When I was a kid, I always loved singing the highest parts of songs, just because I could. Singing Jasmine’s part in A Whole New World was way more fun than singing Aladdin’s part. As a result, I sang with my falsetto throughout puberty and beyond, so my singing voice never cracked the way many boys’ voices do. I had good control over my voice, which is probably why I transitioned into a deeper speaking voice without noticing it.
Sometime during high school I joined the high school choir. While I could easily sing the soprano notes, my high school choir director stuck me in the baritone section because of the common shortage of guys in choirs. In college, I again joined the choir. After a couple terms as a baritone, I asked my college choir director if I could sing with the women instead. Once I transitioned into the soprano section in college, I never went back to singing in my baritone voice. Besides the mixed choir in college, I also eventually joined the women’s choir as the only guy in the group. During the two years I was in the women’s choir, they never changed the name!
When I was in graduate school for math, I always thought I didn’t have time to join a choir, so I waited two years before I joined a community choir (not affiliated with my university). Since I had been out of organized singing for a while, I joined as an alto as a way to restrengthen my voice before jumping back into the soprano section. Singing alto is fun, but I don’t have much power behind the lower notes in the alto/tenor range.
Now, after three years without participating in a choir, I decided to audition for the university choir here. Since this was orientation week, the music department had a table set up outside the music building to answer any questions the incoming students had. Even though I had already researched the department online, I was able to meet and chat with the choir director with whom I would be auditioning.
My audition was yesterday afternoon. The audition began with singing scales to determine my vocal range. The director tested both my falsetto and my normal baritone voice. He didn’t test my limits too far, but he got a good sense that my voice is most comfortable in the soprano range (compared to an alto range).
We also did some rhythm exercises and sight singing. The rhythm exercises, which involved the director clapping rhythms and me clapping them back, were fine, but I’m terrible at sight singing. The conductor later even told me that sight singing was the weakest part of my audition. Since I haven’t been in a choir in three years, I definitely feel like some of my skills have waned a bit.
The last part of my audition was that I had to sing a short clip of any song of my choosing. Since I’ve been addicted to the Wicked soundtrack for weeks now (no idea why, besides that it’s amazing), I decided to sing the first verse of Defying Gravity. I had never sung Defying Gravity to anyone besides my family (in the car with the soundtrack blasting through the speakers), so I was quite nervous.
Apparently, the director liked my voice! There are actually five university-run choirs here (there are student groups too) which offer a wide variety of styles and eras of music to sing, and the director gave me the choice of four of them! The director even said that no matter if I wanted to sing as a baritone or as a male soprano, he would love to have me in the group either way!
Side note: The fifth choir is the most advanced choir that requires much stronger sight singing. It would have been a huge time commitment, so I was never shooting for that choir anyway.
I’m interested in only two of the choirs, as their repertoires interest me and they have low time commitments. One has only about 30 singers, while the other has close to 200. I’m going to attend the first rehearsals for both groups and see which one (or both) I prefer.
Yay! I’m officially a member of at least one of the choirs on campus!