I want to tell a little of my own personal story, not because I feel you must know it, but because it is the best way I can express my personal gratitude.
I joined the chorus at the first of the year. I am by any standard one of the youngest members of the chorus, 22 years old. At 18, I ran away from home – struggling to come to terms with both my sexuality and my oppressive fanatically religious family and background. Mormonism. I even served a year (half) of a full-time religious mission for the LDS Church, testing the premise that God would resolve the conflict if I would dedicate all of myself to His service. Inevitably, no power could change my identify and I was forced to excommunicate myself from my church, my upbringing, my friends, and my family. The three years since that time have been full of financial, emotional, and spiritual struggle – but a thread of confidence, joy and hope was unearthed the moment I stopped lying to myself. That joy was felt and encapsulated in the moment I first heard the Chorus sing “Everything Possible.”
My great love has been and always will be music. I began to plan piano at the age of eight asnd was always a sap for singing the hymns on Sunday. I have had the privilege of singing with many musical groups over the years, but singing with the Chorus has meant more to me than any other.
Tying my love for music and my adversities together – this is the point for which I am grateful – My mother has this year attended every concert. I have literally no contact and haven’t for years with any of my six other family members. Even the relationship with my mother is extremely fragile, but to see her supporting me in this chorus speaks volumes to a broken heart. And to have her standing to applaud with the rest of our supportive audience overwhelms me. It is so thrilling to know that when our audience applauds, they applaud both our music and talents and our sexuality and the community we represent!