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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.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 31st, 2006 04:45 pm (UTC)
Oddly, I have an easier time with higher notes these days--I have sung first alto, but I'm mostly a second soprano. And I'm sixty, so I worry about my voice going or deepening, but so far, so good. In fact, I'm happier with my voice now than I've ever been.
Jan. 31st, 2006 04:48 pm (UTC)
I think age affects voices differently. I am 60 also and have not experienced any difference in range, and because of Tom's excellent directing I actually do sing better too. One thing I am particularly happy about is that I can easily sing without vibrato, which many of my fellow choristers cannot. Sometimes it's important to get that sound, as you know.
Jan. 31st, 2006 04:53 pm (UTC)
Yes, I don't have vibrato, either, and I feel blessed that I don't. I worry about losing my pitch or hearing, too, but haven't yet.

My sister is a lyric soprano and is a paid singer in her choir, and while her voice is still very fine she is having miserable sinus problems that are affecting her singing.

I'm glad you are having such a good time singing. It's the happiest thing I do.
Feb. 1st, 2006 01:48 am (UTC)
It is certainly one of the happiest things I do. There is no comparison to how it makes me feel to offer my voice to these wonderful productions, to be so immersed in it that I no longer exist.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 1st, 2006 01:46 am (UTC)
May 20, 8 p.m., PAC. It's going to be beautiful. It was good the last time but this is the second time so it will be better. I do hope you can come. You are also welcome to come listen in to a rehearsal now and then if you want.

I have an idea for your cake carrier. I could leave it on my porch and you could pick it up any time. 3500 Bullock #57, SLO. We just never seem to connect!
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 1st, 2006 06:02 pm (UTC)
It's out there waiting, in a paper bag. Thanks again for the loan and I apologize for all this delay!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


Judith Lautner
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