Sophomore year I was in Firebird Chorus, as the older class in the group, as we were always partnered with the Freshman class. I had paid my dues last year not getting any solo's, so when the tryouts for solo's came around for our Christmas concert, I went out for them. There was two, I tried out for two, and got none. Two different freshman girls got both. I was upset, but I shrugged it off, knowing that there would have to be something good in the spring.
So as the spring came around I was waiting for a solo to appear, and then one day in early February, it arrived. The song was "The Boy From New York City", by the Manhattan Transfer, and it was a bass solo, which worked out great because I was a natural bass. I was nervous to try out, but my friends in my section convinced me to do it. I tried out with two other freshman, who later became my best friends, and beat them out for it. The easy part was over. Now, I had to do it for the concert in front of my parents, but something even more scary than that, was having to do it in front of two thousand five hundred-plus students!
As that day in May came around for the student in-school concert, my heart started to race. As I walked onto the risers and stared at the crowd, and into the camera's, for the people back in their homerooms, I was having heart palpitations! As I stepped towards the microphone, however, I wasn't nervous anymore. Instead, I was excited. I wanted to go get after it.
The way the solo worked, was after the introduction, "The lead solo will be sung by ----, and the bass solo will be sung by Dylan Sandas," There was a high pitched note crash on the piano. I then had to impersonate a bass guitar, going "Ba, doom, doom, doom, doom, doom, doom, doom, doom, doom," with some of those doom's going higher and lower. At that point the entire chorus started singing the chorus of the song. Then the amazing soloist I was partnered with started singing the main verses of the song. Underneath that, the bass section with me was going "Do do do, do do do," again going up and down. After the second one, I alone said something that still gets talked about to this day. I simply kept saying the word "Yeah", but going really deep into my vocal chords, and quickly down the scale.
The first time I said it, there were some smirks, but after about the fifth time, the entire auditorium was rolling. After I saw that early on, I started smiling, and having a good time, and embracing it. The entire audience got quiet when I approached the mic, to hear me say it again. Then then burst out in clapping and laughing after I said it again.
After the song was over, the standing ovation that we received, was the biggest that my chorus director had ever seen, according to him. It went one for about a minute or so. I went out the next night for the parents, and knocked it out again. They recorded that version, and now it always gets played every May in Kellenberg on request.
This song became my theme song. Everywhere I went in that school for the next two and half years, people would come up to me and tell me to say "Yeah!" again. All of my friends, especially my 'family' in homeroom would always do it to me, or with me, to share a laugh together. When I worked for the Junior Retreat Staff, and the Senior Retreat Staff, the Seventh grade Latin Schoolers, and the Sophomore's, respectively, would come up to me and ask me to do the solo again for them. I loved all of the publicity so much.
Because of this solo, I was asked to join the elite Firebird Swing jazz chorus, without ever trying out. My chorus teacher wanted me to join, so that way, we could do the song in jazz too. I was able to do the song for an audience four more times, over my Junior and Senior years of high school. Twice for kids at an elementary school that Kellenberg helped run, and twice for the Veteran's dinner, held the night before Veteran's Day.
When I went back for Alumni Day last week, I went around to the classes, and I said hello to all of my old teachers, while in some of my favorite teachers classrooms, they would say do you know who this is, and then they would grab the solo off of my school's media page, and then they would freak out. Some got out of their seats to bow, while others came up to me to shake my hands. (I swear this happened at least twice.) When I went up to chorus, before we sang "Seasons of Love" from Rent, and after they sang through their program for their own Christmas concert, we sang the song again, as the other soloist is now a senior, so it might be the last time we ever sing that song with a full chorus that knows the song.
I am so thankful for my friends for making me tryout for this solo. It changed my life so much, which is why I named this blog after it. This song changed my life, so I want this blog to do the same, and to change the lives of the people who read it.
Do you have any memories like this? Would you want memories and to be remembered like this?
Quotes of the Day: "The only thing better than singing, is more singing." - Ella Fitzgerald
"Singing wrong notes is expected, but singing without passion is unacceptable." - Johann Sebastian Bach