Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Choir Girl

Choir Girl

My high school alma mater Sanford H. Calhoun in Merrick, N.Y. is celebrating its 50th
anniversary at the end of April. Originally, I was planning on not attending. I envisioned hundreds of squinting people trying to recognize former classmates since the reunion spans decades of graduates, and besides, I have nothing to wear. But, when I heard they were planning to honor my beloved choir teacher, Tal Thayer, for his many years of service and dedication, and that there will be a performance especially for him, I knew I couldn’t miss it. Choir was why and how I got my high school letter─ the only letter I received that I wore proudly on a big white cardigan sweater. So now it’s my turn for pay back. But terror has finally struck. I received sheet music via the internet for “When Rooks Fly Homeward” and “Lord Bless You and Keep You.” Let me say straight out: I am Jewish, which means once I graduated, I never sang religious Choral music again. This does not mean I haven’t been known to belt out “Oh Holy Night” in the shower or car when no one’s around. So, now, to refresh my memory I’ve gone to You Tube and listened to several choral renditions of those selections. A couple of strange things happened: I fell in love all over again with acapella music even though I’ve forgotten how to spell it. I listened to high school choirs, college choirs, and children’s choirs until I realized what I think I’ve known for a very long time─ I’m no longer a soprano. Can’t reach those high notes like I did at seventeen. I was one of those “stupid sopranos” that refused to blend. That made Mr. Thayer’s eyes bulge like a porpoise behind his wire glasses. So I may have to do what I once did when I just couldn’t get that trill….mouth it.


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