Gertrude Fester


When I went for the audition for the Cape Town Symphony Choir, Garnier,
the conductor or whatever his name was, told me that I tended ‘to go
flat’. I tended to ‘sing off key’. Sink in… accept… internalize.

Now I understand, after all those years ago in the school choir. There
were a two choir members who never wanted to stand near me. Similarly when
we had our final rehearsal for the Coronation Mass, there were a few
complaints that I ‘confused’ some choir members. It all hit me then. I
tended to sing below the note… go flat…flat… And yet I did nothing about
it. I sing but do not practice enough.

I recall reading about opera singers. They practice for about five hours a
day. No, not me. I sing, then play, then eat, then walk on the beach. I do
not persevere in my singing lessons. I should use this opportunity to
practice singing, maintaining the notes, practicing. practicing and then
perfecting. Then increasing, increasing my repertoire, repertoire … How do
I firstly polish, refine my singing? How do I learn to really perfect my
singing, build up my repertoire? Just like Opera singers do. For Cape
Opera there is a ‘developmental’ choir. They have extra lessons, they
practice and practice, they perfect. Yes and I … I go off key.

Yes, I do not do my voice exercises. I do not warm up my voice. My voice
is raw and cold and not moulded, not warm, rich, velvet. Yes, I need to
see… what else? Yes, I need a big yes of lessons. I do not like
sight-reading. And I need to perfect my sight-reading in order to improve
my singing. I do not manage to get the high C sharp and the low D flat. In
fact- here’s the concern- I do not even know the difference between the
sharp and the flat. My, and that’s so basic. I need regular practice, I
need voice lessons urgently. I need to polish and perfect and maintain a

If not I’m just a fake singer.


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