A Musical Memoir: The Importance of College Music Tours

November 19, 2012 Rebecca Ray

With the holidays approaching, memories are flooding my head and are taking me back to the most memorable seasonal performances in which I have performed. I remember being a pilgrim in a Thanksgiving musical, a twirling snowflake in a play at my church, a dancing doll for the nutcracker,  a swing dancer, and a cowgirl, yes a cowgirl, for a spring production. The seasons, whether winter or spring, have always presented some wonderful performance opportunity. Whether at home or during a college music tour, there was always something for me to perform.

While the cute turkey, pilgrim and snowflake costumes are fun, I have to say I didn’t miss them in my college years. I was excited to wear the gorgeous dresses that were locked away only to be brought out for the musicals we had twice a year.  Though it wasn’t a lead performance dressed in a gorgeous gown that was my most memorable performance, it was actually a solo in the winter musical my college was putting on called ‘Children of Eden’, by Stephen Schwartz and John Cain.

A few weeks after the auditions, the list went up.  To my dismay, I didn’t get the lead or the other role I had so much wanted.  While very sad, I later got a call from the director that he wanted me to perform as the lead soloist for the song-Generations.  I was thrilled as it was a challenging song that covered a large vocal range. He had full confidence that I could perform it without a hitch. It was early in my performance years and I was actually a very shy girl, so this performance opportunity gave me a huge boost of confidence and took away nerves for future performances.

The opening night brought many nerves and much anticipation.  I remember like it was yesterday.  I stepped out on the stage in my brown garbs worn back in the days of Adam and Eve, and I was immediately illuminated by the spotlight. I sang the entire song as a solo with the concert choir in the background joining in every once and a while.  I am proud to say I didn’t miss a note.  By the last time I performed it, I had so much confidence I threw in extra notes. My confidence bloomed as my friends and the audience members congratulated me.

After that point, I began traveling with the choir, and each time I auditioned or performed a solo, I remember my earlier performance that brought me the confidence I needed.  One performance can really change someone, and it changed me. Encore is now a wonderful place for me as I am constantly reminded of how music changes lives.

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