My music background is diverse. I started in musical theatre at 10, after I was unable to shake a nasty speech impediment (I couldn't say the letter "r", truly quite traumatic when you're parents name you VictoRia). I loved singing, but unfortunately I had two left feet and musical theatre had a lot of "off seasons". My older sister suggested a private sector choir that her high school teacher conducted, one which she was constantly recruiting for. I was hesitant, choir seemed nerdy and it wasn't really my cup of tea. But I joined because I wanted to sing and my parents were starting to give up on my dreams of ever winning a Tony - seriously, I can't dance.
If I'm being honest, I didn't like choir at first. It had a level of discipline that musical theatre didn't have. I felt uncomfortable and out of place. I was a terrible sight reader (for people who don't sing, sight reading is exactly what you think it is, being given music and a starting note and just singing along) and struggled through what my peers found simple. But I dragged my feet through a full season.
That fall I started in high school, and my choir conductor became my vocal teacher. To stay in the vocal program at my high school I had to join another choir. Despite my hesitation, my older sister swore by this program. There were a lot of the faces I knew; friends of my sister's, friends from choir, and peers in my own grade.
Throughout this time, I stuck with the private sector choir I had replaced my musical theatre with. I stuck with it because I made friends, I found a group of girls who I identified with. A little bit quirky, a little bit loud, and I loved them for it, and they loved me. I found solace sitting in a church room every Monday night for hours, passing notes we wrote on our music, labouring as a group over intervals or vowels until our diaphragms were sore.
And my school choir. These people became my family. I spent an inordinate amount of time in choir at school. In the vocal room, practice rooms, and auditorium (singing in stairwells during exam season when the strings and bands students took all the practice rooms). I owe so much to the people in that choir for getting me through some incredibly hard times. They bore the brunt of my worst days and I am so grateful for them.
I joined choir to find an outlet and stayed because I fell in love with the people the music. Choir is the "team sport" of singing. You have your coach - your conductor, your captain - your section leader, and your teammates. Throughout my high school career I traveled to two different countries in choirs, sang in six different choirs, became a teaching assistant, a section leader, but most importantly, I made friends that I still tell everything to, because things aren't important if you're not with people you love. Granted, I still sight sing like a tone deaf cat, I got so much out of my choir experience that I could not have found anywhere else.
So go out their friends and find your team, because I found mine and it was fucking awesome.
From me, with love, to you,