24 hours: Jack Bennet

- June 25, 2024

Leaders of The Big Sing.
Leaders of The Big Sing.

Music has always been part of Jack Bennet's (BA’17, JD’23) life. After graduating from Dal’s Fountain School of Performing Arts, he led choirs and worked as dean at the Maritime Conservatory of Music when he became interested in law. He enrolled at Dal’s Schulich School of Law, and now pursues both passions—articling by day, arranging songs at night. Once a month he co-hosts The Big Sing, a Halifax event that teaches singers of all levels a pop song in three-part harmony.

10 a.m. I’m working on a file review while humming Beyoncé’s Texas Hold ’Em, which we’ll sing tonight at The Big Sing. My two co-hosts (wife Rachael Delano (BA’18) and friend Caitlin Bowers) and I rehearsed last night and it’s still in my brain today as I focus on this civil litigation file.

12 p.m. I walk on the Halifax waterfront. It’ll be my only break today, as I head straight from my articling position to the Basement of the Economy Shoe Shop, our Big Sing performance venue. I’m thinking about how music training gave me skills I draw upon now as an aspiring lawyer: the discipline to prepare, creativity to improvise and think on my feet, and public speaking skills.

2 p.m. I’m working on a legal memo regarding recent appellate decisions. I’m fascinated by justice and enjoy the intellectual challenge interpreting and applying the law presents. When I started law school, I didn’t think I would article or take the bar course, but that’s changed. I’m exploring becoming a criminal defence lawyer and am satisfied by the new direction of my career.

6 p.m. Rachael, Caitlin, and I grab a bite at the Economy Shoe Shop to go over final notes. Tonight’s Big Sing is another sellout. It doesn’t matter how much raw talent or vocal experience the crowd has, the process somehow always works, and we create a community experience that literally brings people together in harmony. We’ve likely done over 100 Big Sing events since we launched seven years ago, from Halifax to Québec City.

7:30 p.m. The 250 singers have all chosen one of three parts, lower, middle, or upper, and are grouped on the floor facing us. It’s a challenging arrangement and to keep the mood light I offer this advice: “Sing strong and wrong!” Our goal is creating a welcoming space, not technical perfection.

8:56 p.m. We’re ready to do the final run-through which we’ll video-record and post on social media and YouTube. I look out at all those expectant faces and their mouths as they open to sing the first line as I lift my hands to cue them. 

9:04 p.m. Success! We sounded so good. I see smiling faces all around the room. We all applaud ourselves for pulling it off and bid everyone good night.

Watch the performance.

This story appeared in the DAL Magazine Spring/Summer 2024 issue. Flip through the rest of the issue using the links below.


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