Five years ago, my sister, Dominique Hogan, had an idea. Being an accomplished musician and musical director with a specific interest in Broadway musicals, she wanted to start a group that would perform Broadway music. She put an ad out in her local newspaper and five people responded. She held her first rehearsal in her living room. Having no idea whether anyone else would be interested in such a thing, she figured that her living room would be more than enough space to start this group. By the second week, eight people arrived to the rehearsal.
As she talked up her idea around the city and to other musicians who had been on the Vancouver music scene longer than she had (she had recently moved to Vancouver), she was told not to expect much and that she would probably not get much more than a dozen people in her group. Oh fools that they were, poopooh’ing her idea. On top of it, Dominique wanted to open up the wonderful world of music to everyone…her philosophy is that everyone has the ability to sing. So she did what noone was doing and allowed anyone who loved music to join. In other words, you don’t need to have any prior musical training in order to be a part of her group. If you sing in the shower, that’s more than enough.
She sat down with her husband to come up with a name for the group and he suggested to her that she call it, Burstin’ with Broadway. She loved the name and so Burstin’ with Broadway was officially launched!! By the end of the first month, there were over 20 people coming to sing Broadway music at her rehearsals! This was already enough to start dealing with more of the details of this new group. Already, they were “burstin’” out of her living room. It was getting a little tight in there. They moved to a new rehearsal space at one of the local elementary schools and from there continued to grow. Dominique hoped that she would eventually have a group of 50 people. Five short months later they put on their first public performance.
Let’s fast forward to today. Burstin’ with Broadway became very popular very fast. They have been selling out every show in the last 5 years and are performing two shows again this weekend (May 28th) at the Kay Meek Theatre in Vancouver. Not only are they sold out and burstin’ at the seams of that venue as well, the group now has well over 100 people with more than 50 people on the waiting list to get in!!! Pretty cool eh? So much for all the naysayers who told her that she’d be lucky to have a dozen people in her group. She is regularly doing radio interviews and they are filling people’s hearts with joy, laughter, music and fun. Can you tell that I’m very proud of Dominique? To this day, the majority of the members of Burstin’ with Broadway have no prior musical training and let me tell you, they are rocking the Vancouver music scene!!! It really is a case of, if you believe you can, you will!
Back to my original question. Can a name be a self-fulfilling prophecy? Burstin’ with Broadway is burstin’ with music, burstin’ with joy, burstin’ at the seams with excited and dedicated members who are clamoring to be a part of this very lively and successful group, burstin’ down the walls of every venue they move to looking for more space…essentially, they have been burstin’ since the inception of the original idea. It’s fabulous!! What if they had come up with a different name for the group? I’m putting a lot of emphasis on the name here simply because it makes me smile to see Dominique’s group consistently growing and outdoing themselves every year. But to be fair, she’s the brains behind this operation, so to speak. She believed in her idea and had a strong desire to make it happen. Did the choice of name for the group have any impact? Just curious to know what your thoughts are on the impact of a name…
(I’m sad because I am not able to attend this year’s performance. Every year I go out there to be a part of it and I take pictures of all these fabulous people. It’s a very strange feeling to know that I will be missing that energy this year and only be there in spirit.)