Music has always been a huge part of my life. I was born in Nashville, the home of country music. I grew up singing in choirs, musicals, and a capella groups, and even now, I can’t walk out the door without my headphones and a playlist.

I have a constant soundtrack running through the backdrop of my head, coloring my day and giving a backdrop to my work. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I love working as Marion’s copywriter so much –– I believe in singing, and I love being able to help introduce other people to Marion’s genius through these blogs.

And yet …

Something changed in the past ten years or so. Maybe it’s that I haven’t had a car to sing in, or that I’ve been living in apartments around the world, and it takes a while to work up the courage to belt out a song when you’re not sure how thin the walls are. I moved so often that I never really found a singing group that I could really get embedded with. So, when I came out to Portland this summer for a business trip, I knew I had to see Marion –– and I begged her for a chance to come sing with Sing Portland!

She was over the moon, and so was I. We met up that night before choir for the very first time in real life, and instantly felt the joy that comes with working with someone for years on end and finally being able to put a face with their voice. I secretly thought the evening probably couldn’t get any better.

Then, I walked into rehearsal.

A sudden storm had come up right before we came in, so I was kind of bedraggled (and a bit jet lagged!) but everyone was so incredibly welcoming, I immediately felt at east. And, when I opened my mouth and let the music come out again, together in a community, I knew that in that moment, I was connected to music in a way I hadn’t in a very long time. Getting the chance to sing with you all was truly a highlight of my time in Portland –– and even now, back across the country, I find myself breaking into song that much easier. (Especially “Rutabaga”)

Music is always in my head. Coming to Sing Portland! put it back in my heart.

Thanks for the warm welcome home.

Rachel Allen