Then I got to college. In order to major in music at my school, you had to be degree-seeking. I had expected to become an Elementary School Music teacher, but they had discontinued that option because of what they saw as the decline of Music in the schools at that time. Anyway, I had to choose a different major and as I had very limited interests, I went Vocal Performance.
The trouble was that I earned my money to pay for school by singing in a dance band. We didn't play acid rock or anything, we just played what people wanted to hear. That's when I learned that the professors with leanings toward Classical Music had no use for students with leanings towards Commercial Music. So, through most of my college years, I sang Operatic Arias, Art Songs and Choral Music during the week and the Top 40's on the weekends.
By my Senior year, my vocal teacher sat me down and gave me a talking to. He encouraged me to lay off singing pop music for a couple of semesters so that I could get through my recitals and juries. He wanted me to really concentrate on singing in the pure Classical style.
You see, in Classical singing, all singers try to emulate the one perfect, glorious, epitome of vocal excellence.
In Commercial singing, every singer tries to be unique --- the more unique, the better --- to stand out from the crowd.
Well, I got through my recitals and juries, all right. But I did not rush out to audition for Opera Companies. Instead, I spent my last semester of college doing three Summer Stock Musical Theater Shows and having a marvelous time singing in many styles.
I can't help it. I love both Classical and Commercial Music!!!!