Monday, November 28, 2011

The joy of singing

Every singer will tell you, there is something about letting your voice fly, making it produce sounds unlike others (good and bad!) that just embodies what singing is all about. I can think of multiple ways of describing that 'something'. Freedom, joy, elation, excitement, sorrow, sadness... well, I could go on and on but I won't bore you with my oh-so-fabulous use of English vocabulary ;)
I grew up with classical music around me, I grew to love it as I got older and eventually, after a long time, I simply gave in to what I knew was always the one thing that will always, always, ALWAYS make me happiest in this life. Singing classical music.
Don't get me wrong... I love writing and singing country music, it saved me many times over when I was a teenager, that's the music I CHOSE. But classical... well... it chose me.

Singing with the choir is a revelation - every time. I may not be up for it at each rehearsal, but overall, the joy of singing simply trumps all the other stuff.
And just for the record, since Ben took over conducting us, all that 'other stuff' doesn't much exist anymore. Gone is the boredom, the need to chat relentlessly. I look forward to rehearsals, love being in them and regret when leaving them. It helps that I think we 'click' with Ben. I get what he's trying to say, what he's trying to do. I enjoy working my butt off, going over the same stuff again over and over because that is the only way I can grow, the only way I can get better. I suppose it depends on whether you take singing seriously or not, and I do. Having someone in charge who pushes us and pushes us and pushes us some more is just what I needed. Kinda like my own personal little blessing! :)

It was the last rehearsal of Mendelssohn's Elijah tonight. The one before the concert on Saturday. As much as I grew up with classical music, choral works were not part of it. So every single piece we sing is new to me. That's like... discovering a gazillion fantastically awesome pieces of music each time we start a new term. I distinctly remember listening to Elijah before we started working on it and thinking 'It sounds nice' but nothing more. And boy, nice is the understatement of the millenium. It very much is a sublime work of art and quite frankly can rarely be appreciated fully unless you sit down with a score and a choir and go through it bit by bit.
And how I've loved discovering all the best bits of this piece... how frustrating to get so many things so wrong to start with but finally see it all slot into place, as it should be.
To say I'm excited to perform this doesn't even begin to describe it! Ben's precision, our hard work and Mendelssohn's stunning music will deliver a killer concert on Saturday.
And if I still have the energy to do so, I will be here to tell all about it after the concert. But just so you know, Saturday night I will be one happy soprano! :D

Monday, November 14, 2011

The suicidal fly

And here I was, thinking I'd seen it all at choir rehearsals.
Guess I didn't.

In the midst of an exceptionally energetic/angry part of Mendelssohn's Elijah, a big, fat fly deigned to have a rest on my score. My hand movements to swat it away did nothing. It seemed to like that page. I then took to actually physically remove it (by smacking it off my score). Only to see it fly around somewhat drunkenly and land on that same page again.
The second smack finally did it - the fly went flying (haha) and I never saw it again. Only by that time, I had lost my place in the score, was in fits of laughter and useless for the rest of the next 2 minutes.

Note to all flies: If any such thing should happen during the concert in a few weeks, I shall simply smash my score shut. You WILL be dead. Tell your friends...