Well, another competition has come and gone. For those of you that don't know what NATS is, it stands for the National Association for Teachers of Singing. My teacher and his wife that also teaches singing, Gary and Sherri, are members, so they take part in judging competitors and have many of their own students compete. I entered into the Broadway category again this year, in which you sing two showtunes and on classical piece. My selections were Love, Look Away from Flower Drum Song, An Die Musik by Schubert, and Green Finch and Linnet Bird from Sweeney Todd. Green Finch was my favorite one; the composer, Stephen Sondheim, is amazing and the show, Sweeney Todd, is incredible.
Overall, I gave a good performance. My voice has matured considerably since last year, and I'm able to get through my passagio without as much resistance. Also, for the most part, I didn't lose control of my breathing. The two biggest issues for me when I perform for the judges (there were three again this year) or a small group are that I lose control of my breathing and I get tense, and also I just think way too hard about what I am doing. I do my best singing when I'm not concentrating on every little thing. When I do think about it too hard, I often mess up on little things like... oh, words. I got a couple bars of words wrong in two of my songs. I was able to stay with the music and pick it back up, and the whole time I was thinking, "No! What are you singing?! Just keep going, look happy, look like you are having a good time! Oh god!" Talk about stressful. But as far as big errors go, that was the only thing that really stuck out.
I usually hate watching my performance afterwards, because I cringe at every little thing and kick myself, because I know I can do better. But I still think I did a pretty good job, and I've made a lot of improvement over the past year.
The funny thing is, I don't nearly as nervous when performing in front of a large group. I used to in middle school; I'd get solos in choir and then perform at the choir concerts, and that was really nerve-wracking. But in the musicals, it's a piece of cake. But eventually it'll all be no problem. It just takes a few hundred tries.
I know next year will be even better.
Of all noises, I think music is the least disagreeable. -Samuel Johnson, English author, critic, & lexicographer (1709 - 1784)