Ozzily Yours

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Why I Like Tuesdays

Every Tuesday, I hustle to get out of work by 5:30, and hop on the brown line, hoping to arrive at the Western stop by 6:20 or so (some days the brown line can be awfully slow). From there I walk a few blocks up Lincoln Ave. to the Old Town School of Folk Music, where the Women's Choir class meets Tuesday nights from 6:30 until 7:50 (though it's usually more like 6:35 until 7:59, when our director, Kathy, suddenly remembers she has another class to teach at 8:00).

I've been singing for as long as I can remember; I come from a singing family. Every time my dad's family gathers and more than a couple of cocktails are imbibed, a robust sing-along breaks out at some point or another. I tend to know more of the songs than the rest of my generation, (thanks to my dad's having sung them around the house throughout my childhood), but we all try to get in on it, all the way up to my 93-year-old grandparents - Grandma, frankly, always looks incredibly happy when she's busting out with "I'm Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover," or something equally anachronistic.

At my very tiny high school, I was something of a big fish in a small pond... when you have a graduating class of 29, and a choir of 40-50 people, being able to carry a tune pretty much shoots you to the lead alto position very quickly. I took voice lessons, but frankly, I was pretty arrogant, and didn't practice enough, and wasn't sure how much all of this classical stuff had to teach me.

In college, I was surrounded by very serious singers, some of whom have gone on to have successful music careers. Knowing I would never be at their level - and being used to my "big fish" status - I shied away from singing. If I couldn't be the best, what was the point? I never took voice lessons in college, I didn't join the chorale or any other musical ensemble as a student, and singing pretty much fell by the wayside. Sure, I still joined in the raucous family sing-alongs, but as far as taking it seriously? Aside from the occasional performance in a musical, I was pretty much done.

That is, until business school. During my post-admission, pre-agreeing-to-attend-the-school orientation weekend, I met Richard, who was a member of the MBA program's a capella group. This was a school known for its quantitative focus, its intense academics, constant studying... I was, clearly, a little surprised to learn of this group's existence. I must admit, though, that Richard, with his friendliness and encouragement and obvious love of singing, was one of the people who convinced me to enter the program.

Come fall, I auditioned and was accepted into the a capella group, and began singing in a structured environment for the first time in a decade, and I loved it. No, we weren't great, but we weren't bad, either (especially according to our single groupie - my friend Raife never missed a performance!). More importantly, we all genuinely enjoyed singing. Being with that group of people once a week definitely helped alleviate some of the stress that went along with being in business school.

After graduation, I didn't want to go another decade without singing in a group... I stumbled across the class listing for the Women's Choir while the husband and I were at a concert at the Old Town School last fall, and signed up for the class session starting in January. Some Tuesdays, I feel guilty for leaving work by 5:30 when there is still much to be done; other Tuesdays, I want nothing more than to go home: I'm tired, I'm hungry, the husband and the cat are waiting for me... and yet, as one of my fellow altos observed recently, "I'm never sorry when I come to Women's Choir." No matter how sleepy, crabby, headachey, work-obsessed, or overbooked I am, when I go to class, by 6:45, I'm thrilled to be there. And that would be why I like Tuesdays.

Yesterday was particularly exciting, as we began working on a little piece we'll be performing 7/9 with The Hypnic Jerks at the Chicago Folk & Roots Festival... if you're local, you might want to consider coming by!...


  • Sorry, not local so we can't come by. :(

    I am glad you found a group activity to do that you enjoy, I keep thinking about taking a nerdier route and joining a gaming group. :)

    By Anonymous Moth, at 6/22/2006 6:40 AM  


    Comment approval?! You COMMUNIST!!!!!


    Probably a wise thing. :)

    By Anonymous Moth, at 6/22/2006 6:42 AM  

  • Yup, I'm a bad-ass. Actually, it's mostly an effort to keep an eye out for annoying spam comments. But if you choose to believe it's because I feel the need to run my blog like a totalitarian regime, well, so be it....

    By Blogger mcm, at 6/22/2006 9:14 AM  

  • I'm an HR Manager, I get paid to think of the worst case scenarios. :)

    By Anonymous Moth, at 6/22/2006 11:18 AM  

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