Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tight Harmony

This weekend, as part of my duties for the wedding*, I sang in a small group for the first time in way, way too long. We sang Sunday from Sunday In The Park With George.  It was such a wonderful experience, such a good reminder of parts of myself that are neglected, that I can't stop humming the tune in my head.

10 Things I Love About Singing In A Small Group

1. Someone else is calling the shots. I get to listen and execute and use my whole brain to do those things. I don't have to worry if I'm making the right decisions.

2. There is a sense of togetherness in a committed, welcoming group like this weekend's that you don't get very often.

3. Working together to reach a common goal is not foreign to me but with my job and my life it's not something I have to do all the time. Often I'm called on to help someone else reach their goals, sometimes I enlist people to shove me down the line toward mine but that shared purpose is pretty cool. Standing in a room where everyone wants to create the exact same thing? Wonderful.

4. A sense of accomplishment comes with being told what's needed and being able to provide it.

5. A few people together with some great music make things sound very pretty. I like things that sound very pretty. It sounds different from inside the group than outside.

6. As a solo singer it's unusual to use the highest register. It's a good thing to have in a chord but it's a hard thing to emote with so you don't use it when you're on your own very much unless you're a fancy opera singer or Mariah Carey or something. Getting to toss out some of those really high notes was a treat. I love doing that.

7. This piece was used to cover the time in the ceremony when the happy couple had to go inside to sign their official documents. The room where that happened had windows open facing the deck where the ceremony was performed. In the middle of the song I looked up and the bride was peeking out, giving us a grin and the thumbs up. That's a pretty fucking awesome feeling right there.

8. I've been learning a lot of new music lately. It's fun but I don't always choose perfectly. This piece was such a treat it made me look at the whole musical with a more open mind. I loved the dynamics and harmonies in it and I never would have listened to it if I hadn't been asked to do this.

9. My mystery guest was a classmate of mine from my drama school days in London. So was the bride. We haven't had the opportunity to support each other directly in our acting and singing for too many years. I loved being sort of thrown back to those times.

10. Now, I don't say this very often but, I relished the challenge. Learning a new piece in a couple of days from notes to dynamics to performance? That's a fucking rush. I needed a rush. I needed it bad.

*I love having duties to discharge at events where I don't know a lot of people. It makes it easier for me to meet people and makes me feel less awkward when I have trouble breaking in to the social scene.

**Since I was singing I do not have any photos of our group doing that singing. This photo is one I took at the release of this CD. (P.S. I shot the photos for the cover art, too.)


  1. I used to sing. I talk about as "The Days I had to Sing For My Supper". I don't miss the performing at all, but sometimes I miss singing with a group. Some times I'm tempted to go to church, just to sing some hymns.

  2. awesome all around. numbers 1-5 i can strongly identify with, makes me itchy :). have singing to do/record for my sil's birthday, at her request, so a chance to scratch the itch a wee bit ...