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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Jazz Concert

Last March when our social activities co-ordinator went on LOA and Sharon was asked to cover the admin side of her job, it sounded quite simple. A couple of events organised by other people, just keep the sign out sheets current for regular activities-easy.  Then an email came to her inbox about a vision trip visiting the ship from Canada.  One of the ladies was a jazz singer called Maria Manna, and can we organise a concert, with a band.
Then the rest is history.

Sharon contacted one of the drummers on board who had "coincidently" been thinking of getting a jazz band together from ashore to treat the crew with a concert so this was the icing on the cake to go with all that.

Meanwhile as the weeks went on it turned out the band ashore weren't available and so we pulled in various musically inclined crew members to help make the concert work.  As time went on Sharon's learning curve of Jazz went vertical.  Her jazz song repertoire went from nil to maybe 2 songs to 17!  The band decided they should get together and have a practice but we soon learnt that for some of the songs we just didn't have a clue how they went, others we sort of knew but were afraid to do too much in case we had totally interpreted it the wrong way only to have to re-do when Maria got there.
We were very aware that time was short, Maria Maria arrived on the Sunday, practice on the Monday and concert on the Tuesday.  Unfortunately Maria arrived minus her luggage which included her lyric sheets and her "Jazz" dress but we were sure it would arrive before the concert.  We learnt new jazz terms like head, tag etc and what triangles and circles mean on jazz chords and soon we were starting to sound sort of Jazzy.
By the time Tuesday came there still wasn't any luggage so we compromised.  We changed our name to Maria Manna and the scrubettes.  Yes you guessed it, we got the scrubs out as Maria only had the clothes she had flown in.  She even encouraged the OR staff to consider wearing their caps on the side of their heads, much more stylish.
the band
 The concert went really well, we had a great time working alongside Maria.  She is such a great entertainer and the crew had a fabulous time.  You can click on the video's below to hear some of the concert that was recorded on our camera by Tim.
Maria's bags never did turn up and but I love how she turned that around.  Here are some of the things she said in an interview with the Victoria News Monday Magazine, Canada

She packed all the things she thought she’d need: a stunning gown, high heels, jewelry and sheet music.   “I’m all about hair, makeup, heels, nails and pedicures ... and I’m going to Africa,” she said, just days before departing. “You just can’t take that out of me.”

All she had was the clothing on her back, and what little supplies were in her carry-on.
“I felt so poor and alone,” says Manna. “It was amazing the lesson God was teaching me.”
Luckily, the few “necessities” she needed — her face lotions, potions and makeup — had been packed in her carry-on, along with a pair of Ugg boots.  “God knows how important it is for me to have my face,” says Manna. “He wouldn’t leave me totally naked.”
In the 37°C heat, Manna had the choice of wearing the one outfit she had — capri pants, a T-shirt and blue and white striped wedge heels — or scrubs and Uggs.
“I tell ya, God has a great sense of humour,” she says. “I was stripped of all the things that make Maria Manna. She was in the luggage, and her soul went to Africa.”
“Africa was nothing I expected and more than I thought it would be,” says Manna. “There’s a world out there that you don’t know exists and it’s dying ... There is a beauty and happiness in poverty and it lives in Africa. They want nothing more than what they need.”
“I saw their souls through their eyes and I realized that it’s not about me ... I have enough.”
(You can read the full article here: http://www.vicnews.com/news/201331901.html

Did she ever find her bags?...oh yes.  
She was getting her boarding pass to come home and she thought I'll make one last attempt and go look at the lost and found luggage. Sure enough there it was. Security asked, "How can we be sure this is yours, there is no tag on it". She opened it up and pulled out her CD'S!!!!! BINGO!!!! Took her luggage back home! (Gave security a CD)

Maria, thank you so much for blessing us with your talent, humour and heart, we really enjoyed having you here and look forward to the time you return to us.
To follow Maria and hear her music go to her website at: www.mariamanna.com

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