Last Sunday hosted a beautiful afternoon for many reasons. It also was the final semester concert for the UNC Glee Club, and the choral performance included numerous soprano, alto, tenor, and base parts as well as a cappella songs.
It’s funny that traditional forms of singing don’t take the spotlight very often these days. I think many people would rather go to a concert from a famous band over a relaxing collection of songs from different time periods and languages. Still, despite any preconceived ideas, I’ve learned many things from joining a choir, and I’m so grateful to be a part of one at UNC.
First, I’ve learned to be more detailed. All the time signatures and key changes can get confusing without a lot of familiarity and practice. Thankfully, the group setting is the perfect place to learn.
Second, music also forces me to focus on problems I don’t typically encounter. After long days of study sessions, memorizing graphs and tables, and presentations, learning an unusual beat or sight reading a new song is a welcomed challenge. Pronouncing foreign language lyrics is expected as well. Learning songs by ear and staying on pitch is harder than it initially appears, and singing off pitch can be very embarrassing. This type of awareness and problem solving is tricky to learn but valuable to understand.
Additionally, the hard work placed in each song pays off right before the final concert. This semester, the hardest songs “clicked” the day of the concert. This type of lowkey stress is a unique bonding experience with the other choristers in the group. We learn to have fun throughout the semester, as learning the songs is an enjoyable process.
However, showcasing the final product is immensely satisfying. Nothing beats the sensation of singing as a unified group with the high notes soaring to the sky and the low notes rumbling through the stage. The composers’ thoughtful lyrics, melodies, and tricky rhythms fly off the page in a spray of enthusiasm. Thanks to our amazing director, all of the details, crescendos, and fermatas become an emotionally ridden experience transcending all language.
I’m proud to sing in a choir. The experience can’t be emulated in any other activity.