Thursday, March 27, 2014

Singing in Front of People

It was a pretty good choir night. We had the harpists come to teach the kids about stringed instruments and try playing them, which ate up about half our time, and we had only seven kids. I got them to kind of sing for a little while, and we managed to play the quiet game to see who got to be line leader to go see the harps for about two minutes. The quiet game is a thing of beauty. We see who can stay totally quiet the longest. The kids who normally won't shut up get hyper competitive and go totally quiet. They start twitching after a couple of minutes, so the quiet game has to be used sparingly. My co-teacher came up with this, and she's the mother of twins, so I imagine they play that often at their home.

Then at dinner I was sitting with my teen helper, and she found out I was an author. She's basically me at that age, into science fiction and drama and carrying a book around with her at all times. She got all excited and wanted to talk about writing, and I told her about how I use my drama experience in my writing to create characters and to make sure the dialogue sounds like actual speech.

I had to do my solo during choir rehearsal -- twice -- and I think it went pretty well. If I sang that way in the service, I'd be happy with it. This one was kind of scary because much of it is above the staff, and I've been singing second soprano for so long that my upper range was getting rusty and I wasn't even sure I was still using the proper technique. But after rehearsal, the choir director said he didn't detect any rust and that I didn't seem to be doing anything wrong. I've been practicing a lot and working on my upper register, so it's becoming easier. I'd forgotten just how high I can go without even going falsetto. After I sang, there were some comments about how weird it was that I was a second soprano doing that, and one of the other seconds said I should be singing first. But that gets touchy because the fact is that there are three seconds and 6-7 regulars who sing first. I can't really switch without one of the firsts switching to second, and I don't see that happening even if I can sing higher better than some of them. I've got a first soprano voice without the personality to go with it, so I sing second unless the director has something special for me to do, like this solo, since I'm the one willing to sing second. I'm hoping that if I practice this solo a lot in front of the choir during rehearsals, I'll be over the worst of the nerves when it comes time to do it for a bigger audience. The scary thing is that the song is a capella, so the accompaniment for the solo is a long chord being sung by the rest of the choir. We aren't doing it unaccompanied yet. It's a complicated piece that we aren't doing for another month, so there's a lot of rehearsal to go between now and then. Still, I was feeling pretty good about managing to sing really high by myself in front of people. I've generally sung notes like that as part of a choir -- the big finish to a song, usually, and it's easier to be confident surrounded by people.

The juggling of the writing projects is going pretty well. I'm revising about three chapters a day on one book and then writing a scene in the other book. I'm thinking about taking a dance class tonight, but it depends on how much work I get done, how I'm feeling, the weather, and other stuff I need to get done around the house.

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