Saturday, April 14, 2012

Learning the Ropes

Last night I attended a concert given by one of the students I knew from my years of working at the high school. She is now forty-eight. Where did the years go? Janet was our lead in the musical "Music Man". She has come a long way from Marian the Librarian. We knew Janet had an incredible voice. Until last night I had no idea of its beauty. Janet Chvatal is a well-known opera singer in Germany. You can find her music on utube. She just happened to walk into my store yesterday. Very lucky for me for I got an invitation to a concert.

In her opening speech last night, she talked about the role of the church in her career. She grew up singing at church. Her mother, Nancy, was the choir director. She was one of the singing kids at the high school who had similar experience in their growing up years. Children with lovely voices and a congregation giving them total support. It was the way I grew up.

My mom was the church choir leader, along with a dozen other jobs. She loved to sing and was always ready to stand my sister then me in front of the congregation, usually with a song that was way out of my range. But sing I did. I personally think she taught me stage fright. But there were those who embraced the experience in front of an audience. Even when adults, they were invited to come sing at church. We were never without a loving audience. I was always told that we were wonderful.....even when I just stood there staring and not singing. We were always asked to sing again and again.

When my son began his singing career, Mom got him in front of that same congregation. He was "Pam's boy". He sang a song about love of family and friends. As he sang, Kleenex were passed down the pew. James didn't realize what his song represented. He was a fourth generation of singers who stood in the front of this congregation. It began with a grandfather and now a great grandson. I knew the congregation would talk about this day. I knew they would remember the other men of our family who sang.

What a lovely place to learn to sing. A loving congregation giving a gift of a lifetime.


Phoebe said...

Thank you for sharing. How wonderful to see your students bask in their successes! I am a teacher too, but the students' of mine that I have met thus far are only entering high school now (I teach elementary ages!). Can't wait to see where they will end up...

Pamela Loxley Drake said...


Thank you for writing. You are one of the luckiest people in the world. You have gifts to give every day to your young students. You are the key to the door of success for these children trying to find the way in a sometimes scary world. Their successes are yours to share.