Saturday, April 5, 2014

Do You Hear the People Sing?

And by people, I don't mean angry men.  Or women for that matter.  In fact, no one is particularly angry, and if they were, I would hope it wouldn't show.

The concert of the homeschool choir (that I am in) occurred recently.
The choir made quite a good show overall: notes were hit correctly, cues given by the director were followed, dynamics used, etc.  This in addition to stunning individual performances; many of my fellow choir members showed off their prowess on various instruments, from piano to flute to violin to voice.  The piano players were perfecto, a good friend of mine (Em) was fabulous on the flute, my seatmate (Isa) rocked a violin piece (which she arranged!!!), and (Bertha) hit a stunning high note.  I must say though, that the performance by (Rin) truly amazed me.  Playing the piano as her own accompaniment, she sang an absolutely beautiful version of the Hail Mary.

Back to the general choir.  It's hard to sing well with about forty other children, but we managed.  Pretty darn well, one might say.  In the group songs, there were some individual soloists—before I go on, I should clarify "group".  The homeschool choir is subdivided into three categories, and many members are in two.  Young children (approximately fifth grade and below) make the youngest group, and grades 6-12 as well as four and fifth graders deemed ready make the next group (I'm in this one).  The last, hardest, and best group is made up of select high school girls, who put in a great deal of time and effort in their music.  Their angelic renditions of holy songs more than pay the effort off, and several friends of mine are in this last group.

The youngest group were adorable, and you could actually hear the soloists (before you pass any sort of judgement, please realize the soloists I speak of were seven years old and in front of over a hundred people).  Some of the oldest out of this youngest group constituted a solo part for another song, and they did very well indeed.  :)

The second group had some soloists as well.  Two of the boys and Rin sang together parts of a version of the Kyrie, and the rest of the choir joined in for bits.  In a different song, both Isa and I had solos—truly solos, for we each sang our part alone.  It was terrifying, but we did well.

I smile when I'm nervous, and I was incredibly nervous when my turn came.  This is a problem because you cannot smile while you sing, because you'll form nearly all your sounds wrong.  Still, I had a harder time not smiling when Isa began to sing her solo.  In addition to not having the pressure of "cannot smile; must sing" bearing down on me, part of me was relieved that my solo part was over, and another part—the little-girl, celebrity-awe part—was thrilling to the fact that I had a soloist singing right next to me.

Honestly, I think I did well on my solo.  Perhaps very well; I got several compliments, and my choir director actually suggested that I start voice lessons.  However, despite nearly half-an-hour of coaching with my director for my twenty-second part, I still didn't form my vowel the way I should have.  The nervousness got to me...I sounded better during practice.  Yes, I'm somewhat disappointed in myself, but I remember that people tend to be their own worst critic,'s over.  I didn't fail catastrophically and embarrass myself, quite the opposite in fact.

Overall, my solo went well.

In the last group, a pair of sisters sang a solo duet (if that makes any sense), and Em sang a solo solo in another song.  It was all very beautiful.

The finale of the entire concert was amazing.  An upbeat spiritual sung by the entire choir, we were accompanied not only by the piano, but also by trumpet, played by Em's older brother, Matt.

The beautiful performance was finished off by a reception, complete with delicious food and socialising with friends.  Everyone had a wonderful time.

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