Dear Colleagues and Friends,
It is with a full and heavy heart that I write today to inform you of my decision to step down from the Fairfax Choral Society. It has been a joy and a dream to work with this organization for ten years, and to see the growth and changes therein. At this point in my life however, I am called to be a mommy. Over the past six months, I have found that this commitment and the timing of the rehearsals is difficult for my family. I desire the need to step back for a while. I do not see this as a permanent separation, but rather to be away from 1-3 years until my family can handle a change in schedule again (and my own will be old enough for FCS!)
Ten Springs ago, I saw the posting of this position through a work email. I saw the posting several other places and realized that my attention was being drawn to the Fairfax Choral Society for a reason. I was very new to the world of children’s choirs, but in love with the sound and hungry to be a part of it as much as possible. I had recently completed my three years of Kodaly training, and understood the value of quality literature for children, and their musical abilities far beyond what is often the standard in schools. I didn’t have a lot of experience conducting, but I decided to give it a try.
I taught many levels over the course of my tenure with FCS. Musicianship classes for 5 year olds through adults, and Da Capo through Concert Choirs, until settling into Lyric and Treble for the past five or so years (I’ve lost count, but somebody remembers I’m sure.) After much growth and the need for more and more teachers, I again convinced the Board and staff that a Director of Youth Education was necessary to lead these people. I took on this role with relish. I found my absolute love in teaching teachers. Leading people into teaching their best and encouraging the best possible lessons for children to enable the best possible learning was a dream come true.
FCS has seen me through so many seasons. I came on staff in part, because my life had taken an abrupt turn with the passing of my mom, and I wanted to do something new. I based my graduate thesis on the learning concepts in FCS. The Concert Choir sang at my wedding. I even spent a year working full-time for FCS in the office. My choirs threw me a surprise baby shower! I grew and grew as a conductor, and became a clinician for choir festivals all over the country. I began teaching graduate classes in conducting at Loyola University Baltimore and George Mason University. I developed a choral library focusing on the young voice that spans my basement and is a Mecca to new children’s choral conductors. I became so familiar with the repertoire and so eager to learn all of it, I found that if anyone ever needed a piece on anything, in any modality or meter, on any subject, I could list several off the top of my head. I continued to love assisting those who were themselves just discovering the great world of children’s choirs.
This is not goodbye, FCS; rather I’m hopeful for a little break. After being such a good family to me, now I realize that my own family needs me. I look forward to many more fond memories and years to come. You all mean so much to me. The families that I have grown with and seen every Monday for ten years, the amazing team of musicianship teachers that sharpens each other and grows together, the wonderful team in the office, Doug and his insight and musicianship, the other conductors of choirs and campuses, my accompanist, Sean, and of course the children. The many, many children that have taught me how to grow and given me puzzles and challenged my teaching in the best ways. How I am thankful for being a part of your lives, as you are of mine. I love you. I am so, so grateful for each one of you. I hope that you keep music coming all the way from your heart, and that it serves as a joy in your life that makes you a person who does great things. Thank you, FCS, for all you are and all you touch.
Love and the Fondest of Memories,