Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Show Choir vs. College

I moved on to college to study music.  Here's my secret, well, maybe only a secret to a couple people.  I only auditioned for one college.  I only applied to one college.  I got into that one college for music.  I also received a scholarship to attend that college through my high school in education.  I went for a double major in Music Education/ Vocal Performance when I started. Now, most kids audition a few different places before they make a decision. I, on the other hand, had already made my decision.  Why audition a bunch of different places, when I had already chosen the one I would attend? I look back now and think, that was probably a bit risky.
When I got to the college, there wasn't a show choir. In fact, there wasn't even a thought of a show choir.  I had a friend that really enjoyed dancing and singing and inquired within the department why there wasn't a show choir.  She was told, there wasn't enough interest. She replied, there was enough interest.  So, a certain director told her to go and find out how many people were interested, and then, he would decide if there was going to be a show choir.  So, my friend JS did. JS asked everyone she knew in the music department who sang if they would be interested in a show choir.  She received a resounding yes.  She turned it into a petition and turned it into the director. 
Lo and behold, the next school year, there were auditions for a mixed show choir.  So, of course, we all auditioned for it!  Well, I didn't get in.  In fact, JS, the one who had done ALL of the research of whether or not there was interest for a show choir at the University, didn't get in it.  And that's when all of the choral selection drama started.  Why would the director insist that she should do all the leg work for him, and then, not put her in the choir?!  We were all shocked! 
That choir lasted as a mixed show choir for maybe a school year.  Then, all of the sudden, it was a womens choir.  I auditioned for choirs the next year and was put in that choir.  The thing about this womens choir was, it wasn't just show choir, it had concert choir music mixed in too.  It turned into a very strange combination of literature. 
I continued on in this choir.  The director was really nice and fun to work with.  We did our combination of literature and survived the year.  I was in the choir for a second year.  By the second year, the womens choir dropped the show choir aspect and became completely concert choir oriented.  I continued on in this choir for a while. 
I auditioned again the next year, and I had made that choir again.  The director told me she wanted me to continue on in the choir because I was a strong alto anchor.  She had the feeling that I was going to quit.  I can't remember how many years I stayed in that choir, but I only remember dancing for one sememster.  After that, there wasn't a show choir at my college any more.  One of the strangest things about that was, the college held a huge show choir camp every summer! 
I feel that, this made the college look very hypocritical.  Why hold a huge show choir camp every year, a camp I'm sure was used to generate advertising for the university, if there wasn't even a show choir to get into!? 
There was also a madrigal singers choir.  It was a very selective choir.  Ever year this choir had a huge madrigal dinner around Christmas.  I auditioned every year for that choir and still never got into it.  There were rumors one year that, the director wanted me in that choir, but the director that was the head of the choral department, the one that made JS do all of the leg work for the show choir,  didn't want me to be in it for some reason.  I didn't realize that I was worth fighting over. 
By my third senior year, remember, I had a lot of them, I auditioned for choirs.  There was a new head of the choral department who had already been working at the school for a year.  I had already been in his top concert choir with him for a year.  In fact, I had been in that choir since my first year at the college.  I was planning on doing my internship the second semester, so, I was only going to be in the choir first semester.  Well, he wasn't letting people he knew where graduating/ leaving mid-year be in the choir first semester. There were taking a big trip second semester, and he wanted everyone to be in first semester that were going on the trip second semester.  I knew that there were other people in the choir that were leaving second semester.  Were they just special, or were they lying? 
Said Director stuck me in the community choir.  I didn't want to be in the community choir, so, I turned around and joined Steel Drum.  My only requirement was, I had to be in a music ensemble every semester I was in school.  I learned that Steel Drum counted when my friend JS didn't make the concert choir a couple years before.  Steel Drum was a lot of fun and a huge learning experience.
Said director didn't realize I wasn't even attending his choir. About a month into the school year, he came up to me and said, "I'm so glad I get to see you on Monday nights!"  I just looked at him in disbelief and said, "Uhuh, ya... whatever."  It took him a while to realize, I wasn't even in the choir! 
Why must politics be involved when it comes to singing and being in a group?  Why can't it be the one who has the best voice and the best attitude?  I still think about these things to this day!   


  1. That's funny. I don't even remember the show choir now. Isn't that weird? I must have blocked it out. I remember not getting into a choir my sophomore year that I had been in my freshman year, and I did excellent on all my juries. I remember thinking, "How did I get worse after one year at this school?!" I do totally remember joining steel drum (I think that was my senior year when I'd had enough of this junk), and then I was told I had to be in a "vocal" ensemble in order to keep my scholarship. So I joined Masterworks later in the semester. I skipped the dress rehearsal (because by then I had absolutely no respect for the director) and then was told the day of the show to turn in my binder & that I wouldn't be performing because I missed the dress rehearsal. I was like "Whatever. It's not like I had anyone coming to see this crappy performance anyway!" I went home, had a beer, and was so glad to be done with all that nonsense. The director I'm sure thought he had beaten me because I would lose my scholarship the next semster. What he didn't realize is that I was a rockstar & was graduating a semester early & didn't need his effing scholarship!!! HAAAAhahahha!!! :)

    Oh, college. :)

  2. I had similar issues with those directors. I'm glad to see the show choir is up and running--if I lived in Indy, I'd definitely join!