I joined a choir a in January, it's a pop style choir with the barbershop parts (NOT SATB, it's tenor, lead, baritone, bass) and passed a simple audition to get in. It's all female despite the barbershop style. They have me singing way too high a part. I'm singing mostly between E4 and E5 but even that is all up in head voice. I can only sing until like Bb4 without flipping over into head voice (or maybe it's kind of a high mix, I'm not sure, but the tone sounds really light). The problem is that I'm NOT supposed to be using head voice because it's pop style songs and they want me to sing them in my full voice, but my full voice stops well well short of E5 lol. So I have to keep passing between registers in a super annoying and tiring way and it also messes up the vowels which I don't really understand, but something they told me about, but they said it would happen "at my bridge" but my bridge was supposed to be above E5.

It would be really helpful if I could sing a lower part. I can sing to about C3 pretty comfortably so I don't know what's wrong with doing that. I asked to be assigned to a lower part but they said they already have too many baritones and basses.

I know another local choir with a similar (simple) audition process that is more classical and the SATB format, do you think I should switch choirs in January or stay with the barbershop one?

  • Based on the seemingly contradictory "It's all female despite the barbershop style" and "it's tenor, lead, baritone, bass" (and "they said they already have too many baritones and basses"), are you male or female? – Dekkadeci Dec 3 '18 at 8:34

If you like golf, but the golf club has rules with which you disagree, you either put up with it, or find another. This is the apparent situation you find yourself in. You could deliver the goods, but there's seemingly no place to put them. You are the square peg in the round hole.

It happens in bands all the time. If compromises won't/can't be made, the alternatives are as above. Stay and put up, or leave. Sometimes it's the numbers the rest want to play, sometimes it's 'we rehearse three times a week', sometimes it's 'my mate's in the band - he's not very good, but he's my mate...' So many scenarios, and often good reasons to leave. Or better still, not join in the first place!

If you're grown up, be grown up, and state your case. If there's no room to manoeuver, leave. Maybe the others will learn from it, maybe not. But that leaves you in a position where you are a little wiser, and understand some of the parameters of being in a band/group/ensemble, and sort out 'ground rules' nice and early.

It's a two way thing. You should have stated before the beginning what you are happy singing, and if there's no position there, you obviously aren't going to fit. Having said all that, sometimes there are things you only find out later - too late! But surely it's never too late: no contracts signed, nothing legally binding. Those are the times you will regret not putting all the cards on the table - both sides.

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