My musical journey began with the piano, and although I have been out of practice for many years, I still enjoy playing pieces from the classical and romantic eras. Piano was my gateway into singing, as I served as the accompanist for choral groups and played in the pit orchestra for musicals in high school. But it was in college that I discovered my passion for singing the great choral masterworks of composers such as Mozart, Vivaldi, and Fauré. From then on, whenever I moved to a new area and started a new chapter of life, one of the first things I would do is find a community choir to join. Years later, through the contacts I made in choral and theater groups, I found a voice teacher who elevated my singing to new heights as a dramatic coloratura soprano. I continue to sing with choral groups but have more recently also begun to perform as an operatic soloist, favoring the intricate and high-flying passages of Mozart, Rossini, and Bellini's soprano heroines.
Singing (especially in a choir) brings me joy, peace, growth, and a connection to my community. There is something magical that happens when dozens of human voices blend together to create harmony; the whole emerges as something complex, beautiful, and much greater than the sum of its parts. Singing and listening to choral music brings me into a state of flow and mindfulness like nothing else can. Learning new repertoire can be an exciting challenge, and I enjoy working toward the goal of a performance and witnessing the growth in my skills with deliberate practice (even if that practice involved working with my voice teacher over video chat rather than in person). Working together with musicians from all walks of life toward a common goal feels like a symbolic step toward a better future. It's actually quite similar to the well-oiled machine of an OR team – each person knowing and executing their part with skill and care, and the conductor keeping us together as a strong team leader.
On a more everyday level, my musical interests have deepened my connections with the people around me. It's a great conversation starter and particularly exciting to find someone who shares a similar interest. I've even performed at talent shows and parties with other musically inclined colleagues and have been to concerts and productions with those who appreciate the arts. It serves as a reminder that the people we see primarily as coworkers (and by extension, the patients we care for) also have their own complex lives with plenty of interests, talents, and activities. We are all so much more than just another face hidden by a mask and scrubs.
For these reasons, the pandemic-related shutdowns were particularly difficult for ensemble musicians, but I am ecstatic to be able to rehearse and perform again, finally!