When Kato followed Takahashi into the classroom, the room suddenly became quiet. Kato was completely annoyed with that, again. All eyes were on them. Not a minute after they took their seats, the instructor walked through the door carrying a guitar.
Father Pritchett was a tall, older gentleman, with an easy smile. He had the students warm up their voices. Kato wasn’t exactly a singer, but he could at least sing in tune. The class started off with some basic tunes everyone knew as he emphasized certain parts of the songs to reemphasize a lesson learned last week.
“Kato-san. Murata-san. Please come up here to the front of the class.” Father Pritchett then walked them through a couple scales and said, “Kato-san, you are a baritone. Your vocal quality is good but untrained. Murata-san, you are a tenor. You also have a good but untrained vocal quality. This class will teach theory and help you learn how to develop your voices.”
“What is a baritone?” Kato asked. There was a snicker or two from the audience. He had never heard of such a word.
“A baritone is a fairly deep singing voice that isn’t as low as a bass or as high as a tenor.”
Kato simply looked at the instructor with a blank face.
“Let me give you an example. Handa-san, come up here.” Damn, Kato mentally sighed. These were words he didn’t want to hear. “Handa-san is a fine bass, probably the finest in his grade.” Father Pritchett had Handa face the class and sing a short song while he accompanied him on the guitar. His voice was deep and masculine. Kato really did not understand why such a gift was given to this jerk, but he couldn’t deny that Handa had it.
“Now for a baritone. Takahashi-san, come up, please. Face the class.” Kato, despite himself, thought Handa did a good job, but he was not even on the same level as Takahashi, who was incredible. Kato had never been in the physical presence of anyone who could sing like this. The sound of Takahashi’s voice had a sublime richness to it. Kato suddenly imagined that the low range of his voice was like the sunrise that had just begun with a beautiful, yet sleepy orange sun peeking over the mountain range. While the song was nearing its crescendo, he could see the sun rising, breaking free of the morning haze. Kato stood there in awe at the pureness of Takahashi’s voice. As the song reached its crescendo, Takahashi had turned to face him. Kato blushed as he was basked in the warmth of that sun that was shining so brightly now. His emotions were stirred up and suddenly he felt moved and so proud to have been chosen to be Takahashi’s uke.
“Thank you, Takahashi-san,” Father Pritchett said as he applauded, and the class followed suit. Takahashi smiled at Kato then turned to the class with a slight bow. Handa was glaring at Takahashi.
“And now, a tenor. Aizawa-san, come up here, please.” Kato thought Aizawa’s voice was quite good too, clear like a silver trumpet. Afterwards, the instructor had a short piece that all three boys sang together. While Handa and Aizawa were good singers, it really felt to Kato that they were just merely there to support Takahashi.
Art class was rather boring. Kato never understood people’s fascinations with old paintings. Sure, some looked nice, but the teacher droned on about stroke, and form, and other words that Kato hadn’t heard before. He was ever thankful when the chime announced that his boredom would be relieved by the ending of class.