The Rest of the Story

So in case you didn’t notice, I ended my last post rather abruptly and I”m not quite sure if I’ve ever actually shared that story on here, so I’m going to write it out. For posterity’s sake and all…

So my friends convinced me to try out for show choir. well that wasn’t the first hoop to jump through. I had to ask my parents first. So I asked my parents and they had a bunch of questions… “How mucyh does it cost? What’s the time committment? Is the dress modest? Can you even sing?” jk on that last one… but seriously. It was agonizing. And I dind’t have an answer for most of these questions. But after what seems like forever my parents agreed I could try out…

Then came the actually trying out part… My school was being renovated at the time, so the singers room was closed…. All choir classes were moved to….

The wrestling room…

So guess where I had my audition? You guessed it. The intimidating, freezing cold, wrestling room. I was so nervous. I accompanied myself to Nicole Nordeman’s song “Gratitude”. I was later to find out that Mrs. Smitty is a staunch Catholic and she really appreciated my song choice.

I made it in without doing a dancing audition(they were really desperate.)

I had a month to learn choreography and notes for two songs without being in the class…. It was hectic. But I made it. And that year we won 1st at our last competition WOoot Woooot!

At the time I was also in Jazz band as a pianist. I was thinking that I would be more of a piano player and singing would be my second love. Turns out I have more of an aptitude for singing. The more I played piano and watched other people play piano the more I realized that I have a talent for music, but not piano in particular. My excellence in piano is purely brute force and quick learning. I don’t have a talent for it, contrary to popular belief. I just try really really hard.

So at the end of my sophomore year I opted out of jazz band and made a commitment to another year of show choir. Turns out that was another of my smarter decisions…

But I wasn’t too smart. I also opted out of the varsity classical choir.

The summer before my junior year I was nominated for a European choir tour for summer 2011, which I accepted. Throughout Junior year I ended up having a magnificent experience in show choir and I started to regret not opting for singers.

So I put my name down to audition for my senior year. Even the best laid plans go awry. I got laryngitis a few weeks before my singers audition. I kept pushing back my audition. Finally we just had it, even though my voice hadn’t fully recovered. Smitty’s justification? “I know how well you sing, It’ll be fine.”

Well turns out she didn’t know just how well I could sing, because she was visibly surprised by my audition. See up until that point I had been singing low alto, the range where I am the most comfortable. For my Singers audition I sang Be Thou My Vision which, for the irreligious and ignorant, is a hymn through and through…. Meaning wide range requiring an extraoridnary amount of breath support and generally requires either a high chest voice, a low head voice, or a great deal of overlap. At the time… well… I don’t know how I did it well, but she was surprised.

I made it into the varsity choir while recovering from laryngitis.

I made it into show choir with no prior singing experience…

Last summer I went on the European tour and I did a lot of intense singing. We sang for mass in chathedrals across western Europe. I started to lose my low range. I started to get a high range. A really high range…

When I went back to school in the fall of 2011 I switched to a first soprano in Singers and a second soprano in show choir. I landed a low alto solo in show choir. For expressions this year I am singing a duet that is firmly in the soprano range…. not mezzo-soprano…. soprano…

Somewhere in the mix I started leading wednesday night worship at youth group. That evolved into leading sunday mornings with the church team. I don’t do that anymore, but I still lead big church with my trusty sidekick, John Brunkles.

When I grow up I want to be a permanent part of a worship team. I want to sing. not necissarily play the piano. I can live without that. But I want to sing. I need to sing.

Last night after we had our dress rehearsal Smitty paid me the highest compliment I could have ever gotten from her. And I’m not going to share it here cuz that would be too boastful. But it got me to thinking how I went from the terrified little sophomore in the wrestling room who “Needs a little work” to the singer my choir director thinks I am.

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