Tonight I’m going to a vocal audition/rehearsal. It’s the first time I’ll be singing in any sort of organized sense since I was in college, and I’m all stressed out because I don’t know if I’m still a soprano. I’ve sung in choirs and choruses and vocal ensembles and as a soloist or whatever since I was very young, and I have always, always been placed in soprano. I used to know exactly what my range was, where it started and ended and all that. But I’m out of practice, and just like my hair has gotten darker and darker as I’ve aged, I’m all stressed that my voice has dropped to the point that I’m an alto now.

But then I’ve been told that while you might lose notes from the top and bottom of your range over the years, your voice won’t change to a completely different pitch. I don’t know if this is true. Mainly, I’m nervous about singing again and this is how it’s manifesting itself. I’m all freaked out that I’ll roll in and call myself a soprano and people will think I know what I’m doing and then I won’t be able to hit all the notes.

I am such a spaz. But seriously, I’m really pretty nervous. I’d feel much better if I knew where my voice is these days.

11 Replies to “sopralto”

  1. I’m sorry, but, I mean, and, um, I obviously don’t know what I’m talking about here but, um, couldn’t you just walk outside and do a little vocal exercize to find out whether you’re still where you should be?

    In any case, I hope you hit all the marks you aim for… and what’s this audition for anyway?

  2. It wouldn’t have been bad if I weren’t a soprano anymore – I’ve always been able to sing the alto part. That’s kind of the problem, actually – many sopranos are pitched too high to sing alto, and know it. I could go either way. But I think soprano parts are more challenging and I prefer them, but I didn’t want to go in and say I was a soprano and be wrong.

    For the record, the audition was really low-key and the director said I had a very pure tone and no bad habits, so yay! I’m in. And I’m soprano 1, which is what I’ve always been. My fretting was for naught (as it often is).

    Now I just have to learn The Messiah, which everyone else in the ensemble seems to already know by heart. (They sing it every year.)

  3. Great news. My last vocal participation was in the Washington Chorus for a few years and I enjoyed every minute.

    I used vocal warmups everytime before I practiced (and the choir went through them as well). Very similar to athletic warmups before a workout.

  4. Ah, fun stuff. The anxiety isn’t fun, and getting used to a new vocal range is undoubtedly stressful (especially for someone with formal training), but, hey: embrace it. It’s good to know you’re returning to it. Good luck!

    Will we get an update soon?

  5. I actually think alto parts are more challenging because they are often not the melody. It’s a lot easier to sing melody than to harmonize – In my humble opinion.

  6. I should have clarified – hitting the upper notes of the soprano part, and hitting them correctly, is what I find challenging. In terms of melody/harmony you could make a case either way, although in this case Handel has alto carrying the melody a good deal of the time. But in terms of actually hitting the notes, I have no problems in alto but really have to sing with good form if I’m going to sound the way I should on a soprano 1 part. Soprano forces me to work my range more.

  7. Uh, yeah. Once, in the eighth grade, Sister Mary Carol had us go up to the board, sing about 10 notes, and then told us what we were. I believe I was told “suckprano,” which is odd language for a nun.

  8. I see. So, I’ll still never know 1. if range can’t be understood before an evaluation by singing outloud to oneself and 2. what it is you’ve joined. (I’m guessing it’s the church choir but could just as likely be community choir… or something.)

    Congrats on the thing with the people of the other thing and Messiah. I’m sure everyone will love it, whoever they are, whatever it’s for…

  9. 1. Maybe some people can determine their own range by singing out loud to themselves, but I can’t.

    2. It’s a community choir of sorts, but it’s run by the college.

  10. Got it.

    Now I can go back to living; my life was on hold waiting. You know I can’t just go without knowing e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g that occurs to me to ask about!

    Thanks. :o)

  11. dude, i totally understand this. a year after i did my thesis show (when i had whipped my voice into the best shape it has ever been due to months of writing/practicing songs written, well, by ME) i tried to perform some of those songs, and i NEARLY LOST MY VOICE after ONE SONG.

    now? i know that i am nowhere near the range i used to be, when i used to be able to sing the highest tenor 1 stuff as well as nearly all of the bass 2. it’s weird.

    also, YAY singing! awesome.

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