I’m singing in the choir(s)

(I’m also singing in the rain, but that’s just because I like to sing while I walk, and Munich has been having dismal weather lately.)

I spent my year at Cambridge swearing I would not join a college chapel choir. A free meal and some voice lessons were not worth the commitment of two rehearsals and a service each week. Of course, immediately after arriving in Munich, I joined a church choir (also Anglican) and committed to two rehearsals and a service each week in exchange for voice lessons (and no free meals). Makes perfect sense, right?

So I am alto-ing it up in the Vocal Arts Ensemble and studying voice with Robert Gardner. Both of these are wonderful things. Robert not only has a teaching style that works well for me—he also has great stories and gossip about singers I admire (that he has worked with). And I’m learning lots of Anglican service and evensong repertoire, which will come in handy if I end up back at Cambridge for a Ph.D. Also, the choir is a really fun group. Everyone learns very quickly (my sight-singing definitely needs to get better if I’m going to keep up!) and knows how to have fun—we go out for drinks and karaoke after rehearsal. I’m slowly learning how to do karaoke. It’s not quite the same as opera or musical theatre. I have to worry about the microphone, and I never know what key or version a song will be. Last night, I sang “There’s no business like show business” and was surprised when it had no intro but had bridges between some of the verses. (Also, the key was a bit too high so it ended up being rather operatic.) The pub crowd was very forgiving!

That's really me on the karaoke stage! I was going to give you a video of my "There's no business like show business," but YouTube took away my right to post unlisted videos, and no way was I going to make that public!
That’s really me on the karaoke stage! I was going to give you a video of my “There’s no business like show business,” but YouTube took away my right to post unlisted videos, and no way was I going to make that public!

I’m also singing in my synagogue choir as a soprano. We don’t sing weekly services, but I arrived in time for the big event of the year: the High Holy Days. The choir had been rehearsing for several months without me, but thanks to sheet music, familiarity with some of the tunes, and sitting near the piano, I muddled through.

I’m still looking for solo singing opportunities is Munich, as choirs are not really my thing. But in the absence of that, this is a great way to meet people, improve my sight-singing, and keep my voice in shape. (Both choir directors encourage vibrato and supported singing, so I’m not ruining my solo voice.)

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