This past weekend involved Haley and I singing at church, followed by Brynne singing in a Kansas Youth Chorale concert, followed by a dress rehearsal for Haley and I. Last night we performed in a concert, and Haley was one of the high school students invited to come and sing with the group that I have now sung with for 14 years, The Topeka Festival Singers.
Unfortunately, Haley and I missed hearing Brynne sing in her school choir concert. Her dad, sister Ivy, and Grandma Kay were all there for that one. We have to divide and conquer. I did snap a picture of them, though. They both looked so beautiful. I am a proud mama.
Each of my girls have been introduced to music at a very young age. Haley was toted along with me when I taught voice and flute lessons, as I rehearsed for the opera “Hansel and Gretel” (she was even in the newspaper for that), she was carted to choral and band rehearsals and oh so much more. Brynne laid on a blanket on the stage at 10 months old while I rehearsed for the play “Masterclass,” where I played the part of Sharon. She was just months old when she went to her first Festival Singers concert, and has tagged along countless times as I have sung at various events and in rehearsals. I gave birth to Miss Ivy 3 days after singing the soprano solo in the Holocaust Cantata, and she sat through all kinds of voice lessons and rehearsals as a newborn. I even had the awesome privilege of singing in a opera chorus backing Placido Domingo…but I was still nursing Ivy, so I had to nurse, drive to Wichita for rehearsal…and then drive back ASAP before she woke up and was hungry (ditto for the concert the next night). My girls are troopers….and have learned that being a singer is just something we do.
We have awesome supporters in my mom and dad….who are our biggest fans. We can always count on them to be sitting proudly in the audience. My husband, who actually has a fab voice himself (but won’t use it to do anything other than sing songs that he’s listening to on the radio or on his ipod), is an awesome supporter, too, and always has been, since I was a college student. I always loved the fact that his family was musical. His mom sings and plays the piano, his sister is a talented clarinetist, pianist and singer, and his brother (here on the left) has an amazing voice, and really could be on Broadway. (He’s also married to a singer….crazy how this works).
Last night, as we hugged my parents goodbye, and were leaving the concert, I was so proud to have my daughter alongside me as we walked to the car, euphoric with that after concert feeling, that she was able to experience as well. As we walked along, I had a wonderful time capturing with my camera, the beauty that I always see when I leave the concert hall….and have for almost 17 years now. The quiet campus of Washburn University, where I attended and met my husband, and was nurtured as a vocal performance major…looked beautiful, calm and bathed in soft light.
(this was taken into a metal sculpture. You can faintly see Haley on the far right, and the windows of the concert hall reflected on the left.)
As time has clipped on, I wondered what would become of my musical life, and how much I would remain involved. But I have discovered that while I may not have been destined for a big career as a musician, I have been destined to raise children that love music….and that sing.