Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Cry Me a River

It was a shorter day of competitions today and I was finished by 5pm. Don't think I am slacking however, for the rest of the week I work from 9.30am to 9.30pm. We adjudicators earn our hotel full English breakfast!

The rain has poured all day today and the granite city buildings have sparkled like twinkling stars. It is the only upside to the wet weather ! The walk to and from the hall is a the calm before the vocal storm, and I really enjoy the brief moments of passing shops such as Next and Waterstones, as in Paradise we don't have much except for the brilliant Co op and some marvelously expensive craft shops! So it is a small foray back into the realms of normality. The noise level however is horrendous, and I always find I have forgotten how disturbing it is to be in shops with pounding music loud enough to strip paint. Thankfully when I say 'normality' I do not mean my NOW normality! Large smile crawls across face.

Songs from the Shows classes are like a vocal minefield. I had 3 of those classes today, of such differing standards it was hard to believe they were all in the same festival and quite possibly the same teachers. Some of the youngest competitors were singing about 3 millimeters from total crash and burn in terms of dangerous chest register belting, and then the 16 - 17 years class was possibly one of the finest I have heard in many years ??? I am ;

a) completely old fashioned about singing technique
b) not afraid to say so
c) autocratic in the way I am sure I am right (ask my pupils!)

Damage is so easily done to young voices, and the 1 in a 100 that can survive the high chest belting that we hear in pop/rock and modern musicals does not validate the giving of deeply inappropriate songs in completely the wrong key to small sticks of 11 years old and 'chancing the consequences'. So I said so. The room was as quiet as the grave. Sometimes I feel as though I am on a crusade to bring back head singing - or in actual fact child singing. It is like all things that pass with childhood, the ability to sing high notes up high in the head is gone very quickly, and if damaged the young voice can never - repeat - never fully recover. Sigh.........................

On the flip side of the coin I heard the most fantastic 'Cry me a River' I have ever heard. She was so in control, and the performance was so stylish it was a stunning example of the fact that good singing is simply good singing. I heard the same girl sing a delightful Caro mio Ben yesterday. Versatility is the key, and a safe teacher of course!

Another day, another dollar, and tomorrow it is a 'gird your loins' day as the morning consists of 14 primary school choirs - Yup that's 14.

I love adjudicating. I love adjudicating. I love adjudicating.

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