I hope you're thinking of the Geico commercial now. If you are, then score! Alright I'm done.
As of this week, I can proudly say that my classical repertoire is now in a pretty good place. It can always be better, and is by no means even close to perfect, but I have made some notable progress. Last Wednesday, I sang a French piece entitled, "Avant de Quitter Ces Lieux" by Charles Gounod, along with a German piece entitled "De Post" by Franz Schubert, for my mid-semester recital. Though slight, I can proudly say that I can hear and feel a wider and looser timbre in my voice. At points, I even started to hear a vibrato. In other words, my vocal chords were able to be so free, that they simply flowed with the sound waves. The next big thing coming up, is my Upper Divisional. Upper Divisionals are done by sophomores in their second semester. It is the "big test." At my Upper Divisional, I will be singing "Die Wetterfahne" and "Hebe" which are also by Schubert, "At the River" by Aaron Copland, and "Give Me Jesus" by Moses Hogan. An Upper Divisional is essentially like a Jury (a mid, or end of semester recital) on steroids. It is where you not only sing roughly four songs, but the panel of professors also ask you questions about your music, its meaning, your composers, what degree in music you want to be considered for, why you would be well suited for that, and etc. After your Upper Divisional, they then send you outside, and amongst themselves they are left to decide whether you continue as a music major, and if so, in what area.
I mean, it would be a lie to say that stress and anxiety haven't been and won't be tugging at my neck, but I wouldn't say that it's scary. If you're well prepared and know your stuff, then you should be fine. My goal is to be well prepared, be the best that I can be. Most importantly, my goal is to be myself. Again, a big portion of the Q&A session is about my goals in life, what I would do with music, and why. I could easily B.S. an answer to sound like I have everything together. I could easily run around the question and maybe even avoid answering it. I could just as easily fake a panic attack and get out of there pronto. None of those options would be sincere though. None of those options would be truthful. If I am going to pass, then I want to pass while keepin' it 100. In other words, honesty and sincerity should and will prevail over any preconceived "better answer."