If you had told me two years ago that the day would come when I would stand up and teach at the same event as Ysaye Barnwell, MaMuse, and Kate Munger, I probably would have laughed. The idea of being invited to teach the thing I love best in the world, alongside the teachers and singers I admire most in the world was just that audacious.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, I got the email. Fingers shaking, I opened it. My whole world stopped for a minute, and then … pure joy.
I found out just a few weeks ago, and I have to be honest, the rush hasn’t left me since. This is truly a dream come true for me — a huge, giant, crazy never-expected-it-to-actually-happen dream come true — and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
A whole weekend of singing and teaching with 18 teachers, 120 participants, in the gorgeous California sunshine? I mean, c’mon! This is the kind of thing I used to dream about when I first started my choir director training.
And that got me thinking…
Because when I first started my training, I was pretty sure it was way too late. A lot of people who do what I do start their careers when they’re decades younger than I was, and honestly, it was kind of a crazy move, leaving a stable career and betting everything on singing, music, and community.
By all “logic”, I should have, at best, ended up being a well-loved teacher of a local choir. At worst, things might not have worked out, and I might have had to go back to a job that I was good at, but wasn’t made for.
But that’s the thing about dreaming big and taking great risks in the service of your life’s work — somehow, those crazy dreams start looking less like dreams and more like inevitabilities.
When you start devoting yourself to the thing you’re made for, amazing things come together. Like the email I got from Lisa Littlebird a couple of years ago. Nothing special, just two choir directors with similar philosophies connecting over a common passion.
Two years later, Lisa’s organizing this event at a little place called Esalen. Would I be interested in teaching? And just like that, a dream comes true.
Looking back, I can now see just how beautifully inevitable it was.
From the community attracted to the music and connection and deep love at Sing Portland! to my being drawn to take my own singing practice to the next level by improvising with Bobby McFerrin to my connection with Lisa and Ysaye and Laurence Cole and all kinds of other people who all share the same devotion to singing that I do, everything ties together.
And now I’d like to ask you not, “What’s your impossible dream?” but instead, “What’s your beautiful inevitability?”
Because I’m not unique — I truly believe that we’re all made for something, and that when you can tap into that, commit to it, and let it radiate throughout your life, all those big, impossible dreams stop being big and impossible and simply become … inevitable.
So tell me … what are you made for? What’s your inevitability? And just in case you’re looking for some support along the way (not to mention the restorative, rejuvenating power of music in your life), we’re here for you, and we would absolutely love for you to come sing with us! Remember, music is one of the very best, easiest ways to get back in touch with your essence, align yourself with your calling, and keep up your spirit as you’re on your journey to inevitability––so come sing with us!