Feb 1, 2010

Taking One For The Team

Ever have to force yourself to do something you really don't want to do but you know it's for the best? Sucks, doesn't it?

Remember that aria I posted last April? In case you don't, the women's choir I sing in (TCC) sang the Pergolesi Stabat Mater last year on Good Friday. We did it with string quartet and organ and it was gorgeous. We had 5 different soloists last year, I think, 3 of whom have moved on - including 2 of the strongest voices.

Our director is also a spectacular alto - just an absolutely stunning voice. As we lost our alto section leader, she's going to have the Music Director (for the church) conduct and she's going to sing with the choir and do the alto solos. I was a little disappointed as I'd hoped to sing another solo but compared to her, hell no. She asked my voice teacher to have me work up a couple of the soprano arias for audition. Now, the woman that sang these solos last year was Eastman undergrad and Julliard grad (2 of the 3 top music schools in the country). I have a decent voice but there is NO way I can compare with people's memory of this woman singing those solos. There's another problem too: one of the volunteer sopranos who, unfortunately, isn't really suited to it wants a solo.

So, I sent an email to our director tonight with the solution that said, essentially,
  • "There is no way I can compete with people's memories of last year's soprano arias anyway; I don't want people to think TCC is going downhill; nor do I want to be a distracting note (heh, pun intended) for the congregants in a performance that should be seamless. So I'm going to take one for the team here and sit my ass on the sidelines of whatever running there might be."
This will allow her to restrict the solos to the two people (herself and our current soprano section leader who also has a beautiful voice) who are most suited to them. And it will be lovely.

I'm just feeling a bit grumpy about it. But there is no "I" in team, they say, and this is truer even in church singing than in sports. It's about the congregation and helping them worship. Secondarily, it's about what's best for the choir. What it's not about is me.

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Blogger Brightdreamer said...

It's never fun realizing that some jumps are a bit too big to make just yet.

whemati - Obscure kitchen device for processing dairy products, popularized by the Little Miss Muffet fad diet.

2:04 AM  
Blogger 演唱會 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:00 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I would be feeling grumpy about it as well, really - I understand stepping down from doing a solo or a piece you would really enjoy because there are others better-suited to it... and while I always try to do it gracefully, I sure as hell don't feel graceful about it!

However, perhaps you should have some faith in your director's decision. If she requested that you audition, then it sounds like she thinks you would be a good candidate! There is such a thing as too much modesty, and you should trust her final decision, if she is truly thinking of what is good for the congregation and the choir.

Yes, going to a top music school might give some people an edge - and maybe the woman who sang last year really was an amazing vocalist. But I've met some voice majors and students who couldn't carry a tune if it were the size of a thimble, so don't let the fact that the previous singer had fancy schooling intimidate you!

11:55 PM  

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