Emily Pan Dec 9 2021

How Choir Has Shaped Me as a Person

I used to be the karaoke queen of the bathroom. As an introverted middle schooler, I was only brave enough to sing in the linoleum chambers of the shower. Naturally, I never joined any theatrical production, talent shows, or performed in a concert.

But that all changed when my best friend heard me sing “The Encounter” by Stefanie Sun in 2018. It was in that split second, when I saw the frenetic astonishment in her eyes, that provoked me into agreeing to join choir when she asked afterwards.

And join choir I did. Tentatively, I entered Girls’ Choir for Grades 7 and 8 in middle school, where my soft yet malleable vocals put me into the soprano section. That year, I learned about scales and sang various styles of songs: pop, jazz, and holiday ensembles. My teachers and classmates were extremely supportive as well.

Encouraged, I auditioned for Treble Choir, where I learned how to support my breath and blend it into the captivating harmony of singing in rounds. It was also where I received my first solo–a huge stepping stone in terms of my musical career.

Concordia-christmas-concert Christmas Concert 2020. I’m the third one in front from the left.

When I entered high school, I continued my musical career in Concordia Singers, and later auditioned for Bel Canto, a women’s choir. When I finished that assessment, I felt nostalgic at the maturity of my voice and the scope of my skills in rhythm and sight-reading.

It seemed like only yesterday I was a shy, bumbling girl who was afraid to express her musical talent. Yet joining choir empowered me to step out of that shell—like a latent caterpillar undergoing metamorphosis to become the butterfly it was always meant to be.

Singing in school has also opened new doors for me; since then, I’ve taken part in singing productions and musical shows that I find exhilarating. Compared to then, I’m infinitely more confident in my abilities to express the musical dynamics within myself.

Frank Sinatra, debatably the greatest American singer of all times, was undoubtedly correct when he wrote, “The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.”