So yesterday we had a cappella practice, which is quickly becoming one of my favourite things to do in the week. I now literally look forward to Monday and Thursday nights, when at nine I run down to Prexy (the music building at my college) to sing with a group of twenty-four pretty incredible people.
I have never really done a cappella before. In high school, I sang in chorus and in chamber choir, and that was amazing - especially chamber choir. As the one person who stuck with chamber choir all four years, occasionally I got to choose music, and the eight or so of us (it was a very small group) would sing "Sicut Cervus," this gorgeous motet by Palestrina, or "O Magnum Mysterium," or "And He Shall Purify" when the bigger choir was working on the Messiah. I love singing that stuff - I love the intricacy of motets and the soaring harmonies of madrigals. I love singing early music, but I haven't since more than a year ago, and that's something I miss. Here at Reed there's a group called Collegium Musicum that I assume does that kind of stuff (like an idiot I missed the audition sign-ups) but I am doing a cappella this year instead.
A cappella does not do that kind of stuff. We are singing "Build Me Up Buttercup" which is so incredibly fun it's hard to believe, and last night we started working on Toto's "Africa." In my opinion we've got a pretty awful arrangement of the song (the sopranos do nothing; I'm a soprano), but we'll sort that out with time. What's important is that I'm singing again, and it's fun.
And it's so much fun. It's not the same kind of fun as chamber choir is - In chamber choir I am humbled by the sound we make. It puts me in mind of dark incense-y churches and something gorgeous that transcends history. But singing a cappella is a different fun, an easier fun, a fun where you're supposed to dance along to the music. My friend D, who is a bass, sings so expressively and excitedly that you have to smile and almost laugh and dance, which makes the music sound better - look at us, we are having fun! Have fun with us!
Did you ever sing a cappella? What did you think?
(Also. Our a cappella group is called the Herodotones - like Herodotus, just a bit nerdier. How cool is that?!)