Another Way to Find My Voice

Reading time: about 2 min.
singing  voice  inclusion  music 

And that is…by joining a choir!

When I was in school, before university, I was in various choirs. I loved to sing.

And then I encountered Grayce Warren, my high school choir director. I am not lying when I say that she looked and sounded exactly like Ursula from The Little Mermaid. Even her hairstyle. And she stole my voice. She treated me like a charity case, set me up to fail multiple times, and I know it was because of her I never got even a chorus part in the musicals. Normally, if you got to senior year and hadn’t been cast, you’d get a pity part. Not me! I got to be assistant director, program writer and designer, measure people for their costumes, help build the sets and pain the backdrop, and run the lights and sound during performances. Story of my life: I always feel like I’m relegated to the background. But hey, she couldn’t deny me my varsity letter (I was in the Varsity Concert Choir and Girls’ Select Ensemble)!

For the last 32 years, I’ve restricted my singing to the car, when I am alone. And while that’s fine, it’s also lonely–I’ve missed singing with a group of people.

The story of how I joined this choir–the Rainbow Chorale of Delaware–is a bit funny. I’ve recently reconnected with my ex-girlfriend, Baf. We’ve been working on being friends and we’ve had a lot of tough conversations about our relationship. We’ve been meeting for lunch on the weekends every few weeks and last time we met up, she told me more about RCD and how it’s a non-audition choir, that all I would need to do would be a voice placement with the director.

So, I went. And it was incredible. The voice placement was scary but manageable and I was placed where I’m comfortable, alto 2 (this is the best part to sing and I will not be taking questions at this time). Everyone was so welcoming and kind that I wanted to cry.

I also wanted to cry at how hard the two songs we worked on were, especially since I had a light photocopy of one and couldn’t read the words (in Latin, of course), and I didn’t have sheet music for the second so I had to glue myself to another alto 2.

And then a whole bunch of us went to a local restaurant–4 or 5 people asked me if I was going to go, and. And. I haven’t felt included and seen like that in so long.

It was good.

And I did my best to learn the Pink song that we’re also doing at the concert in June. Which I have never heard the original of. I should probably rectify that.