This is a continuation from my first post. I think there will be a Part 3. =)
My heart was set on playing clarinet and I did so three out of my four years of high school. I'll talk about Junior year a little later... If I played all four years I probably would have played in college, plus I would have received a corsage at our All Bands concert signifying that I played in the band my entire time in high school. No corsage for me, but up until that point I never had a teacher as amazing as Ms. Wagner (Vugner, lol). She was born to teach music. She would brush off our mistakes. When she got mad, I could tell she just wanted to move on so we could learn. She made us sing before we sight read a piece. She didn't belittle me for being 4th chair in the 2nd Clarinet section. She treated us with respect and love. I'm having a hard time pinpointing what I learned from Ms. Wagner. I learned so much. One thing I can say about high school band is that it was filled with potential, but many of us never played our instruments in a band or orchestra again. Every other year, Ms. Wagner invited all of the alumni back to play at the All Bands concert. I never made it to one and missed her last year. I cried. Ms. Wagner, you are an amazing soul and I'll always remember your story about when you were pregnant with your twins (inside story). Thank you for teaching us under your magical wing.
During Junior year of high school... during the same time as band, I went to Gospel Choir with Dr. Baker. It was a change of pace from band, and I missed our last concert since my brother was rushed to the hospital, but I really enjoyed singing that year. We read from sheet music and it was like youth choir, at school. Dr. Baker also chose me and another to sing our class song for senior year. Why did she choose me and the other girl? Because we both picked the same key to sing the song in. What a random selection! But, it was great to sing our song for our class. So, I thank Dr. Baker for teaching me to "follow through no matter what." Both she and Ms. Wagner would have this document that we would have to sign that said that we wouldn't miss a concert that school year. I think the only way we could miss the concert is if we died (it's okay to laugh). But yeah, I missed my gospel choir concert and there were hefty consequences. I let my classmates down, my director down, and my school down. I understand emergencies, but I also have been in plenty of situations when on the day of a concert or show, a key person is missing... but the show must go on. Anyway, thank you.
Honorable mention: I realized my place is not on stage when I auditioned senior year for a musical. I flew through the first audition and got a call back (We just needed to sing a song)...But, I tragically failed the next audition which was dancing. I don't dance well, at all. Good times... But, being rejected was important for my future... So... thank you lol.
"The Adult Choir"
I can't remember if this happened when I was in high school or college (it was probably high school), but someone saw something in me and asked me to sing the lead on a song, and another time asked me to direct a song. It's so hard to be successful when the people around you see you as being "Little JAQ" but Ms. Bev pushed me past what I thought I could be. I learned to trust my heart and passion. Thank you for your special talent of giving courage to those who have none.
I joined Gospel Choir my second semester of college and stayed for 6 years. I started as a second Soprano and then became a section leader, and then assistant director. Mr.G is an all-star when it comes to molding vocal gifts. It's like he can see your potential as soon as he hears you sing a scale. And from that moment his goal in life is to help you reach beyond where you ever thought you could go. For those who survived, we all sing the same song. Our voices, technique, breathing, appreciation for Spirituals, Anthems, old and new gospel songs, and our walks with Christ have been changed for the better due to his direction. Some days were hard and others were good. He trusted me with the choir and gave me so many opportunities to exercise my gift. I always loved learning parts of songs, and now I was teaching them. I never knew that it was possible to be a vocal director, to teach music without knowing how to play the piano. What didn't I learn from Mr. Gregory! One thing that sticks out is, Quality over quantity. Every single time. Thank you Mr.G for all that you continue to teach me.