The Santa Cruz Chorale is performing the Mozart Requiem this Saturday and Sunday. For months now people from the choir have been asking if I working on the alto solo for it.

I kept saying, “Christian promised that he’d never spring a solo on me with that little notice again, so I’m pretty sure I’m not singing it.”

And I’m not.

The woman who is has a BIG voice. It would be interesting to see if I could get to that point, where my voice was that big.

In the meantime, this contralto, for she must be a contralto, is incredible to listen to.

The whole solo choir (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) is incredible. Big, big, beautiful voices.

I have a lovely voice, I’m not saying I don’t. But I don’t have a voice like these people do, and interestingly enough, I’m realizing that I don’t want to. I love singing. I love soloing, but I also love singing with people. There is something magical about standing in the middle of a choir singing my heart out and hearing those other parts ringing back towards me, with me.

Last night was the first rehearsal in Holy Cross, where we’ll be performing. Christian has put me in the back row with three other strong altos. So, I’m up top, trying to catch myself as I creep forward on the riser.

I’ll set the scene: It’s 3/4s of the way through rehearsal. We’ve been up and down off the risers at least two times.

The woman who stands in front of me, turns to me as we get off the risers for the third time.

“Um, Nancy. I’m trying really hard to compensate for where you have to stand on the top riser, but um, do you think, um, could you . . . ?”

“Jane, am I whacking you in the back of the head with my folder?”

“Well, yes. So anyway, I understand [she spends another two minutes explaining how she’s trying not to get her head in my way], so just please be careful.”

Earlier in the evening the alto next to me points to a line in the music and says “Can you hear someone singing this line wrong? Someone is singing a C rather than a C# in this line. See it should sound like this: [she sings the line the way I’ve been singing it for months].

“Oh, that would be me. Thanks for pointing that out, I’ll fix that.”

Hesitant Alto “I didn’t mean you. I don’t think it’s you; I think it’s [pointing her finger behind her music so no one will see the woman whose head I’ve been whacking and whispering] her. I didn’t think it was you. I don’t want to piss anybody off.”

Me again, “No, really, I’m not mad. I’m happy to have things pointed out. I’d rather be singing things correctly.”

Sigh. I’m not going to worry about either of these folks, but it would have been much easier for me to fix this line months ago, before I had it solidified in my body. I’ll check it today to make sure of how I’m singing it and fix it if necessary, but honestly folks, just say thinks you’re thinking.

I feel like a boob for not having noticed that I was whacking that woman. If she had said something the first time I did it, or at the very least, the first time we had a break, then I could have fixed the problem much earlier.

And the musical line? Same thing. Please, just tell me. If I need to fix something, I will. Now, that doesn’t mean that I’m going to take every criticism I hear at face value. There might be things I’m doing that you don’t like and I don’t want to change them. In which case I won’t, but if you have a grievance and you don’t tell me (or someone else) there is no way that I (or anyone else) can fix the problem. It’s highly likely that the person you have a grievance about has no idea that it’s even an issue for you.

So, in the spirit of truth and honesty, tell people what you’re thinking. That doesn’t mean go all ballistic and yell at people. Start when the issue is little. Just a simple “hey, it bugs me when you leave the cat bowls drying on top of the garbage disposal. . .” will do the trick. Oh, did I say that out loud? Guess I’d better go say that to my honey. That particular habit of his drives me batty! (Yeah, I know, I should be happy that he’s washing the cat bowls.)

When I go to put something in the garbage disposal, it’s usually a situation where I don’t have extra hands to move that stuff. I don’t want things in my way, I’m an organized kinda gal, and I want things done properly. . .

Ooops, kinda went on a tear there.

Hmmm, guess I’d better follow my own advice.

Gotta go talk to the hubby.