When People Listen: A Class of 2024 Senior Essay

Sophie Nash

  • Ballard High School, Class of 2024
  • Accomplishments: After winning the local regional WMEA solo competition for Alto voice in both 2022 and 2024, Sophie competed at state both years, placing 2nd in Alto voice in 2024. 
  • Post-graduation plans: Attending Washington State University to study Music Education

I shuffle into place as Prime Voci argues about the standing order for our concert. After hours of walking in black dresses brushing the concrete, scalding from the blazing sun, I was completely exhausted. We all were; it was a week into the summer 2022 Europe Tour, and we had another performance to go. This concert took place in a smaller church within a quaint town, our audience being mostly chaperones and a few families from that town.

As we began singing, the room was still moving. People whispered, coughed, and wondered about the next thing they needed to do that day. But then, for a moment, maybe only for a page’s worth of music, they were still. Our voices were the only thing that audience felt. They listened as our song glided along cathedral walls, echoing into places no one could see. Our music was truly felt throughout the entirety of that church. And as soon as it started, it passed. The audience appeared to snap out of it, minds began to go elsewhere. Parents scolded their kids, shuffling out of the pews when it became too much for them. However, for that brief moment, we had felt the unfaltering attention from the audience wash over us.

I began to chase that feeling whenever I performed. Whether it was solo or large ensemble performances, I was always seeking out that emotion. The moment of complete captivation of an audience. The honor of being heard and seen for the art you are making – that is what Seattle Girls Choir has taught me. An ability to captivate an audience.