Suzanne's Soundtrack Sunday

What do you do when you enjoy singing Choral music and aren't in a choir? You can't exactly go down to the Karaoke bar and request "Ecce Gratum" from Carmina Burana or "Kyrie Eleison" from Schubert's Mass in G. Let's face it, if you're a choir geek without a choir, you're out of luck.

I am an unabashed singer of anything, anywhere. I'm the chick in the Beetle that passed you with "Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light" cranked up to 11, singing the Alto part. That Monsoon sound system is great for good stereo separation of four part harmonies, btw. (Just thought my fellow choir geeks might want to know this, in case they're contemplating purchasing a VW for audio quality, not love or German engineering.)

You're wondering "Okay, geek, what do you do when you're a choir fangirl and you aren't in a choir?" Well, there is ONE event each year that is the Superbowl of choral singing, the one place where fellow geeks fans of fine composition for choral masterworks can congregate:

The Messiah Sing In.


For one evening, I can sing along with all the chorus portions and confuse those around me. "Didn't she sing Tenor on the last one? But she sang Alto on the one before it? Uh, she seems to know the Soprano part!" Yes, in my course of learning the choruses of "Messiah", it depended on which year as to what part I sang! (Though it bothered Mr. Thayer to no end that he was forced to use (gasp) girl tenors because there weren't enough guys)

Many years ago, I treated myself to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra CD set of The Messiah and my own book of the score, with the plans that I'd go to that year's sing in down at the Kennedy.

It never happened, nor did it happen in the many years since. I came close a couple of times, having friends or coworkers that were equally enthralled with Handel's music. Either we couldn't coordinate a date, or more commonly, the retail schedule would push it out of my brain until somewhere around December 19th (usual Winter Concert time when I did sing the choruses in school) and by then? I was way too late to attend a sing in. If I wanted to sit in the audience and *listen*, I was golden. That's not what I wanted to do. I want to SING! HALLELUIAH, dammit! (and Surely, He Hath Bourne Our Griefs, but I digress)

Tuesday night, driving home from Boy Scouts, I had the iPod cranked to 11, and Gameboy was tolerant of not only my music, but my singing. He's been cursed blessed with his father's perfect pitch, so he usually doesn't want to hear others singing. For a change, I was able to sing along when "Break Forth" came on and my mind wandered.

I teared up a bit, because it reminded me of auditions and getting in, of hours spent in choir practices, making things perfect for performing for our family, friends and alumni. Of that annual performance WITH the Alumni on the risers and the combined choirs ringing the auditorium to sing the Halleluiah Chorus.

This year, I don't have the retail holiday insanity filling my brain. I wasn't distracted by the pile of things that normally floods my brain in October and pushes out the plans of being a choir geek until it's too late.

This year, I need to track down my book and crank all those Choruses up to 11 in the Beetle, because I am going to a Messiah Sing In this year. I finally remembered it early enough to do something about it.

(Ironically enough, when I Googled dates? The first hit was for Frederick, Maryland-on December 23rd!)


LOL, Suzanne, I didn't realize you were so musically talented.
Suzanne said…
I'm not the greatest singer, but I love doing it!

It's probably a good thing I prefer harmonies-I'm only a Mezzo on really good days. Alto and Tenor are very comfortable, lol!

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