Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Recovering soprano
When people ask me if I'm an Alto or a Soprano, I give them the quick answer, "Alto." But that's really not the truth and it certainly isn't the full story. 

Any qualified vocal coach will listen to me sing and pronounce me a Soprano. So, technically ... yes, I'm a Soprano. And yes, when I have the proper warm-up and remember breath support, I can hit those silly high notes. But I consider myself a recovering soprano. 

I had the privilege of singing with the Cathedral Choir of the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis for about 12 years. And for the first four years, I sang Soprano.

Honestly, sometimes being a Soprano is boring. You usually sing the melody, so picking up a new piece of music isn't as much work for you. Occasionally, you would be given unnaturally high, soaring notes to sing and the listeners would oo and ah, but that was sort of the extent of 'work.'  But then there is the diva personality that many Sopranos possess (or maybe it possess them). While I love my Soprano sisters, I have low Diva tolerance. AND if you put lots of Sopranos together, sometimes a diva-mob-mentality shows up. 

I hit maximum overload after four years with the choir and asked (begged) the choir director to allow me to join the Altos. I wanted the challenge of singing one of the inner voices. The next choir season, at the first rehearsal when everyone stands up to introduce themselves, I identified myself as a 'recovering soprano.' Some friends were ticked off at me for going to the other side and I was no longer invited to gatherings. While I supposed that was meant to snub me, it just proved my point. On the flip side, my Alto sisters welcomed me warmly into the fold. 

So why am I bringing this all up now? At last night's Annie rehearsal, I had to be the stand-in for the role of Grace. I thought I was just doing the lines, but then when the music started, it was, "Sing!" And since the role of Grace is really meant for a Soprano, I had some nasty flashbacks. 

I guess I experienced a moment of PSSD - Post-Soprano-Stress-Disorder. I'm sure I just need to channel middle C for an hour or so to re-find my center. 

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