Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tonal Tuesday - What Songs to Sing?

A number of years ago, my husband and I went to see Neil Sedaka in concert at the Stratford Theatre.  As luck would have it, our seats were on the left quite close to the stage and Sedaka was just in front of us.  He wore a white suit and sat at the piano.  That was it.  Just Neil Sedaka, a piano and the audience.  I was mesmerized.

Sedaka sang and talked about his music.   The setting was intimate and Sedaka made you feel as if you were in his living room.  You could tell he loved what he was doing and made you feel it too.

In an article that Sedaka just did for the Voice Council magazine, he talks about choosing your music to make it enjoyable.

He says to sing in your range and songs you enjoy not just what you think the audience wants.  Sedaka has last a long time in this career and he has been able to change with the times for sure.

One of the songs he sang was the ever popular "Breaking Up is Hard to Do" in both the fast, original version and the slower ballad version.  He explained that he changed it to suit the change in musical tastes and it has worked.

As choirs, we need to suit ourselves for sure but also remember just to whom we are singing.  Maybe the song isn't the strongest in musical value but is a whole lot of fun.  If it suits the purpose of fun or a particular need, and doesn't compromise the music, then it is worth it.

We never want to compromise our standards to suit an audience for sure but it doesn't mean that we can't do something different.  I really am not into just one style of music.  I love that we do classical pieces, secular and sacred, modern and everything in between.  Sometimes, it is in 4 parts and sometimes 3.  Our bottom line is that the music is well done and we are having FUN!!

What do you think?  Click on "comments" below and tell us.


Colleen said...

It is always difficult with an art to find a balance between what makes the artist happy and what pleases an audience. But with singers, there is so much interaction with the audience during the creation of your art that it is more important I think to please the audience, so that their pleasure feeds yours.

Embro Thistle Singers said...

It is definitely a two way street. You want to sing what the audience can appreciate but also what you really enjoy. I have been to concerts where the music is, as I hear it, sung to show they can. The choir is usually staring at the music and occasionally glancing at the conductor but that joy isn't there. That interaction you mention doesn't happen and I just want to go home. Yikes.