• Fizz, Tizz, and Ring Fizz, Tizz, and Ring

    Fizz, Tizz, and Ring

Fizz, Tizz, and Ring

Every voice is its own unique instrument. The sound of each voice has been honed by a mix of vocal coaches, choral directors, and our own musical exploration. In a choir, our vocal instruments have to blend, creating one unified sound, or tone. Atlanta Master Chorale’s tone is gorgeous, warm, filled with light and heart. Not content with mere robotic perfection, we reach for the humanity and emotion that lives within the tone. After all, the instruments we play are not made out of wood or metal. Our instrument, our sound, our tone, is literally who we are.

When a singer joins a choir, it is understood that she will adjust her tone to match that which is sought by the director. This is easier said than done, because like all singers, all directors have a different idea of what they would like the sound of their choirs to be. If you are singing in a show choir, your director may ask for a bright tone. English choirs traditionally have a forward, ringing tone. Russian choirs employ dark, rich tones. American choirs tend to gravitate toward warm, open tones.

Dr. Nelson likes to say that there are many kinds of virtuosity. One of the most over-looked aspects of virtuosic singing is the ability to create this exquisite tone while keeping the warmth and humanity in the sound. That said, our choristers make up a tapestry of talent. Everyone in the choir has had some form of expensive vocal training, and all solo voices are extremely different in tone. We have operatic baritones, gospel tenors, coloratura sopranos, and dramatic mezzos. We have choral directors, composers, church musicians, and voice teachers (like myself.) Yet we strive to find […]

By |September 26th, 2016|Rehearsal|Comments Off on Fizz, Tizz, and Ring
  • Eric Nelson
    Confessions of a Second Soprano: The Downbeat Confessions of a Second Soprano: The Downbeat

    Confessions of a Second Soprano: The Downbeat

Confessions of a Second Soprano: The Downbeat

The first rehearsal is a bit like the first day of school. The excitement of seeing old friends, the anticipation of the new kids, the gathering of bags, supplies, sharpened pencils. There is the apprehension that your skills are up to par, the hope that your hard work produces success, and the thrill of accomplishment. But unlike the first day of school, being a member of a choir is not about individual success. Every bit of hard work, study, and sharpened pencil is focused on a goal larger than yourself. It is about serving your fellow choristers, serving the artistic decisions of the Director, serving the music, serving the audience. If you do it right, you can serve the world at large through an expression of indefinable beauty.

As I walk into the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts to attend the first Atlanta Master Chorale rehearsal of the 2016-2017 season, these thoughts run through my head. My voice is ready because I sang vocal warm-ups in the car, and decided not to belt out the C on “I Dreamed a Dream” when it came on the radio. I stop just before the doorway to take stock of my supplies: my pencil and auxiliary pencil are in my purse, even though I know that there will be a brand new one from our volunteer librarian tucked neatly into my music packet. When Dr. Nelson gives marks to my section, I don’t want to be notating them in my score with sweet Georgia air, or worse, a pen. My phone is not only on silent, but turned all the way off. I would be mortified if it bumped against something in my purse and the strains of […]