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The Alto Challenge

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  • Terri Garvey
    You may tell those good gentles that:   Once upon a time, at least one Alto you know was placed in that section early in her career by a director who
    Message 1 of 11 , Jul 5 6:40 PM
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      You may tell those good gentles that:

       

      Once upon a time, at least one Alto you know was placed in that section early in her career by a director who needed singers who would hold their own part and not default to the melody. In High School, she sang Tenor, as there was a dirth of male Tenors in her school, all the while longing to sing Soprano, sure she could hit those high notes. Finally given the chance to choose her own voice part, she found that she could indeed hit those high notes, she also found the Soprano lines to be less interesting and challenging than the Alto. So, here she is, preparing to sing Alto in the Known World Choir, and generally unfamiliar with the music. Thus, with the level of challenge not an issue, she is willing to sing Soprano if need be. Perhaps it is her time to soar once again. The End


    • Elizabeth Dowling
      Are you saying that there aren t enough sopranos? Elizabeth
      Message 2 of 11 , Jul 6 7:51 AM
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        Are you saying that there aren't enough sopranos?
        Elizabeth

        Terri Garvey wrote:
        >
        > You may tell those good gentles that:
        >
        >
        >
        > Once upon a time, at least one Alto you know was placed in that
        > section early in her career by a director who needed singers who
        > would hold their own part and not default to the melody. In High
        > School, she sang Tenor, as there was a dirth of male Tenors in her
        > school, all the while longing to sing Soprano, sure she could hit
        > those high notes. Finally given the chance to choose her own voice
        > part, she found that she could indeed hit those high notes, she also
        > found the Soprano lines to be less interesting and challenging than
        > the Alto. So, here she is, preparing to sing Alto in the Known World
        > Choir, and generally unfamiliar with the music. Thus, with the level
        > of challenge not an issue, she is willing to sing Soprano if need be.
        > Perhaps it is her time to soar once again. The End
        >
        >
        >
      • Kathleen Smith
        Yes, that is a previous message that there were far more alto voices registering.  to I had replied that a previoius choir master of mine and my son who is
        Message 3 of 11 , Jul 6 8:43 AM
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          Yes, that is a previous message that there were far more alto voices registering.  to I had replied that a previoius choir master of mine and my son who is now working on his doctorate in vocal performance and will be singing with the Phoenix opera comapany,believe that many women who call themselves altos are in fact lazy sopranos.

           

          So again, ladies, fess up and step up to the plate, and join me in the soprano section.

           

          (yes, I know, alto can be more fun sometimes............)

          --- On Sun, 7/6/08, Elizabeth Dowling <ejdowling@...> wrote:

          From: Elizabeth Dowling <ejdowling@...>
          Subject: Re: [KWChoir] The Alto Challenge
          To: KWChoir@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Sunday, July 6, 2008, 10:51 AM

          Are you saying that there aren't enough sopranos?
          Elizabeth

          Terri Garvey wrote:
          >
          > You may tell those good gentles that:
          >
          >
          >
          > Once upon a time, at least one Alto you know was placed in that
          > section early in her career by a director who needed singers who
          > would hold their own part and not default to the melody. In High
          > School, she sang Tenor, as there was a dirth of male Tenors in her
          > school, all the while longing to sing Soprano, sure she could hit
          > those high notes. Finally given the chance to choose her own voice
          > part, she found that she could indeed hit those high notes, she also
          > found the Soprano lines to be less interesting and challenging than
          > the Alto. So, here she is, preparing to sing Alto in the Known World
          > Choir, and generally unfamiliar with the music. Thus, with the level
          > of challenge not an issue, she is willing to sing Soprano if need be.
          > Perhaps it is her time to soar once again. The End
          >
          >
          >


        • Ysolt la Bretonne
          I have heard that altos are sopranos who can read music 8^) Ysolt, a sop who reads music -- Maîtresse Ysolt la Bretonne, OP Barony of Windmasters Hill
          Message 4 of 11 , Jul 6 9:35 AM
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            I have heard that altos are sopranos who can read music 8^)

            Ysolt, a sop who reads music

            --
            Maîtresse Ysolt la Bretonne, OP
            Barony of Windmasters' Hill
          • Elizabeth Dowling
            Well, a few points: 1. This year, because of the e-mail mix-ups, there may be a number of people who expect to participate and haven t signed up yet; I think
            Message 5 of 11 , Jul 6 1:20 PM
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              Well, a few points:
              1. This year, because of the e-mail mix-ups, there may be a number of
              people who expect to participate and haven't signed up yet; I think that
              the altos and men usually sign up first because often it is difficult to
              find them. Some of the altos may be able to sing tenor, which is only a
              couple of notes lower than alto usually. (And it's funny; in the past
              there have been some bottom-heavy pieces.)

              2. There are a number of women who, for whatever health reasons,
              literally can no longer reach the high notes. I had a friend who was
              prescribed a medication which permanently lowered her voice to tenor,
              and she had been soprano. Such persons are not "lazy" sopranos. If a
              person cannot reach the high notes, or doesn't know how, it could damage
              the voice to try; it helps to relax and sing mentally "above" the notes.

              3. I usually sing soprano 1 unless no altos show up; I couldn't come
              last year. You may remember me; I tend to get an ice cream cone before
              rehearsals. (I've studied Indian music, and they prep the voice with
              butter rather than lemon.) Seriously, there are ways to stretch a voice
              that is lazy. Sing a scale slowly down the scale first, as low as you
              can go, yawning open the mouth and becoming much quieter as you
              descend. Then go up the scale from the bottom, back to the starting
              note. Then, sing some arpegios or quick scales going up a little at a
              time; keeping the chin down and letting the jaw relax into a comfortable
              position. For a number of months, I had a few women who normally sing
              alto coming to my house once a week (learning some Period music), and
              after a couple of weeks, their low notes were the C the octave below
              middle C or lower, and their high notes were the E _two_ octaves above
              middle C. They are shy of the choir, or I'd get two of those queens of
              the night (who are coming to Pennsic) to sing soprano with us. But, if
              a person is able to expand their voice, and not all can, the way to go
              up is to go down first.
              Elizabeth

              Kathleen Smith wrote:
              >
              > Yes, that is a previous message that there were far more alto voices
              > registering. to I had replied that a previoius choir master of mine
              > and my son who is now working on his doctorate in vocal performance
              > and will be singing with the Phoenix opera comapany,believe that many
              > women who call themselves altos are in fact lazy sopranos.
              >
              >
              >
              > So again, ladies, fess up and step up to the plate, and join me in the
              > soprano section.
              >
              >
              >
              > (yes, I know, alto can be more fun sometimes............)
              >
              > --- On *Sun, 7/6/08, Elizabeth Dowling /<ejdowling@...>/* wrote:
              >
              > From: Elizabeth Dowling <ejdowling@...>
              > Subject: Re: [KWChoir] The Alto Challenge
              > To: KWChoir@yahoogroups.com
              > Date: Sunday, July 6, 2008, 10:51 AM
              >
              > Are you saying that there aren't enough sopranos?
              > Elizabeth
              >
              > Terri Garvey wrote:
              > >
              > > You may tell those good gentles that:
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Once upon a time, at least one Alto you know was placed in that
              > > section early in her career by a director who needed singers who
              > > would hold their own part and not default to the melody. In High
              > > School, she sang Tenor, as there was a dirth of male Tenors in her
              > > school, all the while longing to sing Soprano, sure she could hit
              > > those high notes. Finally given the chance to choose her own voice
              > > part, she found that she could indeed hit those high notes, she
              > also
              > > found the Soprano lines to be less interesting and challenging than
              > > the Alto. So, here she is, preparing to sing Alto in the Known
              > World
              > > Choir, and generally unfamiliar with the music. Thus, with the
              > level
              > > of challenge not an issue, she is willing to sing Soprano if
              > need be.
              > > Perhaps it is her time to soar once again. The End
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
              >
              >
            • Dawn Assumma
              What is going on in terms of choir stuff? Excuse my ignorance as it s my first year signing up and the like, but what happens in terms of assigning vocal
              Message 6 of 11 , Jul 6 3:18 PM
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                What is going on in terms of choir stuff?  Excuse my ignorance as it's my first year signing up and the like, but what happens in terms of assigning vocal parts?

                Liliane Morhbane

                On Sun, Jul 6, 2008 at 4:20 PM, Elizabeth Dowling <ejdowling@...> wrote:

                Well, a few points:
                1. This year, because of the e-mail mix-ups, there may be a number of
                people who expect to participate and haven't signed up yet; I think that
                the altos and men usually sign up first because often it is difficult to
                find them. Some of the altos may be able to sing tenor, which is only a
                couple of notes lower than alto usually. (And it's funny; in the past
                there have been some bottom-heavy pieces.)

                2. There are a number of women who, for whatever health reasons,
                literally can no longer reach the high notes. I had a friend who was
                prescribed a medication which permanently lowered her voice to tenor,
                and she had been soprano. Such persons are not "lazy" sopranos. If a
                person cannot reach the high notes, or doesn't know how, it could damage
                the voice to try; it helps to relax and sing mentally "above" the notes.

                3. I usually sing soprano 1 unless no altos show up; I couldn't come
                last year. You may remember me; I tend to get an ice cream cone before
                rehearsals. (I've studied Indian music, and they prep the voice with
                butter rather than lemon.) Seriously, there are ways to stretch a voice
                that is lazy. Sing a scale slowly down the scale first, as low as you
                can go, yawning open the mouth and becoming much quieter as you
                descend. Then go up the scale from the bottom, back to the starting
                note. Then, sing some arpegios or quick scales going up a little at a
                time; keeping the chin down and letting the jaw relax into a comfortable
                position. For a number of months, I had a few women who normally sing
                alto coming to my house once a week (learning some Period music), and
                after a couple of weeks, their low notes were the C the octave below
                middle C or lower, and their high notes were the E _two_ octaves above
                middle C. They are shy of the choir, or I'd get two of those queens of
                the night (who are coming to Pennsic) to sing soprano with us. But, if
                a person is able to expand their voice, and not all can, the way to go
                up is to go down first.
                Elizabeth



                Kathleen Smith wrote:
                >
                > Yes, that is a previous message that there were far more alto voices
                > registering. to I had replied that a previoius choir master of mine
                > and my son who is now working on his doctorate in vocal performance
                > and will be singing with the Phoenix opera comapany,believe that many
                > women who call themselves altos are in fact lazy sopranos.
                >
                >
                >
                > So again, ladies, fess up and step up to the plate, and join me in the
                > soprano section.
                >
                >
                >
                > (yes, I know, alto can be more fun sometimes............)
                >
                > --- On *Sun, 7/6/08, Elizabeth Dowling /<ejdowling@...>/* wrote:
                >
                > From: Elizabeth Dowling <ejdowling@...>
                > Subject: Re: [KWChoir] The Alto Challenge
                > To: KWChoir@yahoogroups.com
                > Date: Sunday, July 6, 2008, 10:51 AM
                >
                > Are you saying that there aren't enough sopranos?
                > Elizabeth
                >
                > Terri Garvey wrote:
                > >
                > > You may tell those good gentles that:
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Once upon a time, at least one Alto you know was placed in that
                > > section early in her career by a director who needed singers who
                > > would hold their own part and not default to the melody. In High
                > > School, she sang Tenor, as there was a dirth of male Tenors in her
                > > school, all the while longing to sing Soprano, sure she could hit
                > > those high notes. Finally given the chance to choose her own voice
                > > part, she found that she could indeed hit those high notes, she
                > also
                > > found the Soprano lines to be less interesting and challenging than
                > > the Alto. So, here she is, preparing to sing Alto in the Known
                > World
                > > Choir, and generally unfamiliar with the music. Thus, with the
                > level
                > > of challenge not an issue, she is willing to sing Soprano if
                > need be.
                > > Perhaps it is her time to soar once again. The End
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
                >
                >


              • JLLYBN
                I sang soprano all my life until a few years ago the last tenor in our choir died. I switched to tenor as did another soprano friend. It was very difficult for
                Message 7 of 11 , Jul 7 7:38 AM
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                  I sang soprano all my life until a few years ago the last tenor in our
                  choir died. I switched to tenor as did another soprano friend. It was
                  very difficult for me as the logic of the part is VERY different. I am
                  finally getting the hang of it and can sometimes "hear" the part in the
                  music. Soprano is easier since they most often get the melody. Changing
                  to tenor made me much more humble. Now I alternate between 2 churches
                  and sing tenor at one and soprano at the other which helps to keep my
                  voice flexible. I can tell you what a note is on paper but I can't look
                  at that note and sing it. Nor can I figure out what a piece of music is
                  supposed to sound like by the score. But - I love to sing and usually
                  hold my own.


                  -
                • erlannordenskald
                  Good questions - ... it s my ... assigning ... The director chooses a program. She/he hopes that she has the voices to fill it. Upon registration, the
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jul 7 7:40 AM
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                    Good questions -
                    > What is going on in terms of choir stuff? Excuse my ignorance as
                    it's my
                    > first year signing up and the like, but what happens in terms of
                    assigning
                    > vocal parts?
                    >
                    The director chooses a program. She/he hopes that she has the voices
                    to fill it. Upon registration, the director assigns vocal parts.
                    Often scrambling around to substitute a piece or 2 because of the lack
                    of voices.

                    to date FYI, there are 2 basses and 3 tenors of the male persuasion.
                    Because of the timbre of the female voice, I personally would not like
                    to force the female into the tenor range. It's possible to "sing" the
                    notes however since the notes are in the lower most portion of a
                    female range, it comes across as "low" and not the timbre of a male
                    tenor. So, I wait to see what I've got... sometimes, I can't use a
                    piece or 2 because of this fact. Now, mind you, I sing tenor and alto
                    parts when I sing but a female just doesn't have the power and volume
                    and control in that lower register. *sigh*
                    So that all means........ERLAN NEEDS MORE MEN

                    I will have vocal assignments and the music list later on today.
                  • Summer
                    And then there are people like me, who have lost some of our highest notes simply due to getting older and/or not having used them all that much in recent
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jul 7 6:49 PM
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                      And then there are people like me, who have lost some of our highest
                      notes simply due to getting older and/or not having used them all that
                      much in recent years... *sigh* Oh, well, I did get some notes into the
                      other part of my range that weren't there before, so I suppose it's a
                      trade-off!

                      --- In KWChoir@yahoogroups.com, Elizabeth Dowling <ejdowling@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Well, a few points:
                      <snippage for length - no need for me to repeat everything - SS>
                      > 2. There are a number of women who, for whatever health reasons,
                      > literally can no longer reach the high notes. I had a friend who was
                      > prescribed a medication which permanently lowered her voice to tenor,
                      > and she had been soprano. Such persons are not "lazy" sopranos. If a
                      > person cannot reach the high notes, or doesn't know how, it could
                      damage
                      > the voice to try; it helps to relax and sing mentally "above" the notes.
                      >

                      <more snippage for length>
                    • June Whalen
                      Greetings one and all - I have in fact registered as a Soprano at Pennsic 36 and again this year. I can hit those really raftery notes - but would love company
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jul 12 6:08 PM
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                        Greetings one and all -
                         
                        I have in fact registered as a Soprano at Pennsic 36 and again this year.
                         
                        I can hit those really raftery notes - but would love company from such a high altitude!
                         
                        Meitheamh

                        ----- Original Message ----
                        From: Kathleen Smith <ksstrek@...>
                        To: KWChoir@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Sunday, July 6, 2008 11:43:15 AM
                        Subject: Re: [KWChoir] The Alto Challenge

                        Yes, that is a previous message that there were far more alto voices registering.  to I had replied that a previoius choir master of mine and my son who is now working on his doctorate in vocal performance and will be singing with the Phoenix opera comapany,believe that many women who call themselves altos are in fact lazy sopranos.

                         

                        So again, ladies, fess up and step up to the plate, and join me in the soprano section.

                         

                        (yes, I know, alto can be more fun sometimes... ......... )

                        --- On Sun, 7/6/08, Elizabeth Dowling <ejdowling@deers- cry.com> wrote:

                        From: Elizabeth Dowling <ejdowling@deers- cry.com>
                        Subject: Re: [KWChoir] The Alto Challenge
                        To: KWChoir@yahoogroups .com
                        Date: Sunday, July 6, 2008, 10:51 AM

                        Are you saying that there aren't enough sopranos?
                        Elizabeth

                        Terri Garvey wrote:
                        >
                        > You may tell those good gentles that:
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Once upon a time, at least one Alto you know was placed in that
                        > section early in her career by a director who needed singers who
                        > would hold their own part and not default to the melody. In High
                        > School, she sang Tenor, as there was a dirth of male Tenors in her
                        > school, all the while longing to sing Soprano, sure she could hit
                        > those high notes. Finally given the chance to choose her own voice
                        > part, she found that she could indeed hit those high notes, she also
                        > found the Soprano lines to be less interesting and challenging than
                        > the Alto. So, here she is, preparing to sing Alto in the Known World
                        > Choir, and generally unfamiliar with the music. Thus, with the level
                        > of challenge not an issue, she is willing to sing Soprano if need be.
                        > Perhaps it is her time to soar once again. The End
                        >
                        >
                        >



                      • Susan Stoltze
                        Ummm, that would be me.   - Susanna Merrybegot ... From: June Whalen Subject: Re: [KWChoir] The Alto Challenge To:
                        Message 11 of 11 , Jul 14 1:42 PM
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                          Ummm, that would be me.

                           

                          - Susanna Merrybegot

                          --- On Sat, 7/12/08, June Whalen <ladymeitheamh@...> wrote:

                          From: June Whalen <ladymeitheamh@...>
                          Subject: Re: [KWChoir] The Alto Challenge
                          To: KWChoir@yahoogroups.com
                          Date: Saturday, July 12, 2008, 8:08 PM

                          Greetings one and all -
                           
                          I have in fact registered as a Soprano at Pennsic 36 and again this year.
                           
                          I can hit those really raftery notes - but would love company from such a high altitude!
                           
                          Meitheamh

                          ----- Original Message ----
                          From: Kathleen Smith <ksstrek@yahoo. com>
                          To: KWChoir@yahoogroups .com
                          Sent: Sunday, July 6, 2008 11:43:15 AM
                          Subject: Re: [KWChoir] The Alto Challenge

                          Yes, that is a previous message that there were far more alto voices registering.  to I had replied that a previoius choir master of mine and my son who is now working on his doctorate in vocal performance and will be singing with the Phoenix opera comapany,believe that many women who call themselves altos are in fact lazy sopranos.

                           

                          So again, ladies, fess up and step up to the plate, and join me in the soprano section.

                           

                          (yes, I know, alto can be more fun sometimes... ......... )

                          --- On Sun, 7/6/08, Elizabeth Dowling <ejdowling@deers- cry.com> wrote:

                          From: Elizabeth Dowling <ejdowling@deers- cry.com>
                          Subject: Re: [KWChoir] The Alto Challenge
                          To: KWChoir@yahoogroups .com
                          Date: Sunday, July 6, 2008, 10:51 AM

                          Are you saying that there aren't enough sopranos?
                          Elizabeth

                          Terri Garvey wrote:
                          >
                          > You may tell those good gentles that:
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Once upon a time, at least one Alto you know was placed in that
                          > section early in her career by a director who needed singers who
                          > would hold their own part and not default to the melody. In High
                          > School, she sang Tenor, as there was a dirth of male Tenors in her
                          > school, all the while longing to sing Soprano, sure she could hit
                          > those high notes. Finally given the chance to choose her own voice
                          > part, she found that she could indeed hit those high notes, she also
                          > found the Soprano lines to be less interesting and challenging than
                          > the Alto. So, here she is, preparing to sing Alto in the Known World
                          > Choir, and generally unfamiliar with the music. Thus, with the level
                          > of challenge not an issue, she is willing to sing Soprano if need be.
                          > Perhaps it is her time to soar once again. The End
                          >
                          >
                          >




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