Monday, September 19, 2011

All For Nothing?

Choir practices have officially started.


Last Saturday was our first full-day practice. From 9am-10pm.
Yes, you read right. 9AM to 10PM. >.<


Although it sucks, I have to reluctantly concede that it is absolutely necessary. :(


This coming weekend is the Convocation Ceremony. Four days from Saturday up to Tuesday. We have to learn up to 12 songs for our repertoire, excluding the four compulsory songs consisting of the national anthem, the Negeri Sembilan state anthem (because our Chancellor is from Negeri Sembilan) and two varsity songs.


We only have but a week (literally a WEEK! I am not exaggerating!) to learn all the songs!


I thank God for the new juniors this year. We had quite the "harvest" this time round--19 of them! :D Hopefully they will turn out to be faithful members of Choir who will stick with us because they love the Choir :)


Meeting them and getting to know them has been an interesting and enjoyable experience. We have quite a number of guys this year (yay!) and quite equal number of girls for Alto and Soprano vocal parts. We even have an Indonesian in our midst! :D My gorsh, some of these juniors are just adorable! Which, unfortunately, only makes me feel much, muuuuuuch older T.T (The biggest age gap between me and the juniors is SEVEN years! Gosh, aren't I ancient? >.<)


It has been tiring, singing and teaching the new songs for hours on end. My voice even changed to a sexier, huskier kind after one full-day's practice! (It's not exactly a good thing =.=)


But at the same time, I can't help smiling when I hear us all singing together in parts--my favourite part of being in the Choir. The harmonies and the individual melodies of each vocal part complement each other so well that we sound so beautiful together! Choir constantly reminds me that we are, and always will be, a team effort.


It makes me work harder when I teach all the individual vocal parts: Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass. Cos I know that it's important to make sure they get them right. Otherwise, the entire harmony will crumble. And the end result--beautiful singing--is all worth it!


But it's hard to be all happy and optimistic. I'm not the bright-eyed 20-year-old I was back then. And having been part of the Committee board who run the Choir and have to deal with Pusat Kebudayaan (Student Cultural Center) I find that the frustration and injustice of the way things are done sometimes unbearably overwhelming.


Imagine this: Someone from the Pusat Kebudayaan gives you a new score of a song you used to sing differently. They say, "Follow this new score." It terrifies you because, although the song is familiar, the new arrangement and the vocal parts are completely new. Not to mention impossibly difficult to learn! For the entire day you struggle to teach, and to learn, the new arrangement because, well, that's what you were told to do. When you meet up with the band to practice this song together, you realize, with horror, that they are playing it in a completely different key; four keys HIGHER, which makes all the other vocal parts unsing-able (no such word)--unless you are a chipmunk who had just inhaled some helium. When you question them about the change of key, they say, "Oh, the score for the band in the new arrangement is not so nice, so we decided to use another arrangement instead which is in this (higher) key." When your jaw drops open from shock, they tell you, "It's okay, you can sing in unison, it's not a problem."


HELLO. THAT IS NOT THE PROBLEM. THE PROBLEM IS, WE HAVE JUST SPENT AN ENTIRE DAY WORKING OUR A**ES OFF TRYING TO LEARN THE NEW ARRANGEMENT FOLLOWING THE SCORE THAT YOU GAVE US. SURE, WE CAN ALL SING IN UNISON IN THIS RIDICULOUSLY HIGH KEY THAT MAKES US SOUND LIKE CHIPMUNKS, WHATEVER. BUT THE WHOLE PROBLEM IS THAT YOU HAVE JUST RENDERED OUR ENTIRE DAY'S WORK OF SLOGGING, COMPLETELY, AND UTTERLY, MOOT.


*takes a deep breath*


I am trying, very hard, to take this all in my stride. What can we do but smile and nod and accept, as we always do? I am angered and frustrated most when I see the exhausted faces of our new members. They worked hard to learn that song, and now it's all for nothing. >.< Would they give up? Would they think, "Choir sucks. I'm leaving."?


Practice resumed the following day. And I was mildly surprised to see all of them, the new ones, back here again. Working hard. Trying their best to learn, and to sing well. And they tell us that they enjoy the songs, that they are having a great time. *touched* :') 


And it makes me wanna work even harder as well. :D


Listening to them, and all of us sing, I have forgotten how much I love the Choir, how much I've missed it during the four long months of holidays. The last two days were a reminder that, no matter how much I grumble and whine and yell curses about the hassle and problems that come with helping out in the Choir, no matter how tired and exhausted, even if I lose my voice singing so hard, deep down, I love Choir. Choir is my passion.


And I'm not gonna let anything, or anyone take that away from me.

2 comments:

SandraC said...

hope u dont lose ur temper and voice by the end of it. God will bless ur ways.

Ernest Ng said...

chill yeah! dont angry angry :D