If you read Leah over at militarywiferants, and you should, because she is fucking hilarious, then you may have read about my deep ‘sexy’ voice. I have been hearing it described that way a lot lately. Which is pretty weird for me. Because it is normally described as masculine, monotone, robotic.
In high school I was in chorus. Unlike males, as a female you have to be a decent singer to be in chorus. Males get in because there aren’t enough; no matter how terrible you are.
My best friend, K, was in chorus. It was the only reason I joined. I was immediately put in the intermediate class which meant K and I got to sit in the back and be obnoxious together. We were both altos (that is the deeper female voice).
In chorus there is a hierarchy. The sopranos are always the sexy, Disney princess types. The altos were the sarcastic types.We always used to joke; the higher pitched the voice, the dumber the girl. They always used to joke; the lower pitched the voice, the more of a lesbian the girl. Sorry. We were little assholes.
My class had two male singers. One tenor, one bass. That was literally it. If one of them was sick, we had no male part that day. Until my chorus teacher realized I could hit their notes. And then I was put in their roles.
This was not the first time I played the part of the man. But, going by the above criteria, I was fucking doomed. I had super short hair, I was thin and flat chested, I wore baggy jeans and t-shirts every day, I had never had a boyfriend, and now it turned out my voice was actually a tenor and not even an alto.
I was basically a man. And definitely a lesbian. I never thought being a lesbian was an insult and it didn’t bother me being called one. It still doesn’t bother me and it still happens regularly. Also, I get called ‘sir’ a lot, even in person.
Every year, we would go to Disney in December and sing Christmas carols. It was called the Candlelight Processional. We would learn a bunch of Christmas songs and sing them. My favorite song in the group was always Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus from the Messiah. I am not even remotely religious. It is just a beautiful song. And fun to sing.
Because I was covering for the male roles, I didn’t get a lot of time to practice my alto parts. I tended to know the tenor or bass parts of different songs better than the alto portions.
Once we arrived at the Candlelight Processional, they arranged us in our groups by height. Being 6’1” made me by far the tallest female. This put me completely with the male singers. They were next to and behind me.
By the end of the night, I realized I had sung the male parts in every single song instead of my own alto parts. In fact, at the end of the year, part of our grade was to sing certain songs we had learned during the year. And I could only sing the male parts.
I actually keep thinking about how much I would love to find a chorus to join and sing in. I wouldn’t even mind of it was at a church as long as I didn’t have to sit through their sermons.
I love to sing. Even karaoke, but that is a story for another time.