I graduated from Annandale High School in 2010 and sang with Youth Chorale for four wonderful years from 2006-2010. After high school I attended the United States Air Force Academy, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in English (yes, you read that right), and a minor in Mandarin.
After graduating from the Air Force Academy and then pilot training at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, I started my operational flying career piloting the KC-135 Stratotanker at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan. In the summer of 2019 I moved back to the US to fly the KC-135 out of Fairchild AFB in WA, where I expect to be stationed for the next few years.
My greatest achievements since my time in YCCM is graduating flight school at the top of my class, and then being recognized at my first duty station as Copilot of the Year before upgrading to aircraft commander. Most life changing, in September 2019 my husband and I started growing our family by welcoming a sweet baby boy.
While I was in my third year at the Air Force Academy and very much missing music, I auditioned for and sang with the Colorado Springs Chorale. It was a welcome weekly escape from the stressors of school and military training. Since then I satisfy the musical itch by playing piano in the privacy of my home, but I’ll be looking for a group to sing with as I settle into my new home in Spokane, WA.
All four years of high school I looked forward to Sunday evenings, because Youth Chorale rehearsal truly was a highlight of my week; I loved learning and working with a group of talented and motivated peers. With regard to Garret Lathe, I’ve never made music under the direction of someone better suited to corralling a room full of students toward a creative purpose.
My absolute favorite piece that I’ve sung with Youth Chorale or any other choral group is Eric William Barnum’s “The Stars Stand Up in the Air.” That song is ethereal.
Of all the forms of music I’ve engaged in, singing in a choir is my favorite. I love being one voice in a wall of voices working together to create something bigger and more beautiful than themselves. Immersing myself in music has always been an escape for me and, a bit like meditation, a way for me to anchor myself and find my flow.
My advice to YCCM singers: treasure your time with this fantastic organization, hone your skills, and in the future, seek out opportunities to make music a part of your life, even when the real world doesn’t make them readily available.