Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

RE: [KWChoir] Troubling question

Expand Messages
  • Maria Foss
    I wonder that such things do not happen more often in ANY choir! I ve been involved with choirs enough to see my share of singers with issues , such as not
    Message 1 of 7 , Mar 8, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      I wonder that such things do not happen more often in ANY choir!   I've been involved with choirs enough to see my share of singers with "issues", such as not being able to  carry a tune without others close by singing in one's ear, or singing in tune just fine but with poor vocal quality...
       
      Being completely tone deaf AND oblivious to the fact - I've never encountered that, and that's a pretty challenging problem.  The irate, unreasonable parental figure as well.  I can't think that it would be possible to handle it any better than you did either... you have my moral support (and a long distance hug too.)
       
      Here's hoping the incident will not be repeated in a LONG while!
       
      Marea
      -----Original Message-----
      From: KWChoir@yahoogroups.com [mailto:KWChoir@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Donald F. Harrington
      Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 1:01 PM
      To: KWChoir@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [KWChoir] Troubling question

      Now that the dust has settled and we've had a chance to glow in the
      warm memories, I'd like to raise a little problem that happened to us
      this year at Estrella.  We advertise that to join us all you need to
      do is be able to carry a tune and keep a beat.

      I'm not sure how we could have best handled it, but I can't believe
      that the situation has not arisen before in the history of the Known
      World Choir.

      We had a lady join us at rehearsal who could not sing.  She sang an
      octave above everybody else and in a different key.  The sound was
      immediately off.  Some of our stronger sopranos gathered near her and
      sang so as to give her guidance, but she could or would not follow.

      I could hear that something was off and I commented during the
      rehearsal that it was happening.  Post-rehearsal, the sopranos came to
      me and identified the lady in question.

      When she arrived at the next rehearsal, before she could enter the
      area, I drew her aside and explained the problem.  I tried to be
      diplomatic and express it in terms of it not being a successful match
      between singer and group, but she was very upset and fled in tears.

      During the rehearsal, I was approached by her Father who wanted to
      know (a) why couldn't anybody sing with us no matter what, (b) who did
      I think I was to say his little girl couldn't sing, and (c) this
      wasn't the end of this.  He later returned with his seneschal.
      Luckily, the Atenveldt Kingdom seneschal is one of our tenors and was
      able to smooth things over with the other officer.  We discussed ways
      of strengthening the language about basic abilities to join the chorus.

      Some of the sopranos wanted to take the lady and work with her.  I
      fretted all evening about how upset she had been and what I could have
      done differently, that I was not willing to harm the choir or its
      performance to accommodate this lady.  Those who know me will know
      that I beat myself up pretty badly over hurting this person's feelings.

      Then came our preview performance (1 tune) at Queen's Tea.  This lady
      was also present at Queen's Tea, signing up to perform solo.  When the
      choir went on stage, she walked up with us (!).  It was not the place
      to cause a scene by publicly removing her.

      Afterwards, she spoke loudly in front of some of the singers that (a)
      she joined us deliberately to prove a point and that (b) "Lazarus was
      an ass".  Her solo performance conclusively demonstrated her
      intonation problems.  The ladies (including one Duchess) who had
      formerly been willing to help her were no longer interested.

      Luckily, she did not show up for the full concert as I would not have
      allowed her to perform.

      So am I just lucky enough to get a sociopath at the second Estrella
      choir?  Or has this sort of problem arisen in the past and people have
      some words of wisdom for me to avoid it in the future?

      Thanks!

      Don Harrington
      Lazarus Artifex




    • DON HARRINGTON
      Yes, you had an inaccurate picture of your own skills. And I ve had lots of people thank me because they were sure they were going to be awful and they
      Message 2 of 7 , Mar 8, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        Yes, you had an inaccurate picture of your own skills. And I've had lots of
        people thank me because they were sure they were going to be awful and they
        weren't at all. I think that's kind of a universal feeling. :)

        I discussed it with other choir members that we didn't want to add language
        that implied auditions or special skills beyond the very basic ones already
        mentioned - because we were afraid that people might pre-select themselves
        out. We had folks who really couldn't read music, for instance, and it
        didn't matter. I drilled all the parts. But the point is that we don't
        want to add barriers to participation for the very reasons you discuss - the
        thrill that people get when they realize they can do it after all.

        Don Harrington
        Lazarus Artifex

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Susan Heemstra" <susanheemstra@...>
        To: <KWChoir@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 3:24 PM
        Subject: Re: [KWChoir] Troubling question


        > Lazurus, I'm so sorry that happened to you! If I may gently add,
        > perhaps both of you could have done things differently. I will say that
        > you handled your issue with maturity and concern for the good of the
        > group. The youngster in question handled it with immaturity and
        > considered her own selfish needs first. It sounds like a no-win
        > situation. Bless the soprano ladies who considered "tutoring" her.
        >
        > I would like to add my own personal story. I joined the KWC at Pennsic
        > 33 believing that I would open my mouth and everyone would stop and glare
        > at me until I slunk away in disgrace. The sound of my own voice scares me
        > and I will drop a tune as fast as it takes a knight to get up after a
        > blow. But thanks to Lady Anne's wonderful direction, and Lady Arriana's
        > wonderful soprano voice to follow, I not only was not asked to leave, but
        > was part of the best choral performance of my adult life.
        >
        > I truly hope that all directors will have the patience to bring out the
        > best in their participants -- even if they aren't all that good.
        >
        > Having said that, it doesn't sound as if that would have been possible
        > in your case. Hopefully, this is the worst thing you will ever have to
        > deal with in a choral group.
        >
        > Yours in Service with $0.02 worth,
        >
        > Susanna Merrybegot
        >
        >
        >
        > ---------------------------------
        > Yahoo! Mail
        > Bring photos to life! New PhotoMail makes sharing a breeze.
      • Karen Kasper
        Susanna, if you re the person I think I remember from that Pennsic, then the only thing wrong with your voice was that you were too shy and should have sung
        Message 3 of 7 , Mar 8, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          Susanna, if you're the person I think I remember from that Pennsic, then the only thing wrong with your voice was that you were too shy and should have sung louder!  :-)
           
          Arianna
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Susan Heemstra" <susanheemstra@...>
          To: <KWChoir@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 3:24 PM
          Subject: Re: [KWChoir] Troubling question


          >         Lazurus, I'm so sorry that happened to you!  If I may gently add,
          > perhaps both of you could have done things differently.  I will say that
          > you handled your issue with maturity and concern for the good of the
          > group.  The youngster in question handled it with immaturity and
          > considered her own selfish needs first.  It sounds like a no-win
          > situation.  Bless the soprano ladies who considered "tutoring" her.
          >
          >   I would like to add my own personal story.  I joined the KWC at Pennsic
          > 33 believing that I would open my mouth and everyone would stop and glare
          > at me until I slunk away in disgrace.  The sound of my own voice scares me
          > and I will drop a tune as fast as it takes a knight to get up after a
          > blow.  But thanks to Lady Anne's wonderful direction, and Lady Arriana's
          > wonderful soprano voice to follow, I not only was not asked to leave, but
          > was part of the best choral performance of my adult life.
          >
          >   I truly hope that all directors will have the patience to bring out the
          > best in their participants -- even if they aren't all that good.
          >
          >   Having said that, it doesn't sound as if that would have been possible
          > in your case.  Hopefully, this is the worst thing you will ever have to
          > deal with in a choral group.
          >
          >   Yours in Service with $0.02 worth,
          >
          >   Susanna Merrybegot
           





          Karen Kasper

          "Only the educated are free." Epictetus (55 AD - 135 AD), Discourses

          "Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one." Malcolm Forbes (1919 - 1990), in Forbes Magazine


          Relax. Yahoo! Mail virus scanning helps detect nasty viruses!
        • Susan Heemstra
          Arriana, I stood as close as I possibly could to you, so it probably was me. If so, I am blushing beet red. Thank you for your kind words, and I look forward
          Message 4 of 7 , Mar 9, 2006
          • 0 Attachment
            Arriana, I stood as close as I possibly could to you, so it probably was me.  If so, I am blushing beet red.  Thank you for your kind words, and I look forward to performing this year at Pennsic under your direction (if you are still planning to direct, that is.)  I wasn't kidding when I said that the sound of my own voice, especially solo, scares me to silence.
             
            I will take this opportunity to post this here ... if anyone on this list will be at Pennsic, and wouldn't mind working with me on projection (or tune carrying, or anything) for a couple of hours, I would be very grateful.
             
            Thank you again for your kind words of encouragement.
             
            Yours in Service - with hugs
            Susanna
             


            Karen Kasper <arianna_wyn@...> wrote:
            Susanna, if you're the person I think I remember from that Pennsic, then the only thing wrong with your voice was that you were too shy and should have sung louder!  :-)
             
            Arianna
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Susan Heemstra" <susanheemstra@...>
            To: <KWChoir@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 3:24 PM
            Subject: Re: [KWChoir] Troubling question


            >         Lazurus, I'm so sorry that happened to you!  If I may gently add,
            > perhaps both of you could have done things differently.  I will say that
            > you handled your issue with maturity and concern for the good of the
            > group.  The youngster in question handled it with immaturity and
            > considered her own selfish needs first.  It sounds like a no-win
            > situation.  Bless the soprano ladies who considered "tutoring" her.
            >
            >   I would like to add my own personal story.  I joined the KWC at Pennsic
            > 33 believing that I would open my mouth and everyone would stop and glare
            > at me until I slunk away in disgrace.  The sound of my own voice scares me
            > and I will drop a tune as fast as it takes a knight to get up after a
            > blow.  But thanks to Lady Anne's wonderful direction, and Lady Arriana's
            > wonderful soprano voice to follow, I not only was not asked to leave, but
            > was part of the best choral performance of my adult life.
            >
            >   I truly hope that all directors will have the patience to bring out the
            > best in their participants -- even if they aren't all that good.
            >
            >   Having said that, it doesn't sound as if that would have been possible
            > in your case.  Hopefully, this is the worst thing you will ever have to
            > deal with in a choral group.
            >
            >   Yours in Service with $0.02 worth,
            >
            >   Susanna Merrybegot
             





            Karen Kasper

            "Only the educated are free." Epictetus (55 AD - 135 AD), Discourses

            "Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one." Malcolm Forbes (1919 - 1990), in Forbes Magazine

            Relax. Yahoo! Mail virus scanning helps detect nasty viruses!

            YAHOO! GROUPS LINKS






            Brings words and photos together (easily) with
            PhotoMail - it's free and works with Yahoo! Mail.

          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.