I have sung in the tenor section of Opus 24 for 23 years. In all that time I have never heard Opus sing.
Now, I have heard each section sing, usually from in back or next to them. But I have never sat facing Opus and actually heard the blend of their voices at one time. I know that the tenors and the other sections sound wonderful, but I’ve never gotten to hear their blended harmonies as a choral sound should be heard.
Milt Scott, our director, has heard us many times or course, from that scary place in front, with singers concentrating on his every gesture, facial expression, and nuance of body language which we are trained to study. But usually he is a little too close to enjoy the blend of sound. Occasionally he does walk far back to enjoy the sounds in space and distance, mixed in with the acoustic presence of our venue. However, he is thinking about quite a few technical details so it is probably difficult to just sit back and let the sound flow over and around him. He generally spends little time at a distance from the choir, and soon moves back to his command post.
The irony of this is that I don’t think I could sit back and listen to Opus 24 sing to me, with the chords sounding like they are written to sound for an audience. My ears and brain automatically and uncontrollably sort out the tenor part, and leaves the rest of the beautiful melodies and chordal fulfillment as just background sound. In fact, if I were just listening, I’d be thinking, “I want to be singing!” It takes a couple of years for me to not separate the tenor part from the music. Then I am listening to a recording rather than a live performance.
The audiences are fortunate to be able to enjoy what I can’t hear. Come and hear our blends of sound which we have put together for you at our concert November 25th, 2014. You’ll be glad that you did!
Decatur Choral Society