Speaking of singing….

November 1, 2010


The recitals! Oh, the terrible, terrible recitals.

In college if you were a music major (or, in my case, an elementary education major with an emphasis in music), you had to participate in recitals. I really preferred to call them Those Days and Hours of Dread Followed By Three Minutes I’ll Have To Burn From My Memory.

Awful. Awful. Awful.

It didn’t help that I didn’t like practicing. Well, let me take that back. Practicing was o.k, but what I loved doing was practicing by myself late at night in the big fancy practice room with the grand piano and the full-length mirror, preferably when no one else was in the building- and pretending that I was absolutely brilliant! Oh, I sounded so fabulous! The applause! Please, people, stop clapping! Your hands will be bloodied! Really – I must insist!

I didn’t like practicing to improve. Bleh. I always felt so phony. That ‘right’ voice sounded nothing like my shower voice, and my shower audience was almost as appreciative as Practice Room audience. Enough, my adoring fans! I really must towel off now.

And then came the actual recital. The actual recital where I would sing in front of a handful of decidedly non-imaginary people and their quiet, polite applause that followed my mousy performance. Reality – bleh.

Brad had to do these, too, and it didn’t help that he was better than me. Stupid, non-nervous Brad. Kristi was there, too. She, in her brilliance, was willing to be the accompanist that I’d ask the day before the recital, “Um, could you please play this for me?”, and it occurs to me that I never did anything to thank her. (Kristi, you’re an angel.)

There were other recitals for flute (one) and piano (I think…. two? three?), but they have been successfully burned from memory.

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Lauren Sommerer is a preschool teacher who likes to build prototypes, grow cats, cook things once, save money, reduce, reuse and recycle.

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17 Responses to “Speaking of singing….”

  1. Brad Said on:

    It’s John’s song that I remember the most. In fact, the words from it come back to me with regularity:
    Gia’il Sole dal Gange
    Gia’il sole dal Gange
    Piu chiaro, piu chiaro svavilla…

    Dang… now I’m going to have that stuck in my head.


    • Lauren Said on:

      At first, I thought you were joking. Then I wondered if you were making up Italian words.

      Did he sing it all the time? (John, Brad, Karla and Lloyd all went to high school together, in case anyone didn’t know.)


      • Brad Said on:

        I sang it, and I had to memorize the words. They stuck.

        Everybody sang from the same songbooks, so we all sang the same songs. I think I also sang Lonesome Valley. I didn’t sing the other pieces in your picture because they were women’s.


        • Lauren Said on:

          Oh. See, I wouldn’t know that because I was too cheap/lame to buy a book until a couple years into this. I was always handed old photocopies of songs that she knew she’d never get back.


  2. Peggy Said on:

    Too bad you don’t have an audio of the concert (that began at 4:10pm…what’s up with the :10)

    I was a sunny sunflower in 1st grade. It was my 1st and last singing performance…for an audience. It was a Tom Sawyer play

    We are sunny sunflowers,
    Sunny, sunny sunflowers,
    Plucked from Amy’s garden just today…

    My favorite stage curtain is a garage door. As it slowly opens I hear the applause of over 10,000 as I step out onto the stage…mic in hand…


    • Karla Said on:

      The was the start of 8th hour (I think 8th and not 9th). The first two classes of the day started at 7:30 and 8:30, then chapel, then the classes started at 10 past the hour for the rest of the day.


  3. Annette Said on:

    Peggy! I was a sunny sunflower too! And yes, I remember that song! I almost fell off of my office chair when I saw your comment. What a hoot! Things in NE Missouri are not so different
    We are sunny sunflowers
    Sunny, sunny sunflowers
    We hope to chase your troubles all away!


  4. Gretchen Said on:

    I remember Brad’s senior recital -- at least parts of it. I think he advertised it as “the bare minimum of songs in foreign languages” or something like that. Years later, one of his songs was on children’s music CD that my kids liked:
    I bought me a cat
    My cat pleased me
    I fed my cat under yonder tree
    My cat said fiddle dee dee.

    (Sorry Lauren, I know this post is really about you, but this is the only relevant comment I can make.)


  5. Kristi Said on:

    Your singing was great….I’m sure of it.

    And I’d accompany you anytime, anywhere, anyplace.


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