Thursday, March 06, 2014

Choir Nightmares

Okay, so maybe the bestseller thing isn't just a pipe dream I need to give up on. I'm now in the top 100 Kindle books, and the #2 humor book on Amazon overall. I still wish there was at least some tag for fantasy, since the rest of the series is tagged that way, but at least by being in the top 100, it's more visible for people to see and figure out for themselves. And apparently some people are going on to the rest of the series because the second book is #48 in romantic fantasy.

It was a very interesting night for choir, both children and adult. I tried a new movement game out of a book recommended at that choir workshop I went to, and I've come to the conclusion that the theories are lovely, but the person who wrote that book has never met an actual child. Or else my kids are all demons from another dimension and not actual children. I'm trying to subliminally instill the next song we have to sing by playing the recording while we do other things (and it's working -- they're unconsciously singing along). I tried a game where one kid is the leader and does some movement to the music and the other kids are supposed to follow the lead. They just didn't get it. The kids tapped to be leaders would have been moving around, ignoring the previous leader, then when it was their turn to lead, they'd just stand there. It's the corollary of the situation where they're talking over people, raising their hands to be called on and even bursting into tears when they aren't called on right away, and then when I call on them they clam up and duck away without saying anything. We've learned that a story time helps settle them down, so the other teacher had brought some books to read. One kid had read these books and shouted out what would happen. I called out, "Spoilers!" which cracked up the teen helper, who's a Doctor Who fan.

I did have some success introducing them to "When the Saints Go Marching In," from a recording by a French Quarter band. I'd forgotten I had that CD from my last trip to New Orleans, when I made friends with the band playing at an outdoor cafe and ended up sitting in with them as their girl singer.

Then there was adult choir. I'd been assigned to do a quartet for the upcoming Sunday, and the anxiety nightmares had already started because we hadn't yet practiced it as a group before last night's rehearsal. There's a solo within the piece, with the voice unspecified. In Tuesday night's nightmare, we never did manage to rehearse and just got up there to sing in the service, and when we reached the solo part, the director pointed at me. Because I'm paranoid, I did practice the solo on my own yesterday. Then we got to rehearse last night, and the group turned out to be different than I anticipated. When I got the assignment, the whole group was just ordinary choir members. Then it turned out that it was mostly the music grad students who get scholarships for singing with the choir (the ringers). One who normally sings soprano was doing the alto part, and then the men's parts were doubled up, with the ordinary choir members singing along with the pros. And then there was me. I was a wee bit intimidated, with my training consisting of a few continuing education classes up against all these people with master's degrees in voice. But I figured I was safe on the solo, with a soprano soloist in the group. Then we got to the solo part, and the director called my name. I might have actually said "EEEP" out loud. I'm glad I'd practiced it.

I may have actually worked out the worst of the nerves while rehearsing in the group because the people I was singing with scare me more than any audience, since they know singing and are more likely to judge. In last night's anxiety nightmare, I didn't end up getting to the solo because we'd just started singing the piece in church when the secretary from my first job came up to us to demand to know what pens we wanted her to order for the office. We tried ignoring her and kept singing until we finally gave up. I'm not sure what Jung would have to say about that dream. I have three more nights before I have to do this in two services, so there's no telling what I can dream between now and then.

Normally, I'd find the piece on YouTube so I could hear the accompaniment, but it turns out this is a fairly common hymn, so I may have to search for the particular arrangement. At least I'll get a dress rehearsal in the 8:30 service during spring break, the morning of the time change. It won't be a big crowd.

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