My high school choir director was one of my greatest cheerleaders as I started to pursue my music. She entered my song “Beam of Hope’ into a songwriting contest, and it won first place in its division. I was given the honor of performing the song at the local university for a live audience. I think it was the first time that I played a Steinway grand piano.
A few weeks after the performance, my choir director asked if I would be willing to write a song for my graduating class. She told me the choir could perform it at the graduation ceremony and that she would help me write harmony parts if I felt the project was beyond my skill level. I told her I would do my best and set to work on the song.
I spent a great deal of time in my bedroom over the next few weeks. Mom and Dad moved the keyboard into my room so I could have some privacy. Writing harmony parts proved to be rather tricky, but it wasn’t long before I presented my choir director with the song “Dream.” She had me record the song into her computer, and she worked to craft accompaniment and smooth over rough vocal lines.
One morning during choir practice, she passed out new sheet music to the choir. I looked down at the music in my hand and realized it was the score for “Dream”! The notation was basic and even handwritten in places, but it was still my song down on paper. It was nerve-wracking when the choir began to sing the lyrics and melody I had created. I wondered if they liked the song… or maybe they thought it was the worst thing they had ever heard. Either way, I was far too distracted to sing along that morning. I was too busy soaking up the moment and shaking uncontrollably all at the same time!
Graduation week approached, and I came down with the worst cold ever. I went to graduation with a wad of tissue stuffed up my robe sleeve. When it came time for the choir to sing my song, I could barely croak out a note. Instead of forcing out a sound, I mouthed the lyrics and simply listened. Tears filled my eyes when I realized they were singing my song! In the years that followed, I don’t think I have ever been so humbled. It was then that I decided I loved nothing more than to hear other voices raised in song, and I was simply honored to give my fellow students a song that mirrored this momentous occasion.