The Dream Team Cometh

Mark Hale, Jan 17, 2008

“The amount of satisfaction you get from any achievement is directly correlated to amount of sacrifice and effort it took you to achieve it.” -- Unknown

What an exciting time to be a member of the Masters of Harmony! With new faces and enthusiastic former members flocking back to the fold to complement our already strong core, our weapons continue to grow and become more powerful.

The 2008 Masters of Harmony is nothing short of a Dream Team. While we have been fortunate many times in the past to have gathered our energies and delivered some exceptional performances including a string of gold medal extravaganzas, the talent and experience we are currently assembling each week is arguably the finest in our history. The depth of the quality and proven success in our musical, administrative and organizational leadership is truly awesome. And of course, the dedicated, hard working and loyal singers who continually work to be better week after week for the sake of the chorus. We are all proud of the open, family-type environment we enjoy. The stage is set for one of the greatest journeys of our lives. But we must stay focused.

In order for any person or organization to achieve its greatest results, it must first be striving to reach the highest level necessary for success. If a high jumper only needs to clear five feet to be the Olympic Champion, he won’t train to be able to clear seven feet…he’ll work to clear five feet. We are grateful to the Ambassadors of Harmony for providing a challenge that will push us to work toward clearing the highest bar in our history. Along the way we will draw upon the assistance of our coaching Dream Team – Greg Clancy, Greg Lyne and Erin Howden (plus our in-house aces) – who will show us enduring and creative new methods for taking our craft to even higher levels. This is a familiar journey but anyone who has done it before will tell you that every time is still unique and thrilling, even life-changing.

Of course, there’s something we tend to forget after the competition is over and that is the amount of real time and work that went into the achievement. We often hear that nothing worth having is easily attainable or everyone would have it. There will be many times ahead when our legs will hurt, we will become frustrated by ourselves or someone around us, we will sigh at Erin’s cry of “Again!” for a tenth total run-through before a break. These are the moments that we forget (repress?) but they’re also the ones that build our endurance in the face of emotional and physical exhaustion. We must stay focused on building our habits because, when we’re put in the moment of truth in July, they will determine our success. There’s no magic to it . . . only habits and instinct working together for a common result.

We are also very fortunate to have several key and high profile opportunities to get us performing in front of an audience and at very pivotal times in our preparation timeline. With our spring show in mid-May, our retreat the end of May and the Disney Concert Hall show a week later, we will have a chance to master bringing our contest energy to the stage and learn how it affects us physically. We couldn’t have planned a more perfect preparation path.

Before any of you accuse me of being too Polyanna-ish, please know that I am very aware of the realities of what lies before us. In our past international championships we have tied once, won by two points once and by tens of points other times. This could well be our most difficult attempt at continuing our winning streak. But between you and me . . . I wouldn’t bet against us. Are you kidding??

Starting very soon we will begin our individual testing of each of you to monitor our (your) consistency, accuracy, quality and energy. Take each opportunity as a chance to show off what we know you can do. We have as our goal to take to Nashville every man who wants to be on the stage with us, but we must make sure that there are no -1’s in the mix (ask someone to explain that one to you.) This is why we are starting early.

If I don’t say it enough, thank you for the enthusiasm, energy and devotion you bring to the risers each week. I couldn’t be more proud to be your director and I know this journey will rank as one of the best ever.

And that’s saying something around here!

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