iTunes is genius. I wish it had been around when I was in school, screw blowing any extra cash on fashion magizines, it would have been spent on classical music selections at .99 per purchase.
Tonight something made me iTunes search the choral composer, John Rutter. In my humble and biased opinion one of the best things to ever happen to “modern” classical music. Upon clicking the samples a flood of memories rushed back and once again I was just that nerdy Choir Geek in the dress that was too big, singing my heart out and concentraing on perfect tones as if my life depended on it.
I took voice privately for ten years, one would think after all that time I’d be good right? Well, I think was just delusional in that if I practiced enough I’d be just as good at those who were more gifted. I was good enough to snag some various scholarships, do some group work, some solo work and eventually some jingles. Even got paid to sing in other churches choirs for awhile. I loved singing. I knew I wasn’t cool enough to be a rock star, nor was I pretty enough to be a pop star, but somewhere…. there is a country demo floating around. Seriously. *snerk* There was this once music teacher who I respected greatly and worked with for many years. He informed me once “I’ll have egg on my face the day you make decent money with your voice.” I much enjoyed going back a few years later and telling him where he could hear my jingle songs. If American Idol had existed back then, I would have been one of those who made the “wtf were they thinking” reel.
There was nothing modernly cool about my taste, my friends rolled their eyes and tolerated me. I on the other hand, spent a good deal of my teenage years in the basement of the music building on the university campus. Hours spent pounding out on the piano vocal parts, and working on scales. The extra money I made went towards music lessons and books. Determination to be better drove me to a delusional place where I thought I was better. It wasn’t fair that it came naturally to some who didn’t have to work for it, but I had to work for the thing that I loved. That seemed to make it all the more meaningful and dear to me. Qualms were not familiar to me upon taking a stage, grabbing a microphone was never an issue. I thought that just getting up there and doing it was half the battle, the rest would fall into place. Well, it didn’t. I didn’t have a knack for choosing cool stuff, but I picked stuff that went along well with my voice, err…. most of the time. And hell… at one time I could boast of being able to sing in ten different languages!
Determined again to be better than the competition I continued to struggle with piano and added in Tubular Bells, Marimba, Timpani, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Glockenspiel and Oboe. Oh, and let’s not forget the Harmonica and Hand Bells. Yep, I was a band geeks wet dream. (and still curse carpel tunnel) So in an attempt to make myself even better I joined the school band in addition to choirs. (yep… I was a virgin.)
Nowadays some of my old favorite music books reside in stacks under my dresser, others along with multiple pieces of sheet music live in a big storage box under my stairs. I sold my beloved Oboe when my ex lost his job, because I was petrified we were going to run out of money and was in panic mode. My keyboard rests upon a shelf in my closet, and I no longer have a piano. Other various musical instruments that were collected over the years also met a similar fate to my Oboe, but I always made sure they went to a good home where they were well taken care of and loved. The only singing I do is in the car, or with the headphone on while I’m cleaning house. Not in public, not anymore.