Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Know What Else I'd Like to Do?

I have another crazy dream. Besides the crazy writing dream, I mean. I want to sing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.


I meet the following criteria:
1. Be between the ages of 25-55.
2. Live within a 100 mile radius of Salt Lake City
3. Be a member in good standing of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Okay, that's the easy part. First you have to fill out an application about your church and family background and musical experience. That doesn't sound too bad. They have right there on the website all the time requirements, which are considerable, so you can decide if you even want to fill out an application. Next, you're asked to create an audition CD in which you have to sing one of three hymns and do some other musical stuff. Harder. If you make it past that step, you have to take a music theory test which includes stuff like: listen to a musical phrase followed by three notes and determine which note is the key tone. Listen to a musical passage while looking at a corresponding musical notation and mark every measure where the pitch is different from what was played. And on and on like that--all live without the opportunity to hear anything repeated. Um, okay. That sounds really hard, especially since I have no professional musical training. If you pass the music skills and theory test, then you get a live audition in front of the directors. In. Person. This includes singing a hymn and part of a challenging choral piece, followed by some sight reading. Absolutely terrifying. (Kind of like pitching your book to an editor or agent at a conference, no? Actually, I think the choir audition would be scarier. You don't actually have to read your manuscript out loud at a pitch session.)
 
 (Here's me with the choir I sing with now. The Musettes.)


So, I'm wondering. Which of these crazy dreams of mine is harder to achieve? What do you think?

I'd say that, as hard and frightening as the Tabernacle Choir audition sounds, I think it's still easier than writing a book , getting that book critiqued, revising the book, making the book shine, writing a query, a synopsis, a pitch, marketing plan, etc. for the book, submitting it, and getting it published. There is no website for aspiring authors with all the steps clearly mapped out like there is for the choir. Wouldn't it be nice if there was? Last year, 400 people auditioned and 78 made into the choir. That's almost 20%. I can guarantee you that significantly less than 20% of manuscripts submitted last year were published.

I think I could get into the Tabernacle Choir if I really wanted to. I could study my butt off for that music theory test. I could work up the guts for the live audition. I really could. You know what else I think? I think I can do what it takes to make it as a writer too. I can work hard, develop my talents, and gather up the courage I need to succeed.

And so can you.

24 comments:

Stephanie McGee said...

I don't know, I think that getting into the Tab Choir sounds harder than getting published.

Good luck with both!

Lisa said...

I'd like to see you do both! Then, if you have any hair left, you can tell us which one you prefer.

As for me, I'll stick with the writing.

Linz said...

You sure aim high, don't you! ;) I know you can do either and both!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Writing: I think success will come with dedication and talent. I think you have to have both. It's not enough to be talented, but you must be seen. Getting seen is a lot of work.

So are you going to go for it?

tiff loves kent said...

both seem hard and scary since i cant sing and im not a writer and i hate being critiqted so good luck on both dreams

and might i just add you amaze me i have never NEVER had 1 big dream

Danyelle said...

You are an inspiration, Angie. :)

And you're right--you can do whatever you set your mind to.

I'll bet you have a beautiful voice if it's anything like your heart. :D

Aubrie said...

Oh I think you should go and audition! I bet you could get some voice lessons to help with the theory if it's hard for you. (finding a key note would be hard for me)

Wierdly enough, I just wrote to the Nashua Symphony two minutes ago to ask if I could audition on flute.

You'll never know until you go and try it!

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I had a friend become a member of the MTC. Singing was her passion and she's still singing with them. Dreams come true. She became the singer and I became the writer. Hmm, I wonder what it would be like to have both talents. Good luck to you! You can do it.

Carolyn V. said...

Do both Angie! You could totally do it! It would be so cool. =)

Nisa said...

I want to do both and I am sure you could! Wouldn't it be awesome if we could sing in the choir together? My proximity to Salt Lake is a problem however...

Elana Johnson said...

Oh you can. Yes, you can. You can do anything you want to do. Go Angie!

MT said...

I'll be watching for your face during Gen. Conf. in a year or two. ;)

t said...

Wow = I've thought about being in the tabernacle choir too - had no idea it was to tough. I think I'd rather write. But I could do try for it if I really, really wanted to and so can you. Dream big.

Dork Vader said...

Woah, I would never want to get into the MOTAB, but I love to listen to them :D
And if you got in, I would love it that much more :)

Favorite quote, "I don't just follow my dreams, I hunt them down, beat them with club, and drag them home"
Chase after your dreams Angie :D

Jackee said...

Wow. I had no idea it was so hard to get into the MOTAB. Like Danyelle said, you are an inspiration!

And I believe you'll make both your dreams come true.

Nichole Giles said...

I didn't know you're a singer. Hm. Cool! Me too. But not in a choir. At least, not anymore.

But you could totally make it. I believe it because you have the determination to do it. How do I know? You're a writer aren't you? Point made.

Medeia Sharif said...

You can do both. We're rooting for you.

Ruth Donnelly said...

The audition seems daunting because it's a yes/no thing. You either get in or not. With writing, you can always try again with another ms. But I agree with everyone above--if you feel inspired, you should go for it!

Tess said...

I have a friend in the Tab Bell Choir and she tells amazing and wonderful stories of their adventures. But, it takes an amazing amount of time away from her family. It is fun for her, but also a bit of a sacrifice, I think.

You can do either or both of these goals, Angie. I know you could, if you really wanted too!

Julie Dao said...

Wow... that sounds like a very intense and difficult process! I think it's so cool that you're in the choir. I can only play an instrument but recently my orchestra collaborated with a women's choir and it was beautiful!

RaShelle said...

Both are difficult, but worth striving for. Good luck! I wish you success in both.

Angie said...

Thank you all for your encouragement. I really love your comments. I try to respond via email to as many as I can, so if I missed you, I'm sorry. You guys just make my day!

kanishk said...

I want to do both and I am sure you could!
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Jewel/Pink Ink said...

I think you should go for TC!! Why not at least go for it??