April 23, 2012

Why "diva?" Why not?!?

My beautiful, fantastic chorus, the Sooner Sensations Chorus often refers to ourselves and other Sweet Adelines as "divas." I know, you're all wrinkling up your noses at the use of the word "diva." For many women, it conjures up an image of selfish, overindulged prissiness; of starlets behaving badly. Let me assure you all that this is most definitely not the case for us.

For us, "diva" is a term of endearment and empowerment(dictionary definition: a distinguished female singer). It reminds each of us that no matter what mantles we wear during the day, when we come to rehearsal, we are glorious, gracious and glamorous women who are supremely talented and work hard. We encourage one another to outdo ourselves each time we perform as a group, to continue to strive for synergy, improvement as entertainers and as people.

Not everyone in my chorus is just like me. As a matter of fact, we range in age from 12-75+, we vary in size, shape, appearance, views and opinions, level of outgoing-ness and ability. Nobody is turned away because they don't "fit the mold." (You do have to be female, and you do have to pass the audition, but that isn't hard. You learn a song or two from our current repertoire, sing into a tape recorder while we rehearse and our dear Director listens to it privately later.) We pride ourselves on seeing the potential in each of our members and helping them unlock it. We work together on producing the best possible performance both vocally and visually.

We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization. My chorus is lucky beyond measure to have a Queen of Harmony as our fearless director, in the lovely person of Debbie Hogan (Ginger n' Jazz, 1987). She is a fantastic teacher and coach, occasional arranger/composer, and all-around amazing woman and musician. She and the rest of the music staff have valiantly led us to countless regional titles and awards, this year being no exception. In March 2012, we scored an impressive 592 points, making us Region 25's 2012 3rd Place Medallists. We were right on the heels of the 2nd place winners, who scored 593 points, and 1st place with 599 points. When a chorus scores 600 points or more, they are deemed a Master Chorus. We are so close, and we plan to reach out and grab it with both hands next year (and some more shiny medals while we're at it!).

We are not content to rest on our laurels, so it's full steam ahead for us! Some of the things on our busy summer/fall schedule include putting on a joint show with our friends and sister Divas, 1st Place Region 25 medallists Talk of Tulsa in July, a splendid Tea with the Queen in August, and a fun-filled Young Women in Harmony festival in September.

I know if you've continued reading this far that you either like me or are interested in learning more about becoming a Sooner Sensations Diva. We rehearse every Monday night from 7-10pm at Fresh Start Community Church(309 N. Eastern Avenue) in Moore, Oklahoma. Follow the drive along the north end of the main church building and you'll find us in the gymnasium.

Come check it out, and get a free hug from me! See you there! <3

April 10, 2012

Lentil vegetable soup

Hi, sorry it's taken me so long... Since last time, my chorus competed in Dallas, taking 3rd place (just 1 point behind 2nd, 7 behind 1st! Wowzers!), I have started at a new shop, and other things, mostly general laziness. lol

I made a soup that utilized my shiny new immersion blender today!!! It's a cool gadget, and it's red! Thanks again, Carol! :D

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp curry powder
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 cups stock (I used chicken, vegetable would be super too)
1 onion, diced
1/3 cup dried lentils, rinsed
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 small potatoes, diced
2 tsp tomato paste


Heat oil in a medium-sized pan with a lid, add curry powder and garlic. Stir together over low heat for about a minute. Add stock and remaining ingredients, bring to simmer over med-high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until lentils are tender. Remove from heat. Pop your immersion blender into the pan, and blend until desired level of smoothness is achieved (I left some chunkier pieces). So good!!!

:) Enjoy springtime!