Jessica Zheng is a junior at Newark Academy. Music has always played an integral part in her life, especially her place in her school choir. Let’s hear more!
When my mom signed me up for choir in third grade I never looked back. I can still remember my pitchy little voice at age 10 (to be honest I’m probably still pitchy it’s just harder to notice) trying my best to sound “mature” in a big group of people. Some of these people would become some of my closest friends, but I wouldn’t know that until much later.
Singing in a chorus from a young age gave me the ability to get to know kids my age as well as ones much older than me. It enabled me to find mentors who I still look up to today. Choir taught me how to be a part of a group, how to be heard but not stand out, but most importantly, it taught me how to be an individual. Everyone always tells you how chorus can develop a sense of community and how to work with others, but no one ever mentions that singing in a chorus means you must first find yourself. It helped that I also had a big group of people to support me along the way. When I got my first solo, I was so nervous that when I sang I was as stiff as a board. Let’s just say it definitely was not my best performance, but I appreciated that I had all my friends in the background supporting me. As I walked back to my spot on the risers after my solo, my friends all clapped and told me they thought I sounded wonderful. Though I no longer sing with that choir, in particular, I still have maintained that support system singing in the group helped to establish. Through choir, I’ve developed my own voice, and I’ve learned that it’s ok to stand out (or not), but it’s equally as important to be someone else’s support system. I might not always sing with a group, but I’ll never lose my passion for music.