My mother had a few rules for us when were young and not singing at the table was one of them. It may seem like an odd rule but you didn’t know me as a little girl.
My sister and I sang together–all the time. When she was four and I was six, we joined our church’s Cherub Choir. She sang soprano and I sang alto, since I could read and she couldn’t. And we sang all the time. We made it up if we didn’t know parts for a song and I harmonized and she sang descants, experimenting to see what was best. We sang on the way to school together, whether walking or in the car with our grandmother. Grandma liked, for some reason, the Air Force and Army and Marine and Navy songs, and we sang “here we go, into the the wild, blue yonder, flying high, into the sky….”so many times with her, it was funny. We
sang in our yard, swinging on our swing set. We sang in the wading pool. We sang every where and any where…..except at the dining room table.
Mom, who was a singer herself, felt there should be one place we shouldn’t sing. We got around it at holidays, when we sang Grace for our family. Our siblings were not all singers and I think Mom didn’t want them to resent us. For Grace at Thanksgiving and at Christmas and Easter, we all sang the Blessing in the form of a round. All in parts and all together. And it was magical.
I still study voice. And I feel free.
I began studying again about five years ago when I began the MMS. Essentially, I wanted my technique to be as good as my singers. I wanted to be in shape, vocally, for anything I would want to program. My chops would be good and I would be able to teach anything–Mozart to Bach, Monteverdi to Brahms.
What I didn’t count on was how it would make me feel: alive.
I’ll be singing in my teacher’s recital in a few weeks. What am I singing? Some Cole Porter. I sing almost anything but have found the musicals of the 1940s and 1950s show my legit voice off to it’s best advantage. And they’re crowd pleasers. Knowing my audience of parents of the younger students and spouses of the older, I want to perform. I sing Handel and Bernstein on my own time.
I am putting together a recital which will raise money for autism research later this year. The repertoire is eclectic and covers a few genres but the music fits my voice like a glove. And I’m having a blast!
There is a blizzard outside tonight. We here in the Midwest are used to snow–our ancestors dealt with this prospect every year, so what’s the big deal? They didn’t have Doppler Radar predicting every little snow flake and were often caught unaware as to what was to come. The newscasts have been talking of this storm for five days. It seems to be living up to their predictions, with the snowing and blowing and cold right on schedule. But still, nature is amazing.
Midwesterners are hardy. Midwesterners prepare. Midwesterners get things done despite adversity. We have character and know, when it comes down to it, Mother Nature is in control and there is nothing we can do about it. If we have to take a snow day and put our plans off for a few days, we can relax and enjoy the snow drifts.
In the choral world, there are ’snow drifts’ as well. If we can relax and enjoy them, our music will be better for it. Hot chocolate anyone?