The Piedmont Choirs

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The members of the Piedmont Choirs prioritize the tuning of the choirs above almost all other aspects of the music we sing. Some people I have sung with in choir have absolute pitch, which means they can identify or sing any given note without the help of any instrument, and a multitude of people I have sung with have relative pitch, which means they have some notes memorized. I was in the flagship ensemble of the Piedmont Choirs the year a choir I was in was the most consistently in tune. We spent that year preparing for a choral competition in Bratislava, and the training combined with our determined mindsets gave us plenty of payback by June. We toured through Germany and Austria before arriving in Slovenia. Our first day in Bratislava was also the first day of the festival we were competing in. That night, the festival began with a concert featuring all the choirs participating. We were notably excited to hear the choirs we would compete with and hoped to produce a quality first impression. The concert was so packed that the windows of the cathedral it …show more content…
We came in right and it seemed the piece was going well. We were rhythmically accurate, well balanced, and in tune throughout the different singing parts. However, our conductor, Bob, began pointing down subtly only a few moments after we had begun singing. Our previously smiling eyes (called “smeyes” by numerous people in my choir) started to exhibit a little more mania. Did Bob want us to reduce our volume or lower our pitch? I lowered my volume, at first, but Bob’s motions downward turned more frantic as we continued through the song, and we realized that it was a problem with our tuning. Some people tried to lower their pitch, but as a choir we were staying too sharp compared to the piano, and it only caused our conductor to appear progressively more like a pantomime. He cut us off after what seemed like an eternity of out of tune

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