Imagine with me for a minute that you’re looking at your favorite painting, one that makes your eyes light up every time you see it. Or think about your favorite poem –– the one that speaks to your heart and brings the world into complete focus whenever you read it.

Do you hide these treasures away, keeping them in the dark where no one else can enjoy them? Cover them up and keep them all to yourself?

Of course not! Because part of the pleasure of finding something that lights you from within is sharing it with others. Of seeing their eyes light up and their hearts dance with pleasure too.

Joy doesn’t diminish when we share it — it grows, it thrives, it multiplies.

Which is why when someone asked me recently if I’d mind if she moved to Portland to start another choir, I told her to come on down! And why wouldn’t I? There are already around 70 choirs here in Portland, there’s definitely room for 71…and more. Every new choir that bursts into life will bring the beauty of music to even more people who’ll benefit from the joy of group singing.

Spreading this joy? Well, that’s why I do what I do.

It’s also why I’m so thrilled to be venturing down a new musical path.

As well as leading my fantastic choir, I’m now going to be leading others to a successful musical career, by coaching choir directors and song leaders. What better way to spread the joy, right?

What’s your real job?

So many people ask me this question, or a variation of it; they assume that you can’t make a living from singing or that this must be a side gig for me alongside a “proper” job.

At one point I might have made the same assumption. Spending your working life doing the thing you love, inspiring others, seeing people conquer their fears, break down walls, and connect with others through song — all while being paid for the privilege? Too good to be true, surely?

Yet here I am. A professional choir leader!

Getting here hasn’t been easy and I’ve learned more from the trial and error and the hard knocks along the way than I did during my whole MBA.

I remember vividly the years spent leading community choirs, relying on donations collected in a hat at the end of each session. The years spent working for a non-profit choir, grossly underpaid with no scope for any salary increase at all. In both choirs I had an incredible group of people — people who saw my passion and believed in me and my abilities as a choir leader even before I did. I didn’t want to abandon them or disappoint them after they’d shown such faith in me. Yet I knew deep down that I wanted to bring music to an even wider audience. I had to find a way to turn my passion into a profession.

Not a side gig. Not a hobby. But a real job!

And I have. I started Sing Portland in 2013 and we’ve gone from strength to strength. Registrations are through the roof. I never thought I’d one day be making six figures doing this work. In March we’re heading to Carnegie Hall (yes, THE Carnegie Hall!). But more importantly, we’ve brought together an amazing group of people who have become a real community; a community which includes some of those members from my first choirs.

Now I want to help you do the same. If music is the dream living inside you, as it was — and is — for me, I want to help you overcome the biggest roadblock in your way: yourself!

I can’t promise it’ll be an easy road for you either. But I see your passion and your choir members will see it too. And that’s what will make you a success, what will help you make a living from spreading the beauty of song and let you create a strong, joyful, connected community — and I’ll be with you every step of the way.

Because you’re not my competition, you’re my companion on this exciting musical adventure. And I can’t wait to welcome you aboard.

Together we’ll turn your passion into a profession.