The Force Is Strong With This One

Issue #4 | June 18, 2020 What motivated you to join The Choral Project? I have been singing my whole life. So when I moved to California two years ago, I knew I needed to…

Issue #4 | June 18, 2020

What motivated you to join The Choral Project?

I have been singing my whole life. So when I moved to California two years ago, I knew I needed to find a group that would keep my passion going. I Googled choirs in the Bay Area and it just so happened that The Choral Project had a concert. After the concert, I knew immediately this was a choir I needed to join. The Choral Project is so immensely talented, invigorating, and passionate, and Daniel is obviously inspiring. I consider myself extremely lucky that I get to be a part of something so beautiful.

What was the first concert in which you performed with The Choral Project?

The first concert I sang in was the Bodhi Tree concert series last year. I was so nervous because I hadn’t been on stage since early 2018 and it was the first performance with this amazing group. I loved every minute of it and it’s something I’ll never forget. 

What do you miss most about singing for an audience?

There’s nothing better than the reaction you get from an audience who is just as passionate about what they are seeing as you are about what you’re singing. I miss seeing their eyes light up or a tear in their eye. Just seeing how an audience reacts to something that means so much to us, it’s almost indescribable. 

Since the world started sheltering in place, a lot of people on Facebook have been challenging each other to identify and share ten albums that have greatly influenced their taste in music. Of the albums you shared, what are your favorite songs and why?

From Piano Man, it’s “The Ballad of Billy the Kid.” It is such a fun song to just sit and enjoy. I saw Billy Joel last August at Coors Field, in Denver, and he explained that the song is completely false and that it’s not based on any facts. But he had to make the text work, so he just made stuff up as he went along. Knowing that just makes the song even more enjoyable.

And from Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors album, I love “Songbird.” It has such a beautiful message; a love so pure that you want them to have everything. My favorite line in the song is “And I wish you all the love in the world, but most of all, I wish it from myself.” I feel like it’s such a selfless and innocent song with such a heartbreaking melody. A great contradiction.

And finally, from the Original Broadway cast recording of Rent, it’s “One Song Glory.” Rent was like the soundtrack to my senior year of high school. I used to blare and sing every lyric at the top of my lungs. I still remember every lyric and still love it just as much as I did 20 years ago. This song in particular was one of my best friend’s favorites. She used to make me sing it by myself because she liked how passionate I was about it. She passed away, tragically, two days after graduation. So every time I hear it, it brings back such amazing memories of her.

What one thing are most people shocked to learn about you?

That I didn’t have a passport until I was 35. I was raised by a single mother, so travel wasn’t really an option. It wasn’t until I started dating my boyfriend,Tyler, that he was like, “We are getting you a passport and you are getting out of this country!” We took our first international trip together in 2018 to London, UK. It was amazing! I can’t wait to go back. Since then I have also been to Toronto and Vancouver and let me tell you, Canada is beautiful. The people are so lovely, and I can’t wait to see more of it. 

We saw the photo on Facebook of the Yoda masterpiece LEGO creation you and your significant other built. How long did that take you? Oh! And are you a not-so-secret LEGO aficionado?

I mean I wouldn’t say aficionado just yet. I had never built a LEGO set before I started sheltering in place—I was more of a My Little Pony and Barbie kind of girl—but Tyler had been building them since he was a kid and loves them. Since being together I have purchased several sets for him as gifts, including the Mercedes F1 set which we built together and it was a blast!

Since the quarantine began, we have built Poe’s X-Wing Fighter (Star Wars), a London double decker bus, and Yoda. Timeframes vary, but our system is we build a bag a night. So, in the case of Yoda, there were 13 bags, so it took us quite a few days, and it was well worth it. My ultimate goal is the Harry Potter Hogwart’s Castle, but it’s a little pricey so I’ll have to save up for that one! I really love LEGO now. It’s fun and challenging, and it’s a blast to see the results!

Finish this sentence: I can’t wait for this all to be over so I can…

See a show! We’ve missed two shows so far, but thankfully they have been rescheduled. I miss live theater! I love live theater more than anything so I can’t wait to sit in a theater, have a laugh, maybe cry a little, and just smile. There’s just nothing else like it.

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