I recently made the Texas Region 25 All-State Choir. I’m not entirely sure how “big a deal” All-State Choir is, but I do know, that as far as all-state choirs go, Texas all-state choir is one of if not the most competitive there is, and that within Texas, Region 25 is one of if not the most competitive region. So regardless of the weight it may or may not carry to say that I made the Texas Region 25, it was an amazing experience.
The first thing to be noted is that ninety-something percent of the region 25 choir is made up of high-schoolers from big, competitive high school in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area. There were only a few singers from smaller schools outside the Metroplex, and there were not any other homeschoolers that I know of who made the Region Choir. So for me to have even made the Region Choir when competing against dozens of guys from big schools with big choirs was amazing.
The second thing that made the Region Choir such an experience for me was that I love being around other good singers. It makes me realize that my voice in itself by no means makes me “one of a kind”. It reminds me that if I want to make anything out of my voice, I have to work at it just as hard or harder than I would at anything else, because there are many people who are as good or better than me. I don’t even know fifty boys who are good singers, but when I am surrounded by that many who are excellent singers, I am forced to face the reality that my voice is not as special as I sometimes am led to think it is. But I relish this realization, because it means that I will push myself further, to make myself even better. The voice is an instrument like any other. Just because someone owns a well-crafted guitar doesn’t mean they will be good at playing it. This is obvious to everyone, but it is not nearly as obvious when it comes to the voice. But the same principle applies. Just because someone has a good voice does not make them a good singer. This is often misunderstood by many. A good guitar player may be able to make a bad instrument sound beautiful; a good singer does not have to have the perfect instrument if he or she knows how to use it well. In a way, your voice doesn’t matter. The quality of the music is not as much in the instrument, be it vocal chords or guitar, as much as it is in the musician (though a very, very bad instrument may never sound good). The only difference between a guitarist and a vocalist is that the vocalist gets one instrument, and that is the one they must play their entire lives, be it an extraordinary instrument or an average one. Either way, the merit of the music is not in the instrument, but it in the musicianship of the musician.