Friday, 27 July 2012

Competitions or Why Do I Put Myself Through This?

So the Annual Competitions Society syllabus arrived the other day. You probably think it's a bit odd that someone of my *ahem* advanced years (for singing, in all other respects I am 35 and holding, thank you) should enter. But you must remember that I didn't follow the usual sort of path - singing lessons from age 8/11/13, entering the local Competitions Society vocal section each year, under-grad vocal study at University, post-grad studies at a prestigious school in some exotic location. Yes, I sang all through school, but only in choirs. No training. At uni, sure I did a degree majoring in Music, but again no vocal training and anyway I was busy flaunting...erm...flauting. 

So I am, in fact, barely a teenager in singing terms - without the pimples but with all the emotional angst. And in my defence there are people older than me who compete. It also completely exhausts me with nervousness. So why do I do it? 

1. I learn a lot. From the adjucator's remarks to me and other competitors, from the audience, from my fellow/felless competitors. I hear new music, I hear what other people do or don't do. 

2.  The cameraderie. With the exception of the odd person, everybody wants everybody else to do well. We want to hear and see the improvement from year to year. We are delighted when someone finally gets a long-coveted first placing. 

3.  The sense of achievement. Maybe it's taking a song from the previous year and using this year's advances in technique on it. Or integrating a new technique into all of your songs. 

So my teacher is deciding on which songs for which categories. I can tell you that the list will include Delibes' 'Les Filles de Cadix' - fun!