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10.10.2010

DUETSCHE SOUBRETTE

After 10 years of piano lessons I was wanting to quit, but my mom wasn't too hip on the idea.  So, I decided to bring a trade to the table - piano for voice lessons.  That's how I convinced her.  She had missed Parenting 212a - Be Suspect Of All Trades From Teenagers:)  I was getting ready to audition at college for a music scholarship and I needed help with coming up with the appropriate foreign language song to sing.  My voice teacher was an ecletic woman who lived in a ramshackle, unkempt house in a rather seedy part of town.  She had lots of clutter in her house and it perpetually seemed disorderly and just dirty.  Her hair was usually styled in a messy loose pinned up sort of way befitting her creative free spirit.  I got along well with her with the exception of her telling me to quit thinking I was an alto and be the soprano she knew I was.  I kept thinking who in the hell's voice are you listening to, I am NOT a soprano.  Not today, not with another year's worth of voice lessons, or ever would I ever be a soprano.  I, not being in love with foreign language songs, let her pick what she felt would be appropriate for a college music scholarship audition.  I can't remember the name of the song, but it was in German.  There was obviously a lot of "auchting" going on in the song requiring some gutteral hacking sounds attached to the ends of words.  Even though I had taken German in school, I still felt completely out of my element - if I even had an element.  Of course she had to pick a key that was just a bit higher than I wanted to sing in.  As she said it was intended to, "coax the soprano out of me".  My heart wasn't totally into this whole music major or auditioning for a vocal music scholarship.  It wasn't the college I wanted to be at, or the major my soul craved.   I went to the scholarship audition - era of boom boxes with a taped accompaniment of a crappy German song in a key that I didn't want to sing in.  If my recollection is correct, I was the one that had played the taped accompaniment music I sang to.  Does it get any more horse and pony show than that!!  The audition room was long and narrow with only 3 of us in the room; myself and, sitting at a table like the judges on American Idol, the department head of the music program and a professor of instrumental music.  The notes came out and finally the last measure finally ended.  I made it through singing a song I didn't like, to get a scholarship for a major I didn't want, in a key that was too high for me.  I did get the scholarship, but changed majors eventually.  Many years later leading worship at church I NEVER sang in a key I didn't like or was too high.   If the song got above a C above middle C for me, I lowered the key.  Karen Carpenter and I have about the same range:)  And, I haven't sang in German since that day.

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