Something’s in the water

I’ve now been through two weeks of Seattle Pro Musica rehearsals, and never have I felt so quickly assimilated into a choral group before. It reminds me of other, very different first rehearsal experiences I’ve had since I started singing in choirs at 14.

I remember walking into Cabrillo Youth Chorus auditions as a middle school student absolutely petrified. I’d been dragged there against my will, and as a result only halfheartedly sang “America the Beautiful” for the director, Cheryl Anderson, and grudingly glanced at some children’s music with other timid youngsters. Several years later, the days CYC rehearsed became my favorite days of the week.

In high school, the first time I sang with the jazz choir was intimidating: I was a sophomore in a crowd of juniors and seniors, some who would go on to study at prestigious music conservatories. But several trips to jazz festivals later, I felt right at home in the group.

In college, too, I was one of only a handful of freshmen among mostly upperclassmen and music majors when I joined University Singers. In the middle of my late-summer audition, my cell phone rang, leaving me flustered and embarrassed. I was so scared I’d embarrass myself again in the first University Singers rehearsal–Sharon Paul still let me in after that awful blunder!–that I didn’t initiate a conversation with anyone. Luckily, a gregarious bass next to me asked to borrow a pencil, sparking a long conversation about British comedy shows. He and many other fellow Singers became my closest friends in college.

Seattle Pro Musica’s members are so genuinely and unfailingly nice that I felt right at home uncommonly quickly considering my shy personality. Just like at The Seattle Times, the veterans have approached me and introduced themselves sooner than I’ve found the courage to approach them–and they seem genuinely interested in learning more about me.

There must be something good in this Puget Sound water.

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