A Capella Away in a Manger (MP3 upload without microphone)
To Celebrate the start of Advent, the above attachment is my A Capella rendition of the Christmas lullaby. Read below BEFORE listening!
I am a “stratospheric” Soprano 1 and I have an unusual vocal tone that I can split into two sounds: a child’s soprano and a trained adult soprano. Unfortunately, while I have a superior tone, I have so many problems that I can never use my voice in any kind of professional manner. I am unable to thay S’s and I have a thoft lithp that nothing can cure, including speech therapy. So I live with my childlike lithp, and while it was cute at the age of 4, it’s not so cute at the age of, well, almost 44.
I also have vocal cord dysfunction, part of severe performance anxiety as a result of PTSD (really, no lie here!) from singing in terror as a child. So all my life I hid my ability except at home (you know, the secret shower singer :)) But I always thought that I allowed all my negatives to stop me from doing something that I loved, so after my cancer diagnosis, I decided to try to at least overcome my performance anxiety with voice lessons.
Yeow, I have never felt so terrified and so stupid! Voice training is HARD, and requires a load of coordination. And did I mention that I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time? It also requires visualization, as lower sounds should resonate nasally and higher sounds should “float off the top of your head”. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed, and after months of work I still could hardly sing in front of my instructor. So I caved and started medication for performance anxiety (which is VERY helpful). I was making great progress when I injured my voice pretty badly this summer. And, defeated, I stopped. Singing outside my shower was not in my future, and as least I gave it a try. But now, six months later, my voice is starting to come back, and I am re-thinking the door I shut off.
The audio is an A CAPELLA attempt at “Away in A Manger”. The arrangement is mine. A capella sucks because it magnifies any error in the performance, and the singer must be a master of tone, pitch and control for it to sound decent. I have tone and fair control, but while I have sensitive pitch when listening, my pitch is not a strong point when singing without accompaniment. I can see the faces in painful contemplation already: Dare I listen? While it has some small issues (mainly the darn pitch), the recording shows my tone very well (even un-microphoned singing into an MP3), and you may like the arrangement. The first stanza is my child soprano and the second is my trained soprano. So try a few seconds. I love feedback, positive or negative, so please don’t hesitate to say what you did or did not like!