And I, I never thought I’d leave behind
My childhood dreams but I don’t mind
I’m where and who I want to be
No change of heart, a change in me
— “A Change in Me”, Susan Egan (Beauty & The Beast on Broadway)
I’ve loved singing for as long as I can remember, and I’ve love musicals ever since I got hold of the soundtrack of West Side Story in my early teens. Musicals combined my love for storytelling and music.
For a while, I tried piano but quite frankly, I got bored with the rigid syllabus and the unspoken race to have my piano grade catch up with my age (I started piano in secondary school when most kids my age are already Grade 3 or 4).
I’ve never officially blogged about starting voice classes in May last year, although my immediate circle of friends know that I am permanently unavailable early Thursday evenings.
There were two of us when we started. I’m the alto. Fariah is the soprano. About two months later, Henrick joined us and we have our tenor. The only voice missing here is the baritone, but between the three of us and our voice instructor’s ability to improvise, it worked.
We don’t take exams, compete or perform. This is good because we don’t really have to beat a song to death before we temporarily shelve it for another song. We are all working professionals and not interested in additional stress. Voice class is something we all look forward to every week because we get to belt it out and laugh if we don’t quite get it right. It’s very therapeutic, and I guess it doesn’t hurt that we can harmonise.
Since we all love musicals, our files are full of scores from them – Les Miserables, West Side Story, Hairspray, Rent, Phantom of the Opera, and various other Disney animated movie and broadway offshoots. There are popular favourites, a few classics, and some choir standards. Most were easy, but a handful took months to master.
This week, we got our first Italian piece – Con Te Partiro (Time To Say Goodbye). Familiar song. The toughest part here is learning the Italian.
My current solos are “Beauty & The Beast” and “A Change in Me“.
And I love being the alto. I didn’t quite realise that this was what I’ve been doing throughout all my church band days. It’s like slipping into a comfortable old shoe.