Sunday, February 13, 2011

Crowded singing

For the past few months I and another hundred or so students have been working on a piece by Monteverdi called "Vespro della Beata Vergine" (The Monteverdi Vespers).  It is an hour-long piece for an enormous 8-part choir or two enormous 4-part choirs, soloists and a medium-sized chamber orchestra with thirteen movements.  We had our concert tonight so it is finally finished and I am very happy that it is over and we don't have rehearsal for another week.

Why am I telling you this?  For the last two months rehearsals have been very hard to bear because of overcrowding.  It wasn't as bad as a factory farm or a Japanese subway station, but it is pretty close to it. Even during the concert, when we are expected to give our best performances, we were still squished together.  It was almost like rehearsing in a crowded setting was a practice for the crowdedness of the performance.  And instead of desks, we had to sit in black uncomfortable folding chairs so we could fit everyone in the classroom we rehearsed in.  I got especially frustrated last week when I was rehearsing with this massive choir for two hours every day.  It would be hard to find a bigger place to rehearse and perform without paying a lot of extra money, but I felt that this overcrowding negatively effected our singing.

In the last few rehearsals, which dominated my weekend (instead of, you know, having a social life or at least getting some homework done), our director and other students noticed some serious problems: bad tuning in almost every section, no facial expression, people not watching the conductor, people texting in rehearsal, tentative rhythm, people still not getting some of their pitches.  I think some of this might have been improved if people weren't packed in like sardines at the front of the church.

When we were performing, all dressed up, ready to go, if I moved my arm slightly, it would touch the person next to me, and I'd end up touching them if I leaned back.  I actually felt my back hurting a few minutes into the piece.  I also could barely see the conductor and since I was between two people, I couldn't move to be able to see him better.  By the end I was exhausted.  If you've ever been in a choir, you know how annoying all of this is.

In conclusion, I wish I had more room in choir because then I would probably sing better and not be as bored and cranky and tired.

Now I'm going to go and write some darned good fanfiction gosh darn it!

P.S. Damn it, Janet!

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