When you practice two hours a day and still hear nothing but criticism for your efforts, you know you are in the soprano section of a choir. Regardless of how much work you personally do, you are going to hear the criticism for your whole section if others are not pulling their weight, or if you just so happen to be going wrong without your knowledge.
It is hard to be part of a group in this sense. I just got back from a choir practice where our director was on the point of losing his temper over the pitching of the sopranos, which apparently goes flat at the end of each phrase on some of the pieces. I am using every trick in the book: breath support, keeping a straight back, raising the eyebrows, shaping the vowel just so, and still all we get is crticism!!!
One of the things that I find most annoying, as a member of this section is the fact that the other sections never hear any real criticism, and so they think they are doing great, which is hardly the case. In an all tenor and bass movement of the requiem we are currently rehearsing, they were really not tuning it well and yet they received no criticism.
Because of this situation, our section gets mocking comments and we see the others smirking as we get critcised again. I have heard a tenor say, “sopranos are always flat, tenors never go wrong.” But tenors do go wrong and I can hear it very clearly at times. I just think that for some reason sopranos are unfairly picked on!
After all, we are singing a part along with three other parts, and those parts are supporting our notes with their harmony. Is it possible that our top line is the one that most audibly makes a mistake and the rest of them get away with it? Or are sopranos just bad singers?
I am really frustrated about this issue again and it is not the first time. I wish someone could offer some useful advice on how to navigate this situation because it is really making me feel flat!!!