The music department; a completely exclusive sector of the school. Nobody ventures there, without an invitation or a death wish. The outside is guarded by a dinner lady and inside there are enough sixth formers to take you alive… At my old school we only had a music room so my expectations of the place were already rather high.
I think it’s important to note that in my old school I had a major role within the music division, playing guitar and also having grades in singing. I thought the transition between the music ranks of two schools would be an easy one, however I was sorely mistaken. All of the posters promise to make comers accepted, and yes I was allowed inside the department, but what good is it making it inside if nobody wants you there?
The Music Rule:
If you didn’t take make music at A-level and/or attend the school since the age of eleven, you will never make it. Ever.
And even if you do fit into one of these bands there’s no guarantee that the inner circle varsity jumper will fit. Chances are if you take A-level music and are too shy to push yourself forward into the front row of the choir you’ll never be noticed, and when you’re not noticed you end up being ignored.
I tried hard last year, scraping entrance on to the set of the Christmas Mass. Admittedly I was sat at the back next to the Y13 boy who nobody else dared sit next to, but I was present and participating!
I was less successful with the end of year show. I auditioned and waited hopefully for some recognition. Nothing… Not a sausage.
If I hadn’t done grades in music I would have been worried I wasn’t because I couldn’t sing and they were hoping that if they ignored me I’d go away. But grade 6 singing, previous experience as a Vontrap child, numerous ‘end of year’ performances, St Michaels got talent, carol concerts, solos. If I wasn’t good surely not all these people would have been kind enough to give me such opportunities?
How likely is it that my examiner for my last singing grade said:
‘Now that last girl who just performed for her Grade 6, I have a horrible feeling that if we don’t give her it now she’ll just keep coming back. Yes, yes, I know she’s completely tone deaf, but she tried so hard, and I really don’t want to hear it again next month. So what do you say, go on, hit print, give it to her now, you know you want…’
NOT VERY LIKELY!
And grade 6 wasn’t the first singing grade I’d done! There’d have to be a good few corrupt music examiners across a variety of prestigious music boards to play out that fantasy.
So they’re just rude not say anything, not to say yes or no, plain rude.
I think I mentioned before there’s only me and one other boy in my A2 physics class (and if I haven’t, you’ve guessed it there’s only me and one other boy in my A2 physics class) and he’s in the music circle! It’s great for me though because he’ll tell me all their secrets and as my mum always said it’s nice to share so here’re the juiciest.
1. There’s a secret choir!
What?!?!? They gather every Tuesday lunch time, a select bunch in a side room to practice for their grade 8 singing exams with a music teacher. But yes, you guessed it, a select bunch i.e. no outsiders invited. I should’ve known really, the only day not taken by a choir or orchestra, there had to be something going on.
2. They’d given out the female lead roles for this year’s show before anyone auditioned.
This year we’re doing Joseph, and if you don’t know the show, there’s only really one female role in the whole show; the narrator. According to my physics friend, the music teachers had already agreed to divide this role into five segments but they’d also already chosen the girls that would be offered said parts. If any refused, they’d just cut it to four.
Hey, you guessed it, I didn’t even get a look in. Four of the five girls have already spent a good five years at Carmel and yes, the only other took A2 music, main instrument voice.
The story of my audition for this year’s school play is quirky one. For the audition they had highlighted small roles for other girls; I guess they’re not looking to add any other big stars to their select constellation. I chose to audition for one of the brothers, and I must say my Texas accent is amaaaaaaazing.
3. Nobody knew I could sing until I auditioned.
Even the boy in my physics class was shocked… My head of sixth from asked me where’d been hiding… But I’ve been in concerts, rehearsals and choirs? I’m not sure if they just had been ignoring me or just couldn’t see me for all the other talent they have in the music department, but anyway, a lot of people asked me why they didn’t know I could sing. The cheek!
4. Finally, everyone at the top of the music department can sing.
Not really secret, I know but it’d be a lie to say they couldn’t and unfair not to mention it. It’s not all down to who these people are (children of deputies, head of governors, has 7 other siblings in school) they do actually have talent.
If I had one word to some all of the reasons for my hatred of the department it’d come down to jealousy. I’m jealous that I’ve been shunned, jealous that I can’t make myself fit into an entrance category and jealous they have some very good singers that I can never out shine.
But is what I’m asking for really too much? Isn’t it time they open up a bit and let some of the equally good talent in the side wings shine through?