And Let’s Hit that High B….NOW!

I love to sing. When I was 5 and only knew the words to songs by Mary Black and the Spice Girls, when I was in 6th Class singing Shakira in the talent show with my best friend, in 2nd Year when I finally began singing lessons and did my first vocal exam. Two weeks ago, I sat my Grade 8 Singing Exam (the last of the grades to those not in the know) and it feels like a milestone. I have come to that point after 17 years where I finally think I’m gettin comfortable in my own voice, proud of my mezzo soprano status and no longer feeling inadequate about petty things like range. Like my singing teacher told me a few months ago, some mezzos don’t hit their peak until 40! I have a long way to go 🙂

I’m off school today, a mix of exhaustion and stomach ickies (I really need to start going to school more consistently…) This odd malady is more than likely brought on by the fact that I was in Season’s Greetings last night. This is an annual Christmas production in St. Mary’s Cathedral. This year, it featured County Limerick Youth Choir (us!), Cantette Children’s Choir, Bruff School Choir, Limerick Musical Society, Boherbuoy Band, Limerick School of Music Recorder Quartet, Seoda Ladies Choir and various soloists. As you can expect, the standard was high! While every choir show is fun, especially the ones with lots of choirs (so many harmonies….Ahhh…) this one was particularly to be appreciated. Why? Because this was possibly my last show with CLYC. Yes, people, the big LC has finally cracked me and Saturday mornings must be freed up for study.

But I am going to miss it. More than anything I’ve had to give up I think. Choir is more than just singing in a group. Its that good feeling you get when you hear the start of the song coming together and pride you feel when for once you haven’t gone flat! You’re range and tone and skill improve, but more importantly, you’re confidence improves, you meet amazing people. I remember the turning point of my confidence in singing. We were preparing for another Christmas show last year and the song split into 8 notes. “Who wants to volunteer for that A at the end?” Maire asked. Unsurprisingly, no one raised their hands. Amongst the three or four she picked, she turned to me and said, “Kate, you could sing that.” She had faith that I could hit that note (even though I was fairly sure I couldn’t) and because of that, I could. Its a small thing but can make such a difference. These days I can go 3 tones above that.

Choir has provided me with some of the most  amazing moments of my musical life – Carmina Burana (300 voices singing O Fortuna!), getting to sing on stage for Cork Choral Festival, being reviewed on Lyric FM. I will miss it desperately and remember it dearly.

And sure, if the whole medicine thing doesn’t work out, I’ll be back in a flash as a music student. Yay for back up plans 🙂

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