Judith Lautner (judith) wrote,
Judith Lautner

Parts is parts?

Last night Tom asked higher-altos (first altos) to volunteer for second soprano parts when they come up (that is, when the sopranos separate) in the Bach. I stayed in that group, because I tend toward high, and when Tom heard us run through some exercises he was happy with us. So I ended up singing second soprano on some of the movements in the mass.

It hit me suddenly - what was I thinking? - that I was doing quite well with this mass even though this was only the second rehearsal because so much has stuck with me from the last time we sang it, eleven years ago. And now I have to wrest myself from my comfort zone to sing another part. Fortunately not for the whole piece.

What I didn't expect was how my heart lingered in the alto section when I was not singing alto. I think I am an alto by temperament, by voice, and by some vague thing similar to soul. I would be a cello if I were an instrument. I wonder if I could be happy as a second soprano as a full-time part.

Sometimes Tom moves sopranos into the alto section when they have reached an age where their voices just can't hack the high notes. I have talked to some of these women and they say they find the alto part fun and challenging, which of course it is! Unless I take up singing lessons I am unlikely to move in the other direction, and perhaps that's a good thing.

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