Breaking the Silence

I know I have been a very non-blogging blogger of late. Here is one reason.

When I went back to work, I felt inclined to begin voice study again, and started looking for a teacher more seriously. A short time into work, I got to know a coworker a little better who is also a singer–sings with the Tab, in fact. I have never sung in a (non-church related) choir, as I was a prideful little brat who refused to pay my dues way back in 9th grade and have regretted it ever since. I liked to hear about his choir experiences, but I am a lonely soloist who can’t sight-read on the spot, and, as I have always said, “am not a choral singer.”

A few days after I had more in depth conversations with this co-worker, I had a very strong prompting that I was to do more choral music. I blew off this prompting as an emotional response to the various choral CDs I had been listening to at work. A day later, I got a similar prompting. Again, attributed it to hormones.

Finally, the third time I felt it, I prayed about it, and decided I would move forward as if it were a real prompting, as that’s what it kind of appeared to be. I jumped in to learn what I should do to start, talking with my coworker about advice.

I looked into area choirs and contacted them about auditions. Almost all of them were completing their auditions within days of my first contact. It was with a lax attitude of “what the heck, I’m just following a prompting,” that I signed up for a few auditions, all to take place within the next 48 hours.

I spent the next two days doing crash sight-singing drills, and re-memorizing the words to Schubert’s “An Die Musik.” (Which, before this ordeal, was my favorite German lieder–not so sure now). It just so happened that my first trial voice lesson with my co-workers voice teacher was two hours before my first audition.

Having been without a formal teacher for 8 years, I have formed some bad habits, and that I knew. Although my time with this new teacher was short, I told him of my audition that night. He knew of the choir and knew the director personally. He worked to correct some major issues on the spot, told me what mattered most to that particular director and I left re-remembering how to sing quite a bit better (not just to please sacrament meeting audiences, but in the true Walkyrie sense–think viking horns).

I felt I gave about 50-60% at that audition. I was out of breath from racing there even as I began to sing, and it was just very loose all over the place, IMO. But, since I felt I was following a prompting, I felt fine about going and getting that experience. It’s good to be humbled, however uncomfortable it may be, if it makes me feel like working harder.

This first choir I auditioned for was the one I was the most interested in–all classical repertoire, good director to learn from and known in the community.

Well, four days after my audition they invited me to join one of their three choirs–the Women’s Chorus. I’m excited, and a little curious about why all the prompting and what the future is about. I’m getting all this sight singing curriculum this week and am just really enjoying it. A musical life would be my greatest dream, so I’m just really grateful that the Lord knows me and is sending me in this direction, putting the right people in my path and giving me just-in-time promptings–even though this specific path isn’t one I’ve previously considered.

So, sight-singing study and preserving the vast offerings from the garden have now taken up all blogging time. But I’m still aiming to keep my Sunday journal.

For me, it’s really, really exciting. I just got my acceptance email, so I wanted to share my excitement.

4 replies
  1. Carrie
    Carrie says:

    That is so cool Valerie! Congrats. We would love to come and hear you at one of your concerts. When is the next one?

    Isn’t it amazing how people are placed in our lives at just the right time – and sometimes we don’t even know it.

    We had such a great time with you guys a few weeks ago. The food was fabulous! Let’s get together soon.


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