As the second semester of freshman year starts getting into the swing of things, I can't help but feel that something is missing, something that's been a part of me for a while.
In sixth grade, I joined my first real choir (as opposed to singing in church). I loved singing, and I even remember getting a solo or two, but the class was more like a glee club, and we didn't actually learn much about music, we just learned songs.
My eighth-grade year, however, our school got a new chorus teacher, Mrs. Shuler. Once I heard the class was being taught by someone new, I didn't hesitate to request it on my schedule. My eighth-grade chorus class was where I discovered my love for choir.
Mrs. Shuler was a great chorus teacher and taught us about harmonies, melodies, voice parts, and reading music to name a few. I had never known that so much went into singing. I remember singing the song, "Only Hope" by Mandy Moore and feeling like I had found my place in the world.
I was also given the chance to perform in the all-county choir, where I rehearsed more difficult music with other schools across the county and gave a large performance. Better yet, Mrs. Shuler gave me opportunities to sing the national anthem at school basketball games and high school football games. I am so lucky that Mrs. Shuler introduced me to a more professional choir.
Going into high school, I also got lucky in that I had a fabulous chorus teacher, Mrs. Turner. She saw potential in me and took me under her wing to hone my sight reading skills. She was always there for me when I needed help or advice, and she inspired me to be a better singer and choir member. The only downside to her class was that there was only a handful of us who actually sung, whereas the rest wanted an easy A.
Because I had such great choir experiences in middle school and freshman year of high school, I was excited to audition for the high school's choir I was transferring to for sophomore year. I was placed in the intermediate choir, which was an all-women's ensemble. It was great at first until the claws started to come out.
I also hadn't realized how spoiled I had been with my previous choir teachers, and my new one didn't measure up. The class was supposed to be all intermediate-level choir students, but it ended up being that half of the students in my class had never taken chorus before.
The class was fine, and I had the chance to participate in all-state chorus again, but I didn't find it anywhere near as enjoyable as my previous choir experiences, so I didn't jump at the opportunity to join choir my first semester of college.
As I have started to settle into school, however, I realize that choir might be more a part of me than I realized. I can't explain it, but being a part of something bigger than yourself is exciting but also humbling. I am in no way an amazing singer. I can stay on pitch and carry a tune, but there are so many other people way more talented than I, and they inspire me to improve myself.
I hope that if any other students have a calling toward music, they take it. Music is therapeutic in so many ways and helps us relate to others, not to mention that it's also the universal language.
I don't know what my musical future holds, but I know that some choir would benefit from my talents, even though I need chorus more than chorus needs me.