Thursday, October 14, 2010
Choiring Minds Want to Know
So. I belong to my church choir. I sing alto. I like the lower notes and I like to sing the harmony parts under the sopranos, who invariably sing the melody. Many women WANT to sing soprano just so they can get the melody. I admit, sometimes the alto line can be boring, a drone, or make no sense when sung alone.
But harmony is where the magic happens. Anyone can sing a plain old melody. La, la, la, go the sopranos, all high and mighty. Where would that melody be, really if not for the wonderful notes below, the wind beneath their wings?
My choir director lives and breathes music. He has either sung or played or conducted his whole life, and he is MY age. Which says a lot. But often, because he is so musically educated and perhaps a little bit gloomy, his tastes run to either the painfully classical, the obscure, the difficult or the grimly dark. Think Phantom of the Opera. You want to make this man happy? Give him a good Requiem.
Our choir is made up of a bunch of amateurs - the musical equivalent to weekend warriors - and a couple of professional ringers, uh, I mean, singers. The director hands out several weeks-worth of music at a time. He's the only person I know who can choose an Easter Song in a minor key. To keep our spirits up, we choir members like to poke fun at any weird names we can find on our sheet music. Pepper Choplin. John Rutter. Natalie Sleeth. But by far the best recently, was a piece of German music by a guy named Fuch Dich. I kid you not. Needless to say, we had a field day.
I won't go into the particulars here. Oh, okay, some references to Penal Colonies and Richard Nixon.
Choir is fun. Give us a rollicking good Requiem and we're off and running. Maybe Rutter knew Fuch Dich. IDK.