I'm skipping choir. Every week I mean to post a rant about choir but then I get home and I'm too tired to do anything but go to bed. But this week I decided I was too tired to go so here I am.
We have two directors. One is actually a director. The other is an old choir biddy who thinks she can lead a choir. She can't. We are singing easy Christmas carols and the Hallelujah Chorus with her and we sound terrible. We are singing some very nice Japanese pieces with the other guy - Tanaka sensei - and though we still sound like a bunch of old people singing (I'm the youngest by at least 20-30 years) we sound like a bunch of old people who know what they are doing.
Unrelated to the choir in Tahara but in regards to a group in Toyohashi, I went to see Mozart's Requiem this past weekend. I have sung this piece before. I listen to it quite often. My friend Sue who goes to choir with me here in Tahara and Tanaka-sensei were trying to swing it so I could join in and sing it with them. They told me it was too late back in May. Now they just performed in October. So three months apparently was not enough time for me to relearn a piece of music I have performed before according to them.
At the time I thought, no big deal they must be really good to have such high standards. Uh no, actually they had elementary school kids singing it. And ladies who looked like they might fall off the stage and into their graves. They didn't even have an orchestra to play with them, just a lone piano, so in the end it would have been a great big disappointment anyway, but what's more disappointing is that they think so little of me. I don't know if it's because I'm a foreigner or because they just didn't know me, but still it irks. I could have easily sung with them this past weekend, and sung it well.
Other things that drive me crazy:
We take almost thirty minutes to warm up and at the end, I'm not very warmed up. But my legs are nice and stretched out so that's helpful.
Choir biddy director likes to warm us up on the syllable Eeee. Quite possibly the ugliest vowel and hardest to sing in the upper register.
They like to sing on solfege (do, re, mi, fa, so etc.) except that they sing them all as if we are in the key of C even when we are clearly NOT in the key of C. This drives me CRAZY! The distance between do and re should always be the same except that this way it isn't. So how is that helpful?
We have practice on Friday nights! Who does that? Although for a group of old people in the inaka I suppose they don't have anything else better to do. (And really who am I kidding neither do I but my cultural sensibilities are still maligned either way.)
And to end on a positive note because I really do enjoy choir:
I really like the music we are singing with Tanaka-sensei.
I may not have any idea what I'm singing but I can read hirigana now like nobody's business.
I get to hang out with my good friend Sue.
Tanaka-sensei seems to like me and I think he gets frustrated that I can't speak more Japanese. He likes to make me sing all the way to the top of my register, way past the rest of the other sopranos. It can be embarrassing but it's nice to go that high every once in awhile. (I can hit a high C if my voice isn't too tired.)
I was photographed and profiled in the monthly magazine here in Tahara (all the ALTs were) and I mentioned that I sang with the Tahara Chorus. I won major points with that. They loved that I gave them some extra PR.
I can't seem to live without choir and yet I can't really live with it either. I really miss Cincinnati Choral Society though. :-(