The Song that Goes Like This

At our recent “Looking Back, Looking Forward,” concert, choir member Nelz A offered the following words about “The Song that Goes Like This.”

In every Broadway musical — especially the ones composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber — there’s always this excruciatingly insipid love song that is incredibly long, constantly changes keys, and has insanely high notes. Such a song was parodied in the Monty Python musical comedy Spamalot.

We first performed this song at our OUT ON STAGE concert. I remember we were giggling through our first rehearsal of this song. I was a bass when I first sang this, and I had fun. Now I’m singing this as a tenor painfully trying to hit that E in the lyrics, when it’s really a G. But all in good fun. We all enjoyed singing this song as it is a testament of our sense of humour and fun singing together all these years.

At this point, you may be curious what the hell is this song. Well, it’s The Song That Goes Like This.

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Peace! Nelz A, Lauryn H, Michael T and Ben L

Manly Basses

The first time I switched to bass, it was both exciting and uncertain. Exciting because I get to sing differently, and uncertain because I had no idea what I was doing. Being a real trouper, I lingered on, hoping that I didn’t make a bad decision.

One of the songs we did, Vladimir Radian’s version of The Maple Leaf Forever, was for the Vancouver Unison in 2006. The bass part was really low, so I decided to come back up to baritone (or tenor 2). When we sang it at the Chan Centre at UBC, the gorgeous acoustics of the performance hall magnified the opening bass notes into a lovely low rumble that made my spine tingle. I’ve never heard anything so beautiful.

Over the years I’ve gotten so used to singing the low parts that I can project the bass notes. It felt like I’ve grown a lot of hair on my chest though, or as if my Adam’s apple grew bigger. Maybe my brain kept pumping more testosterone in those years I sang bass. Whatever it was, I can say it was the manliest I had ever been.

Nelz A., member since 2006

Defying Rigid Sectionality…

I consider myself a baritone with a wide crazy range. I’m not a true bass, but I can sing quite low without getting a scratchy throat. I’m not exactly a tenor either, but I can sing high tenor notes if I breathe properly (or wear tight pants).

When I joined the choir in 2006, I sang with the tenors, believing that I have the range to hit the high notes. The problem was I had pitch issues.

The following season, I went down to baritone/bass. I found it easier, and had less problems with pitch. This earned the ire of my fellow tenors. They jokingly called me a turncoat and traitor, then said I was bisectional. I found that hilarious.

I sang baritone/bass for the next three or four years, but recently I’ve discovered the joys of singing in my head voice. I was enamoured by Chris Colfer’s version of “Defying Gravity,” and actually attempted to hit that ridiculous high F.

I did.

This season I’m rejoining the tenors. It was challenging getting back to singing the upper registers, but I had to try and learn. Who knows, if I train my voice well enough, I may be able to join the sopranos next season!

by Nelz A, member since 2006