Monday, September 22, 2008

I Had My Own Microphone and Everything

I think, if we really dig down deep, we're all prejudice against something or someone. For me, it's the sopranos. Oh, of course there are individual high note hitters that I care deeply about and, of course, I don't actually detest sopranos for being born an octave above the rest of us. But, I have hostile feelings toward the group as a whole. Every good female part in musical theatre is written especially for them. If you're bestowed by God Almighty with a lower register, you get the shaft. Don't get me wrong, when I hear a really good soprano I am both awed and moved by the celestial sound emerging from her mouth. I'm just annoyed by the injustice of it all. Really.

You see I'm not a soprano. I'm not really even an alto. I'm more like a tenor. Or, maybe, a baritone. Okay, probably not a baritone. I'd really define myself as a Basso-Alto, if there were such a thing. That's Italian for low. I think. In any case, I think my head voice sounds just atrocious and my head voice is the voice I have to use to hit any note above, oh I don't know, there's no piano around me right now but it's not exponentially high. If I was a man I'd be set. I can sing the parts in musical theatre that were written for men. But then, my husband and I would have a great deal of martial problems. In any case, I don't have a lot of confidence in my voice. I was cast in a musical in college which certainly helped give me a confidence booster but, for the most part, I don't think it does much for making a joyful noise.

So how then did I come to sing with the worship team on Sunday morning? Funny you should ask. Last weekend was our church men's retreat. The worship leader attended along with several men who typically sing or play instruments. As a result, my husband led worship on Sunday morning and, before rehearsal on Thursday night, was slightly afraid that it might be him and one other person and a piano. So, I stepped up. I'm not sure he welcomed this stepping up although he kept insisting that I do have a good voice. I think he's obligated to say that, however, because of the fact that I shoved his heir out of my body some two years ago. I went to worship practice just in case. There were plenty of people who showed up for rehearsal so I figured I was in the clear. And then I made the mistake of singing a teeny tiny portion of a new song with my husband so the pianist could practice. Apparently, it sounded okay enough for the rest of the worship team to tell me I needed to sing with them.

So I did. Yesterday morning. In front of the congregation. And the weird thing was that I wasn't nervous. There were definitely times when I sounded like a man but I'm totally used to that what with the testosterone laden pipes the Lord blessed me with. There might have been times where I was actually on key. I don't know for sure because all I could hear on the monitors was the piano and my husband's voice. I was told afterward that I should sing with the worship team more often. I was thanked for sharing my talent (to which I nearly choked on my own tongue) with everyone. I was told that I looked natural. I was not told that I sounded like a cat in heat. I think the people who felt that way graciously abstained from letting me know.

But I sang. And the world didn't end. Jesus didn't come back right then and there just to put the Christians out of their misery. It might have actually turned out alright. And it might have actually


  1. I have heard you sing, you are too hard on yourself. So you sing low, so what...:)

  2. Yes I agree you are too hard on yourself. I heard you and I thought you sounded great. And yes I did hear YOU. I have been in this church for almost 8 years and we have had the same singers all 8 years and I was able to pick out your voice. It was beautiful and feminine. And if you ever doubt your singing again come on over and I will sing for you. I can break windows and it's not because I sing opera. My own children (long ago at young tender ages) have told me not to sing for them anymore.

  3. If what you say is true, (which I'm sure you exaggerate), technically you are a "contralto," which is a perfectly legitimate female range.

    Often times the sound you hear in your head is totally off from what the listening audience hears. Even Idina probably thinks she sounds off in her head sometimes. :)

    PS You should check out Carol Channing in "Thoroughly Modern Millie," talk about hitting the low notes!

  4. Oh my goodness, I SO KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN about all of the good parts in musical theater being written for sopranos. Holly deals with this all the time. She's an alto also. Almost every good CYT role is for a soprano. Hello, people, songs can be changed to a different key! Then there's her choir director, always trying to get her to sing in falsetto because she seems to only like soprano voices. She has the whole choir singing so out of their range every week that it drives me BONKERS!!! So, that was my rant and rave for the day. And I've also heard you have a beautiful voice. Don't let anyone make you think that you don't just because you're not a soprano! The world needs all kinds of voices! Altos rule!