Merced, California. This choir, under the direction of Mark Yandris (pictured above), is one of the best choirs in the nation. Their tight harmonies are a most advanced level and their articulation is clear, expression is strong, and enthusiasm contagious. Mark is a highly sought after musician among black gospel artists. His talent is more than learned, it is a gift. He asked if I would speak about stage presentation and then added a few other topics to the list. My first reaction was, "What could I do to help them??? They are the best!" I'm sure I didn't give them anything they hadn't heard before, but sometimes a different voice is needed.
I got busy working on my notes, hand-outs, and asking God to give me something beneficial. Then I tackled the requested topics. I spoke about choir decorum, importance of uniformity, choir stage presentation, solo stage presentation, working with your leader, and how to avoid burn-out and stay committed. The part I want to share with you is the key to any stage performance - communication. The break down: 15% of communication is content, 30% is tone/emotion, and 55% is body language or body movement. Communication is our way of connecting with people whether on stage, in a class, or home with family. Blogs can be difficult at times to understand because one reads the words in a manner they would express and may not be the perspective of the author. If a person knows of me but does not know me, they can easily misunderstand. Surely, if a conversation is face to face, it will easily be understood because my body language will communicate my sentiment and opinion. Ah, the woes of blogging! LOL If you are one who frequents a stage, remember your body language is of vital importance to connecting to your audience. Not from the head up, not from the waist up, but from the floor up.
P.S. Apostolic Tabernacle Choir is always from the floor up!