It wasn't until my senior year in high school that I fully immersed myself with singing in a choral ensemble and an a cappella group. I tell everyone this all the time; I was a "late bloomer" when it came to singing in choir! That's the point...it's never too late to go and try something new.
A week ago, I had the opportunity to help kick off the start of the new school year for ALL of the teachers in Westborough, MA, the town I grew up in, with my brothers in Ball in the House. To be able to perform at my alma mater, to be able to talk about my life story, to be given the chance to say thank you to many former teachers of mine (some are still teaching!), and to be able to share my passion…I am beyond blessed for the life I have…it’s the Westborough Public Schools that created the foundation of my life, along with showing me that I have a voice to create harmony, not only through music, but, in life. Thank you will never be enough.
It's because I took a leap of faith and tried something new, all those years ago, that I now make a living making music! My literal dream since high school. Though, I think it was really in middle school that I told myself: "Hey...you're not half bad at this; I can see myself doing this!". I never could have imagined this journey of ups and downs, trials and tribulations, and so many zig zags in directions I never thought I'd go (this whole sentence is a post for another day). Even today, I still feel like I'm on a road that will take a turn to a new place, or something will happen that will challenge me, and flex my musical chops to its fullest. In my opinion, a musician's life is one of the greatest joys and most rewarding, satisfying jobs you could have, and yet, it's one of the hardest fields to navigate. Though, that's the gig we signed up for, isn't it? I'm looking at all of you, creatives!
The souls and hearts of musicians, and all creatives, are some of the most durable and fragile (and everything in-between) personalities that exist in this world. The amount of preparation (i.e. practice), mind compartmentalization, patience, and persistence it takes to be ready at a moments notice for any type of gig is mind boggling. The versatility one must have to "be a musician" involves so much more than just music. You need to understand business, marketing and branding, know how to talk to people effectively, and how to be able to collaborate and work on a team. You are a producer. You are a teacher. You are a critic. Let me tell you, criticism will follow you everywhere, and you can make it your greatest ally, or your worst enemy. However, in my short 16 years of being immersed in the music industry, showing kindness and respect everywhere you have the privilege to go, will take you far. People will remember that. Always.
To all upcoming musicians and creatives who are just starting out, to the well-experienced, seasoned professional musicians and beyond...a simple reminder:
Be kind to others (especially yourself), work efficiently and on time, try...and fail many times (you will learn more from failure than anything else), never give up, and show up. It's never too late to go and try something new.
I'm rooting and cheering for you. We've got this.
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Professional contemporary #acappella producer, arranger, engineer, and educator from Northborough, MA, U.S.A.