There's a theme in my history. I've never been afraid to take on a challenge, even if I didn't know the subject matter. In 1996, I joined a small church choir in the University Catholic Community at the University of St. Jerome's (U of W). With no prior music or choir experience, I managed to assume the Music Director position for the 9:30 choir.
20 MEMBERS AND 2 CD'S LATER....
I had the incredible opportunity to build a community within a community. Our small choir grew. We attracted highly experienced musicians, turned wallflowers into soloists and was responsible for drawing standing room only crowds. We produced two CD's which are still in high demand, and we were requested to perform at significant University and community events.
In focusing on the development needs, the goals and the objectives of the members and the choir as a whole, I was able to guide and nurture it to incredible success. I didn't need to be a musician (although, I did become one), I didn't need to know more than the members and I didn't need to hold any position of power....all I needed to do was to listen and act.
LEADER AND A FOLLOWER
It was time to move on. Since the University was a learning environment, the church wanted to give students the opportunity to learn leadership skills. I left the choir to enable their vision, and was quickly asked to audition for the Grand Philharmonic Choir, and was accepted.
A good leader knows when it's time to be a good follower. Without any background in the complex music that the Grand Philharmonic Choir performs, I am absorbing everything I can, and am honoured to be with fellow singers who can teach me so much. I am now in my second year with the choir.