This is not a blog post about my love life, or lack there of.
Today, I want to write about my first love, which has nothing to do with some kindergarten crush or short-lived high school relationship.
In the spring of 2001, I sat in my 3rd grade Music class and listened to a much more mature 4th grader speak about Roanoke College Children’s Choir auditions. The RCCC* was the valley’s premier children’s choir, and the girl spoke confidently about her experience. She handed out flyers and students were hooked. Not me, however. I didn’t care much, but my friend wanted to audition, so I agreed to audition with her.
The extent of my music abilities was singing passionately to TLC’s Waterfalls at my grandmother’s house and I had no intention of taking it further than that. I ended up singing R. Kelly’s I Believe I Can Fly (a fact that still makes me laugh to this day) for my audition in a room full of cheerful faces. I remember leaving and knowing I hadn’t made it, but at least I’d given it a shot. Weeks later I received my acceptance letter.
In the fall of 2003, I started playing the flute in our middle school concert band. We were terrible, and my parents are soldiers for braving a 6th grader’s band concert, but it was something amazing about learning an instrument for the first time.
I can’t pinpoint the moment I started to appreciate and love music as an art form. It is something that I can’t explain, but there are many moments that capture it. For example, my first week with the RCCC was right after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I was too young to understand the turmoil our country was going through, but I can remember singing eased the pain and uncertainty.
I can still remember how I felt hearing the acoustics in the Jefferson Center during a choir practice or the excitement of hitting a new note. I’ll never forget the joy of finishing a marching band performance in high school or how my skin prickled after hearing our Symphony Orchestra for the first time. I’ll always remember it all.
I have the honor of seeing my nieces and nephew fall in love with music at their young age. My nephew has been blessed with a beautiful singing voice, one niece is starting her piano lessons, and the other is obsessed with singing songs from Frozen. This morning, they experienced their first Symphony Orchestra concert, and I wish so much I could have been there to experience that with them.
I have developed other interests and hobbies, and while I may not be pursuing a career in music, the love for music never goes away. From Beyoncé to listening to beautiful choral arrangements through Spotify on Private Session, I love the impact music has had on my life. I will always be grateful to Ms. Kim Davidson, my former RCCC director, voice coach, and piano instructor. I will always be grateful to Cathleen Moon and John D. Wright, my former band teachers, and to Julee Hickcox, my former flute instructor. I will always be grateful to my father for playing his Spinners records growing up, to my mother for her endless gospel sing alongs, to my sister who put me on real 90s R&B. And of course, to my brother, who keeps me up with all the best in the rap game. Thank you all for cultivating something in me that I hope to one day instill in my children.**
Thank you so much for reading such a personal post that I have been so excited to finally post. I have some great structure coming to my blog in February that I am very excited about, so keep an eye out! Happy Monday 🙂
*The RCCC is now the Roanoke Valley Children’s Choir, and they usually audition singers in the Spring time if you know anyone that is interested. https://www.childrenschoir.com/
**For the record, I have been quoted before saying I will never have children, but the thought of raising Beyoncé-loving minions doesn’t sound too bad.