An Extremely High Note

I’m like that guy who can very nearly hit his high illustration

I’m reasonably useful in my little bitty part of the world, but my imperfections are both ever-present and well known to me. I have learned, long since, that as in real (physical/aural) life, in the metaphorical sense I am far better used as a chorister than as a soloist. My ego is neither too big nor too fragile for me to know that I make much better Filler in either setting than I do star material. Anybody with any sense knows that it takes a whole bunch of us to sing backup for the marquee artists, to act as support staff and cheering section and general-dogsbodies for the persons who are better designed for leadership roles. There are rare occasions when I’m the most experienced or skilled in the necessary ways for the task at hand, but as that’s mostly by default and by dint of the odds, I take no cue that it should become the norm.

I’d much rather stick contentedly to my supporting roles, humming along quietly as best I can, and perform no unintentional solos. If I ever get up that high B-flat, I’ll let you know; until then, I’d appreciate if those of you with the proper pipes carry on, and you can count on me for that low undercurrent of pretty-fair tones to fill in around your excellence. I’m excellent enough at my own, non-flashy, kind of stuff.

11 thoughts on “An Extremely High Note

    • Is there an opposite-end-of-the-spectrum version of prima donna? Ultima donna? Maybe a German version would be more pointed: Dame des geringsten Bedeutung. (Lady of least importance.) But in actuality, the Italian version is very fitting, because if there weren’t a whole bunch of us ordinary but necessary persons there could *be* no such thing as the star person at all. Turns out we are, ultimately, essential. 😉

    • Needless to say, I am a huge fan of choirs and choristers, not to mention a certain choral conductor! The Spasmodic Dysphonia in my latter years makes my voice much too unreliable for even ‘filler’ choir duty, but since I ‘married into the business’ I get the privilege of sitting in on any amount of rehearsals and soaking up the musical joys without having to put the performance of the group at any risk. 🙂 I’d say if there’s a choir anywhere near you, jump in and revel in it! They’ll be lucky to have you, and I know you’ll enjoy the richness of the process and the gifts of choral singing too.

    • I *had* a decent voice, nothing great but a reasonably nice one. Dysphonia’s only made it very unreliable (opening one’s mouth and having nothing come out isn’t *generally* considered a plus in a singer, unless she’s truly terrible!!) and often pretty weak and easily tired, so I’m happy to keep my singing for non-essential occasions. The most important thing is that *Richard* likes my voice, so if I start singing in the car or around the house or something, he’s not mortified. 😉 In any case, being a singer of any sort is hardly the prerequisite to being a great person, so I am glad that each of us has his or her distinct set of gifts, whether singing is included or not. And I’ll bet your cats do sing sweetly to you now and then. 🙂 xoxo

  1. Cute post, my friend, and in my high school days, I sang many solos, won best vocalist in choir and won 1st place in the talent show in my senior year. I sang for many weddings also. Then I sang the main gospel solo in another church choir as we toured the east coast and also sang at a convention of 2000 people. I was asked then if I was pursuing a singing career. At the time, I was! Going pro was my passion, although, there were things about my voice I didn’t like and things I wish it would do. I made it into the vocal jazz ensemble in the community college after h.s., but after that, decided I wanted to work. Stupid, stupid, stupid. So, no college for me, singing went to the back burner and I’m happy with how my life turned out, hubby, family, etc. but I do miss those musical times. By telling you all this is not a means of bragging, but really just another walk down musical memory lane. ♫ ♫ ♫
    Now, my voice has changed and not for the better! 🙂 xo

    • Sweet Lauren, sounds to me like your singing was—and I’m quite sure still *is*, despite your modesty—entirely brag-worthy. Regardless of that, the fact that you’ve retained your love of music and appreciation for its beauties is a gift in itself. Life takes us in such interesting directions, but I tend to think that each of them serves its purpose(s) and we generally find our way through those as much as into them. Your poetry sings, and it’s always clear from your personal posts, notes and comments, that your heart sings loudly, clearly and beautifully enough to be understood and appreciated by all around you, not just your other readers and me.

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