Why It’s A Big Deal
Yours Truly will not be in the Central Methodist University Chorale next year. Why, you ask? Because I requested that my name be withdrawn for consideration.
When I tell people that, people within the Conservatory anyway, they get this bug-eyed, “You’re sh*ting me” look on their faces. No, I’m completely serious and I’m 100% happy with my decision.
It’s kind of a long and complicated story. The people who’ve been watching the madness unfold all year understand. Kind of. The other members of the Alto section get it more than anyone else, though. Especially those who are, likewise, leaving. There’s just too much drama and too much stress that come out of and play into the politics and practices of that particular ensemble. There’s also a severe lack of professionalism, which absolutely should not be the case of the “top” ensemble at the collegiate level.
I sing because I love to sing, I love to use the talent God gave me. I don’t sing because I’m required to. I don’t sing because I need to. And I decided that I won’t go another day singing to prove something. I am talented. I have skills, that are improving all the time. My. Voice. Is. Beautiful. So why would I stay with an ensemble that daily makes me want to stop using that God given gift?
There are just too many practices, both by director and students, that are unethical and unacceptable. We should be lifting each other up, helping each other to grow in talent and in passion of music. There is absolutely no reason to be shooting death glares, spreading doubt, and pitting each other against one another in a group that has that much potential. I should be judged on my talent and skill, and passion, not on whether I’m a music major or not, or whether you like my personality or not. That is ridiculous and childish.
You know, there are few things I’ve wanted as badly as I’ve wanted to be in the top vocal ensemble. In high school it didn’t happen for a variety of reasons, and it turned out to be one of the best things for me. I ended up as president of Hilltop and we had a fantastic year. But it fueled my fire, so that when I got to CMU, I was ready to work harder and put up with more than anybody to be in Chorale. And what do you know, I did it. As a sophomore. That’s kind of a big deal, it holds some weight in the Conservatory. And I had a blast! Going on Tour over Thanksgiving break the last two years has been an amazing thing, it’s the highlight of the fall semester. When we get on stage, we make music, there isn’t a better feeling in the world than to finally make it to that point. But it’s not worth the misery I’ve felt in every rehearsal all year long. And it certainly wasn’t worth being made uncomfortable by someone who is supposed to be the professional, someone who asked me to talk about other students behind their backs.
It shouldn’t have taken being made to feel slimy and scummy in order to realize that this is not the way talents are supposed to be used. The voice, much like a person, is a God given gift that should be used to glorify the Lord. It is something to be rejoiced, not to be scrutinized or rejected. From now on, I’ll be using mine more properly.
I will be singing in the Conservatory Singers, a group that will allow me to sing to and for God, that will value me, and will make me happy; because singing should make you happy. It’s been about 3 weeks since I made this decision and I continue to be very happy with it. I’m not going to play that game anymore. My voice instructor, PA, has finally made it sink in that I don’t have to. He’s done something no one else has been able to do, he’s made me love and appreciate my voice; and I won’t be abusing it any longer.