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Minikin's Journal

Routine Ramblings of an Occasionally Interesting Texan

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Hear Me Screech
LJ Idol
I love reading aloud. I love singing. I love the concept of making a joyful noise. Hymns were my favorite part of the service when I was little, and I still hurry to service so as not to miss the worship music.

I sang in my high school chorale, and I loved it. Sadly, I missed almost all of the Christmas programs: I contracted laryngitis like clockwork, three out of the four Decembers I attended high school. The one year that I got to participate, my teacher was more excited than I was when I was finally able to perform in the Christmas program.

I attended an all-girl high school, and there was a local boys school that recruited at our school when they had need of female voices. I never tried out for the musicals, because the idea of auditioning was too intimidating. I think I was actually selected by my chorale teacher for the one gig I got there. Two other girls and I were invited to sing the vocals for Gonna Fly Now on stage with the boys school's concert band.

We had one rehearsal. Oh, the song was constantly on the radio, there was no problem with knowing the lyrics or the notes. But we had only one rehearsal with the band, where we were told that we would stand on stage, to the side of the band; we would share one mike; oh, and, one last thing - *I* had to sing the first note, and *I* had to get that note from the band at one specific spot.

Wait! Where was that again? How did that measure sound different than the one before? And, do I get, I dunno, some sort of score to follow?

The other two girls ran with the popular set. One was the girl whose hair always looked perfect. All day. With, apparently, no hairspray. I mean, it swayed and bounced just like Lana Lang complained about Lois Lane's hair in that episode of Lois and Clark where they were trapped together and had to talk. The other girl was her inseparable friend. They went to the prom together, both wearing tuxes. I was the smart geek who hung out in the math lab, and knew how to put together a Soma cube in 15 seconds. And here I was, being singled out again, just because I had the purest, strongest, most beautiful soprano voice.

Um, have I mentioned that I Do Not Have perfect pitch? Did I make it clear, in the above paragraph that I had no clue how to find that one elusive note from the orchestra? If you are familiar with the theme from Rocky, you'll know that there is a lengthy musical fanfare leading up to the vocals, which begin on a high note.

The three of us got together to plan our outfits: black dress pants, white blouses. I'm sure the other two planned their hair together. I've no memory of how I did mine, but knowing the era, I'm sure that I didn't do anything to take advantage of my gorgeous red hair. I probably had it in an unattractive bun, minus the curly bits that Blondie always has. I was so nervous.

The night came. I had friends and family in the audience. We stood onstage as the band played, resolutely not fidgeting, with no place for our hands. Then the moment came. I think. I thought. I sang out. My voice was strong, my note was pure. The others joined in and we sang.

It was finally over.

After the program, I asked my friends how we did. They said that when we first started singing, there was some sort of feedback, and then the techies did something, and everything was fine.

The truth is, I had the wrong note, and my strong, pure voice resonated exactly wrong with the instruments. They turned our mike off, and the audience thought they heard the rest of the vocals. After all, we moved our mouths, we were obviously singing away.

One of the friends I had in the crowd was my boyfriend. He played drums in a rock band, had perfect pitch, and studied classical composition. He was the only one who knew the truth. But he was kind enough not to bring it up in front of the others.

Since then, I've always been shy about singing on-key. I mean, I get compliments on my voice, but I'm only comfortable singing in a large crowd or solo a capella. Knight swears it was me, that time in Rupp, when the conductor commented about the strong soprano up in the audience at the the Christmas Sing-a-Long.

One of the first things I came to love about my church is the worship music. Since it is amplified contemporary worship music, I can sing out as loud as I like, and know that my voice is harmonizing with all the others, not standing out or creating feedback.

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Ps. 100:1 KJV

This has been my entry for the LJ Idol writing competition, Topic 19: Hear Me Roar!
By the grace of Gary, both ladyozma and I managed to pull through the last round of voting, so watch this space (or my journal) vote a link to the poll when it opens on Wednesday.

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They say there was a secret chord, which David played and it please the Lord...

I remember learning about David playing for King Saul, when Saul would get bad headaches, and that David's playing would soothe him.

That'll be something - to hear David play in Heaven. :)

You made it after all! Congrats!!!!!!!!!

Thank you. That was such a shock. I was out to lunch today, so I just read about the eliminations on my phone, then posted the comment to the Green Room and moved my entry.

Then I got home, saw email from Ro, who wanted to know about the eliminations. I went over to the page to quote Gary, and "why is my name struck out? oh my goodness!"

This one was definitely a squeaker.

Looks like your back in the game.

Thanks. It was surprising, because I read the eliminations, and then was looking at the page again to copy the message to Ro. Imagination my shock to see the change!

I'm glad to stay in another round - especially since I've already written my entry. :)

--He was the only one who knew the truth.--

Ha! This just goes to show why I have no fear of singing solos in front of large crowds. But small crowds of other classical vocalists or brilliantly talented instrumentalists? Now, THAT is scary. My scariest solo ever was in front of the smallest crowd. That crowd just happened be members of the SF Opera. There was no getting away with nothing!

I have no problem in a group of friends. I have no problem with children in ones or crowds. But I shan't be auditioning to be on the worship team. I'm not up to their excellent standards.

Oh my gosh, I almost wet my pants laughing when I realized I had misread the line in pp6 as "meth lab"!

Oh, that's a hoot! Naw, the closest I came to meth was a few years long daily consumption of sudafed. Back when it was possible, I used to buy the stuff in bottle of 100.

Fortunately for me, my addictive personality never turned to drugs.

I don't sing in public. Play the guitar yes sing no for the very simple reason that I pickup the pitch of the person next to me.

You are much braver than I.
I liked this and am glad you are still in it.

Yep, I do tend to lean on the voices around me. Thanks for the compliment; it may be more that I have shed much of my ability to be embarrassed than anything else.

Thanks for your support. I'm glad I get stay a little longer. :)

I'm glad you made it in this week! Aie! Great and funny story too. :)

Me too!! Quite a squeaker.

Thanks. :)

Awesome entry! I can relate in a lot of ways--I absolutely adore making music; it's always come naturally. And I can sing! But I have the worst stage fright with it, which leads to extreme squeaking and off-key disasters. Blargh! It's frustrating! I really enjoyed this.

I'm glad you enjoyed it. I've also been an attention hound, but shy at the same time. A weird mix.

Great entry! An enjoyable read! I, too, suffer from less tahn perfect pitch... shower singing for me, strictly!

Thank you. I'm glad you liked it. It really IS fun to sing in the shower, isn't it?

Kudos to you for reffing my favourite episode of Lois and Clark (with the exception to the wedding of course). You go girl.


Oh how i relate. I have a great soprano voice. The only trouble is mine takes so freaking much work and i am never real sure if I have the pitch right. Apparently I tend to sing a big sharp.

I'm working on the Messiah right now. Oy. But if I work from now till Christmas, maybe I can semi sorta do it.

I only sing if people are loud and singing with me. LOL

Heh. That scene was just so REAL, the way one woman could like/dislike things about herself that she sees in another.

I haven't trained my voice since high school, so it's not nearly so impressive as it was. But I love singing my heart out, and occasionally hitting just the right key to let my voice shine.

Good luck with Messiah. That's quite a lot of work. We tackled an abbreviated Hallelujah chorus in HS, and of course arranged to make up for no male singers, and even that was a lot to handle.

Praise and worship is some of my favorite music too! (psst...God is tone deaf!) I'm sure it was ok! I loved choir...but was always too chicken to do a solo...go you! BRAVO!

He hears our hearts. Just the way grandparents listen to toddlers. :)


I love to sing - and I am no pop star either.

You reminded me of when my chorus did a Rodgers and Hammerstein concert in high school and somehow I got the part to sing lead vocals in "Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair." I was so freaking scared. I think I did fine, everyone said I did fine, but to this day I wonder if they were being kind and...I have never once sang karaoke!

Cool piece!

OOh, I love R&H music. I'm sure you sounded great.

Thank you.

As one loud off-key singer to another, think of the music we could make together! :)

I came to the conclusion awhile ago that no matter how many voice lessons you've had, no matter how many choirs/glee clubs/community choruses you've sung in, no matter how well you read music...there's nothing you can do about not having perfect pitch *sigh*

But maybe that's not the point. The point is the joy of singing itself, the joy of music, pure and simple!

Hee hee. As long as we're having fun. ;)

I'm blessed not to hear many of the mistakes others make, that bother my husband. He has perfect pitch for listening.

And yes, the point is the joy. Which is why worship music is some of my favorite. :)

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Oh, I would have turned bright red on the spot! My chorale teacher said many vocal instructors refuse to even take on High School, because of the changing voices. I was fortunate, in that mine never did that sort of cracking stuff.

My boys' voices have both dropped registers now, and neither of them have ever had cracking problems. We must have lucky genes.

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I love your prose style.

And you have reminded me that I still owe you (and the rest of my friends) a song someday.

It isn't a pure soprano, but it is my voice, and I should use it.

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