Monday, May 30, 2011

School's Out Forever: Memories of Music

Today is Sommer Leigh's School's Out Forever Blogfest. Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to write about a memory that defined our high school experience. So here goes.

When I think about one thing that defined my high school experience it has to be music. My life completely centered around music those years. I had always loved to sing and had been a part of chorus every year since 4th grade. In middle school I had branched out a bit and also entered NYSSMA (New York State School Music Association) at which you sing for judges. I was good enough to go on to participate in the All County Chorus based on my performance.

In freshman year I was in the Chorus. That was the bottom rung that all freshman had to start in. We weren't allowed to audition for Chorale until sophomore year. So naturally I did and spent the next three years in Chorale. In junior year I also auditioned for Jazz Choir and made it. Jazz Choir was a smaller group and a lot of fun. I learned a lot. I continued to participate in NYSSMA as part of the Chorale and as a soloist and continued to be a part of All County Chorus.

That year I also auditioned for the school musical. We performed the musical "Annie", my suggestion, and I played the part of Pepper, "the mean orphan". Everyone was shocked and amazed at how shy and quiet me transformed into one big bully on stage. I had so much fun that year. The group of girls playing orphans (other than Annie herself) formed a great bond through it all and continued to be friends after.

Senior year was great. I was in Chorale, Jazz Choir, the musical (Hello Dolly, another suggestion by me) and also took a Music Theory class. Music Theory was really interesting and I actually composed a couple of songs. One was a silly little thing that I called "The Ballad of Pedro Convictavitch" after a character that my brother had made up once to tell our younger sister a story. (Pedro developed a life of his own as a running joke for many years.) The other was a melancholy piece that I called "Un Colpevole Innocente" which is, I believe, "A Guilty Innocent" in Italian. (My Music Theory class was right after my Italian class.)

In NYSSMA that year I performed a solo and two duets with a couple friends and made it to Area All State Chorus which was an awesome experience. The music was fiendishly difficult and after a weekend of practicing a performing I was hoarse for about a week. Hello Dolly was a lot of fun too. I could have taken a small speaking part, but instead I decided to turn it down and stay in the Chorus which was more fun. Lots of singing and dancing involved.

I wanted to go on into a musical theater program in college, but if truth be told I wasn't really good enough. No, that's not the truth. I wasn't confident enough. I didn't believe in myself enough and I didn't have the proper dedication to succeed. Alas.

I still look back on those music steeped years with fondness and longing. I've since come to realize that music wasn't my true calling. The writing that I long neglected was. Even so, my heart will always have a special place for music and for singing in particular.

If music be the food of love, play on.


  1. Fun to read about you reminisces.

  2. Interesting. Do you think your music background enhances your writing?

  3. I think "Pedro Convictavitch" is the coolest name ever. He needs a short story written about it.

    Your memory was lovely :-)

  4. I was all about choir and drama in high school too. Wasn't really good at either, but I loved hanging out with that crowd. Still do. :)

    Good memory.

  5. I loved music at school as well, but since I transferred schools every two years I didn't really follow through with it. Some schools had great music programs, and others had nothing. It was the same with languages and arts. Yo'd do very well in a subject, and then find out you were moving to somewhere new, where the school didn't have the subject. I can still remember the look on my sister's face when she was told that no, our new school didn't have Speech and Drama, but it had an excellent Agricultural Sciences program. Yeah, not really the same thing.

  6. Great post. Really informative and inspirational. I got some real time inspiration from this post. Thanks a lot for the same.


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