Issue #6 | July 16, 2020
If Jo looks familiar it is probably because you have attended one of The Choral Project’s concerts sometime in the last five years! And you may have seen her twice, so to speak, because she is our in-house Box Office Manager and one of our talented sopranos. Read on to learn more about this amazing woman!
When and how did you first discover your love of singing?
I don’t remember a time before singing. My father was a singer and pianist for a jazz combo; he composed and wrote songs for my sisters and me. When I was seven, I started singing with the Methodist Children’s Choir in the small town where I grew up. And the following year I was in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
After college I took a hiatus to finish law school, got married, and moved to California. I tried several choral groups before I found what I hope to be my forever home in The Choral Project. I have always reveled in my great good fortune to be in a group of this caliber. In short, I have done musicals and performed my whole life, but at the center of it all, I love singing.
Other than singing, do you have other music-related talents?
I have played flute since I was a child and carried on through high school and college, along with studying music and singing in choirs throughout that same period of time. I also took dance classes in college. And I’ve sung in jazz groups, opera, music theater productions, and I currently sing for a Rush tribute rock band.
Do you have a story to share about maybe your most memorable or funniest theatre production experience?
When I was a child my mother was directing a courtroom drama that was staged in the county courthouse. Very little was needed from the single stagehand—me—which consisted of mostly handing the actors a few props.
Toward the end of the play there was a dramatic moment where the lights went out. The light switch was located behind the jury box, so I was stuck hiding back there the whole third act waiting for the cue near the end of the play. But I was ten, it was late on a school night, and I had to sit on the floor completely quiet and still. So of course I fell asleep and ruined the moment!
Do you have a guilty music pleasure or favorite artist?
I don’t feel guilty about anything musical. But there are some 80s artists I can only listen to in the car when I’m alone because my husband rolls his eyes when I listen to them at home. And Rush is a favorite. I also like several pop and British punk groups including The Clash, Henry Rollins, and Adam Ant, whereas my spouse is more of a hair band and heavy metal guy.
Have you discovered any music-themed pastimes and loves, or new musicians you like since social distancing started?
Virtual symphonies and choirs have become a lifeline to music for me and all the musicians who can no longer perform. It’s a different skill set that has been interesting to acquire. I recommend the Cambrian Symphony.
Finish this sentence: The thing I most miss about singing for an audience is…
The audience, of course! “Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly,” and a performer has to perform.
Photos were taken by The Choral Project Board Member, Nada Marriott, who observed all rules of social distancing while using a long-distance camera lens. | © 2020 Nada Marriott