In Summer 2017 in Wales, at the Youth Folk category of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, 28 girls walked onstage. Re-watching this performance, the camera’s distance renders our faces deceptively neutral. In reality, we were excited but apprehensive, running on adrenaline and four hours of sleep. Countless hours of practice were about to pay off. Reaching the podiums, our backstage excitement transformed into absolute calm. We took a collective breath, beginning in unison.
Quickly, I realized how well this was going. Our synchronicity almost left me breathless (but it didn’t! We’d been working on breath control during intensives). As our first song concluded, I peered out of the corner of my eye at the girl beside me. We shared a smile. By the time our performance finished and we heard that brief, suspenseful silence that preludes applause, I was blinking away tears. I knew this moment, and the choir that made it happen, would hold a special place in my heart for the rest of my life.
When I first contacted the Seattle Girls Choir in hopes of joining the organisation, I was searching only for a place to sing. I expected to have the same choral experience I had throughout my life in the musical groups I’d frequented: I would attend semi-regular practices, perform at annual recitals, and be nothing more than casual acquaintances with my fellow choristers. Instead, I graduate from SGC having found a second family and a deep appreciation for the way music touches us all.
Countless warm-ups, pep talks, bus singalongs, and pre-performance hand squeezes have taught me that SGC is a truly unique organisation. I feel so privileged to have spent three years surrounded by a group of driven, compassionate and curious young adults who, luckily enough, share my love for a good 8-part harmony.
SGC, has, without a doubt, been the most growth-inspiring, affirming part of my high school experience. Over my three years in SGC, girls have come and gone, but my sense of family has only strengthened. I treasure this choir more than words can express.