Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Universe Wins Again

Singing has always been something I enjoyed immensely. I remember when I was very very small I had all the musical movies I watched memorized (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, etc.) and I would sit around and play with toys and sing to myself. There even came a time when I wouldn't stop singing music from The Nightmare Before Christmas and it was driving Mim so crazy that she told me I wasn't allowed to sing that music anymore.

Mim has played the piano since she was very young, and when I was old enough she started teaching me to play. I hated it. HATED. I just always felt like there were better uses for my time, and why should I learn this because it will never help me in the real world or anything-basically any little kid's thoughts when they're made to practice something over and over again.

Eventually I quit (Mim wasn't happy about that) and now that I'm grown I regret quitting terribly. I can still read music, albeit very slowly, and I still have a few sonatinas memorized, but other than that I really can't play anymore. But music didn't disappear from my life.

In 7th grade I took my first choir class and from the very beginning I was hooked. I continued to take choir until my senior year in high school, when I didn't participate. I joined the Jazz choir junior year (as an alto, strangely enough)(I usually sing high soprano)(apparently if I sing low I sound sultry and jazzish) and senior year I did a song for the homecoming week talent show ("Winter" by Tori Amos).

In my high school there were basically three levels of choir classes: open choir, Warrior Chorus, and Concert Choir. The last two required an audition, but the first was open to anyone who wished to enroll. So freshman and sophomore years I was in open choir, and junior year I auditioned to be in Warrior Chorus and made it in, and when senior year rolled around I auditioned for Concert Choir. I didn't make it in. I should have. In junior year we had a Christmas concert and I had gotten a solo, beating out all the Concert Choir sopranos who auditioned. When it came time for the concert, I (somehow) got hand, foot, and mouth disease, and was forced to stay home and give up my solo to someone else. Universe: 1, Anna: 0. Either way, it was clear to everyone that I should have made it into Concert Choir. I think the director must have had something against me (and I don't want you to think I'm just saying that to make myself look better or anything, it's just truly what happened).

When they posted the lists of who got in to which choir, and my name wasn't on there, many many people were outraged. When senior year started I went to the director (who was new; the old one got fired for BIG TIME extortion) and asked to re-audition and he refused, so I decided that the drama wasn't worth it, and I didn't want to settle for being in Warrior Chorus again, so I quit. That was it. I'd had it. So senior year I didn't sing in a choir at all. Universe: 2, Anna: 0.

Then I went to college, and immediately signed up to audition for the many choirs there. And you know what? Auditions were right before the semester started and Utah has a very high elevation compared to South Dakota, and guess who got altitude sickness and couldn't sing? Yep. Universe: 3, Anna: 0.

So, I did the next best thing: I signed up for a small group vocal music class, and I loved it. It was nice because I got a lot of personal instruction from the grad student who was teaching the class (because the class was so small) and I improved my classical technique, determined to try again next year. I then spent the following summer taking private voice lessons back in Sioux Falls. I was ready to audition, and when I got to campus in the fall I went to sign up for auditions. BUT, every single choir was scheduled to meet for practice at the exact times I was in a chemistry (and therefore necessary) class, so even if I did get into a choir I wouldn't be able to come to practice unless I gave up chemistry. Universe: 4, Anna: 0.

I love singing. I always have. And I tried for eight years to make it work. But it just isn't meant to be. I got the message, Universe. You win. You freaking win.

I hope you're happy.


magnolia said...

"winter." oh, man. that song has been HAUNTING me lately.

i feel the same way about dance classes. i've been trying for so long, especially after i lost my weight, to get back into it. but the universe has conspired against me so much that i've all but given up on the idea. grr.

Kim said...

I don't think the Universe has won until you give up. You can always keep trying.

But I know what you mean...I've been in choirs and have always wanted to take voice lessons and never have gotten to. Something has always come up.