It's more than just music, it's a family.
by Kaleigh Hampton
Camarata Chorale and orchestra in concert, 2014.
There are few things I hold closer to my heart than choir. It's been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. In the beginning, it was just about singing. But it soon became something so much more powerful.
I'll never forget my first choir experience in elementary school. I simply joined because I liked singing (although my talent was questionable). I was always the kid who sang 24/7. I would narrate my life in song. Life's a musical, right?
When I moved up to middle school, choir was a whole new ball game. We actually had to learn how to read music. Like notes and stuff. Insanity. I eventually caught on though. That's when I truly fell in love with choir. And it wasn't because of the music — I fell in love with the people. I had made all of my friends through choir. So it was pretty fun, to say the least.
Then high school rolled around, and again, I was in a whole new level of awesomeness. Of course, I had to suffer through the beginner choir for a year with every other freshman girl, but it wasn't so bad. The magic happened after that year, when I was in more advanced choirs.
00:2601:00I was lost for a long time. I didn't really know who I was or who I wanted to be. I floated between friend groups, not knowing who my true friends were. I felt alone. I really do believe that the one thing that kept me going was choir (and God, of course). It was stable and secure. I knew it would always be there and it was something I could look forward to everyday.
By my senior year of high school, I was completely consumed by choir. And I loved it. I practically lived in the choir room. We had choir class everyday, we ate lunch in there everyday to avoid the cafeteria, and we had long rehearsals almost daily after school. Needless to say, that room became my second home. When I look back at my time in high school, I've realized that all of my favorite memories happened in the choir room. All of the laughs and tears that I cherish so much were there. All of my strongest friendships were formed there.
Choir helped me find myself. I met so many incredible people who have become my best friends. We bonded through the music. It's hard to explain, but we have this connection with each other that music created. We became a family.
Graduation was hard, because I couldn't imagine leaving behind something that was so important to me for four years. I cried more tears within that last month of high school that I have in my whole life.
But then I got to college, and choir is just as awesome here. At first, it was tough. It was tough because it was different. I compared it to my experiences in high school and wanted that back. But after accepting the fact that change was OK, I really started to enjoy choir again. I got back into what I love so much.
I honestly think I'm a better person because of choir. It's had such a major impact on my life, and I'm forever grateful for it. I don't know where I would be if I hadn't joined choir in fourth grade, and I don't really want to know. Because choir is something I will always love, and keep in my heart for the rest of my life.