Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Singing

So, about that singing thing: I joined a chorus. It was Kat's idea. This spring she said, "I'm going to join a women's chorus," and I remembered how much I missed my high school chorus (except that the director always spent a lot more time teaching the boys), so I said, "Can I come too?" So yeah, we joined and sang in the spring concert, and now we're back for the fall season, except that Kat decided she'd rather go to Chile to visit her brother than sing in the fall concerts so I'm on my own for that. Whatever.

It's mostly lesbians 10-30 years older than us, which makes for an interesting time. Much different from the lindy hop crowd (there are almost no gay/lesbian dancers, as far as I know). I got lucky and sit next to the happiest and most enthusiastic person on one side, and not too far from Kat on the other. The choral director is good, and everyone's nice. I think they spend too much time fundraising and pushing people to fundraise. We already pay monthly membership fees, plus concert tickets are $20 (I wouldn't pay $20 for a dance with a live band, let alone a choral concert), so I think there must be some budgeting issues there somewhere.

I'm also not too excited about the music for this season. The theme is music (or lyrics) written by women, but honestly it doesn't seem like there's much out there. I thought of some singer/songwriters, but I don't think much of that stuff has been arranged for a SSAA chorus. So it's like instead of looking for new things, they just went through the old collections and pulled out music that was written by women, and decided to do that. So a bunch of people already know half the songs.

Lots of them are in other languages. It's like it's middle school and we're trying to get multicultural, but we're doing a really bad job of it because instead of actually translating it and figuring out what the song is about, we're just learning how to pronounce it. We're also doing "Locomotion", because apparently that was written by a woman.

So yeah, disappointment. Next season is supposed to be women in jazz. I have high hopes for that, thinking about Nina Simone, Eva Cassidy, and of course Ella. But how many of those songs are available in a choral format? And doesn't that totally take the jazz out of it? And those women were great because of their voices, not ours.

I think my issue is that it's SO focused on women. (Last season was themed "indulgences". Most of the songs were about food, but Kat and I did a duet of "Peel me a grape", which isn't really about food.) I mean, yeah, it's a women's chorus, but that doesn't mean we always have to limit ourselves that way. I'm also short, it's doesn't mean I only want to sing about being short. I would love to sing some showtunes (which are usually written for several parts with beautiful harmonies, as opposed to popular music which is typically written for a single vocalist) or even classical choral music. A lot of that is religious, I guess, which bothered me about a lot of the music we sang in high school, but it was also really beautiful. And difficult. "Locomotion" is neither.

We sing about 10 songs with the whole chorus and then another 10 or so are done in small groups. We start the small groups rehearsals next week, so maybe I'll be happier with that music. I hear we'll be doing something from Schoolhouse Rock. Interjections?

1 comment:

  1. I would be all over the Schoolhouse Rocks! Oh and would love to see the locomotion, but I don't have a penny let alone $20 to see you sing. That is a little steep.

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