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Posts Tagged ‘school’

I had high hopes and low expectations for that concert.  My expectations won.  In honesty, the boys have potential.  Comparing them against other American boy choirs, they are not too far below acceptable.  (I find it sad, the difference in skill between the average American and English boy choir.)  However the men sang no better than the boys, and often not as well.

This group has ideas to raise money to open a choir school.  I don’t think so.  Long before opening a school I would want to be able to show that the choir has something worth teaching.  First step, ditch all the men.  Hire professionals.  With a solid ATB section to support them, the boys would automatically improve greatly.  Second, start the men performing on their own so that some subset of the organization can give a nuanced and polished performance.  Then start raising money to start a choir school  You may even already have a few teachers among the gentlemen.  I also think a way is needed to inspire passion for music and singing in the boys, as American boy singers are woefully low energy.  If one selected forces in numbers like King’s College, Cambridge (16 boys, 14 men, 1 director, 1 organist) there would be a 1:1 man to boy ratio.  A mentoring/apprenticeship program could conceivably help to inspire the boys to actually start putting themselves into the music rather than just letting it happen around them.

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What do I want?  It’s a harder question to answer than it seems, even without bringing up the “unknowable longing.”  I love music, especially baroque, sacred and choral.  I love boys; their company, voices, image.  What the heck am I going to do with my life?  I’m tired of not knowing where I’m going.  I don’t want to worry about how my next meal or the electric bill will be paid.  But neither do I want to be chained to a desk working 40+ hours a week.  I need flexibility.

I’m listening to a recording of an English Cathedral choir.  In my initial long term plan I stated that I was going to England to sing in one, but the problems are this: The political situation with being a foreigner in England is not looking good right now, they are even more intolerant of boylovers (at least on paper) than the US, I don’t know that I could stand to be tied down to singing a service every day much more than working 9-5.

It really is a while lot of “I don’t know.”  There must be a way to shape a life I can love.  What part of myself must I sacrifice?  (I have far from recorded all the directions I’d like my life to go here.  There are far too many.)  Music and boys will always be at the top of my list of loves, and their combination would seem like the perfect solution, but I really think perhaps not.  As much as I love singing boys, singing in a choir with them probably wouldn’t fulfill me.  (It doesn’t right now, though it is pleasant, but I can’t know it wouldn’t if I were in one of the caliber of Kings or Westminster.)  It lacks the personal element.  I ‘m not content to adore from afar for ever.  I think…I think I need to have a career singing the music I love most — early — with maybe a little musical leadership thrown in and also cultivate personal relationships with boys.  That sounds…like a give up answer.  I still have no clue how to fully support myself, nor cultivate those personal relationships.  Do I spend the money and go back to school?  I can’t really afford to.

I DON’T KNOW!

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A plan is starting to take shape in my mind.  A goal.  A direction.  I need to write it down to sort it out and to stop myself forgetting.  It will be nice to have direction if I approve the plan and put it into action.

The goal is to move to England with a job lined up.  I sort of have two paths before me.  One of stability and one of dynamicy.  (I know that’s not really a word.)  I can stay where I am.  Get comfortable.  If I do that, I may eventually end up with some semblance of a music career, but I doubt anything great will happen.

The other option is to take myself outside of comfort.  Do something new to inspire me to greater things.  That doesn’t have to be a move to England, and I hate to leave this country just as Barack Obama takes power, just as “my side” has won the election, but if I don’t do it now, it will only get harder.  I must follow the example of my friend who went to China.

So.  The plan.  It involves:
– intense voice study with my voice teacher.
– coaching with two able coaches in my area. One famous.
– maybe some lessons with The Tenor’s teacher.
– finding a roommate.
– getting an associate’s degree in IT.
– attending a prestigious music festival.
– Singing as much as I can.
– Finding employment and housing in England to arrive to.

Let’s start with that last one.  I can kill three birds with one stone if I get a job as a lay clerk at a cathedral, church or chapel.  Not only is it employment, but many offer housing as well, and I would get to sing with a fabulous men and boy’s choir, which has been a dream of mine since I was 13.

While I’m aiming for the stars, I may as well throw in some sort of job working with the boys of that choir in a more supervisory capacity.  In order to increase my competitiveness for such a position, I’ll add a few more to-dos:
– become a Boy Scout leader.
– become a volunteer with a youth mentoring organization.

Obviously, this isn’t an easy list to accomplish.  My time will have to be more tightly managed.  I’ll need to find fun in the journey, and not in the spaces between the steps.

One of the local community colleges is obviously a good place to start for the IT degree.

***

My father and I just had a long, nice conversation.  Talked about everything from the cause of higher humidity on land vs. ocean to voice change, karaoke, computers and countertenors.  He suggested that I take classes in the specific areas of computer technology that interest me rather than pursue a third lesser degree to the degrees I already possess.

Priorities when I get home involve:

– getting out of debt.
– gathering information about local community colleges.
– reconnecting with the coaches.
– submitting applications to become a leader and a mentor.
– cultivating relationships that can provide references for jobs involving children.
– find information about the music festival and apply.

I need to become more involved with the Citadel’s choirs for the second to last point in that list.

To accomplish all this I will need to make sacrifices, obviously.  World of Warcraft is out.  Sadly.  I like it, but I don’t.  It’s fun, and it’s good, but it’s boring and it’s bad.  BBM will be sad.

…I’ve lost my focus.  Good thing I got down what I did.

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