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About this blog: I grew up in Menlo Park and have long been involved with both local journalism and local theater. After starting my career as an editorial intern with The Almanac, I was a staff reporter for the Almanac and the San Mateo County Ti...  (More)

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Ad Libs: Lend me a tenor

Uploaded: Mar 30, 2009
There was a great story this week in the Vancouver Sun about hapless singers from a Canadian choir standing out on a freezing bridge in their tuxes, trying to recruit more tenors. Funny, yes, but sadly timeless. Why exactly is it that choral and theater groups have such trouble finding male singers?

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 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Brian Steen, a resident of ,
on Apr 2, 2009 at 10:33 am

Finding tenors is is an eternal quest for most choral groups. There's several reasons:
1. The tenor voice range is simply less common.
2. A decreasing number of adults can read music. California's musical education has been terrible since Prop 13 passed in 1978.
3. The sports bias of primary education doesn't encourage students to learn music.

I sing with the 40 voice Bay Choral Guild, a Palo Alto based classical/modern group(www.baychoralguild.org) that is always looking for good tenors.

Maybe we should "tux up" with "Tenor Wanted" signs on Camino Real?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Ron, a resident of ,
on Apr 3, 2009 at 1:59 pm

It's sad that everybody loves to sing in kindergarden -- you can't keep them from singing. Then around 4th grade or so, most people seem to stop singing, and when you get up to being an adult, most people are mortified at the thought of busting out a tune on their own. Unless they've been drinking. What happens in 4th grade?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Rebecca Wallace, a resident of ,
on Apr 3, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Rebecca Wallace is a registered user.

Very interesting comments. I wonder why the tenor range is less common. Also, what do singers think about having females who have the appropriate range fill in on the tenor line from time to time? I've heard it done well, but sometimes it just doesn't sound right.


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