By Aimee Drew

I remember sitting in the back of the studio, arms crossed, back rigid, gaze straight ahead but my attention was wandering around the reverberating room, “God this song is so hard. I know I’m going to be out of tune.” Worry consumed me, fear of failure paralyzed me, but before I could doubt myself anymore, my name was up on the huge computer screen, dancing to the background music. Show time.
I walked to the platform in front of that beautiful cherry-wood grand piano, let the music of the first piece flow through my body and opened my mouth to sing. However, Il Mio Bel Foco was the least of my worries.
As my first piece ended, I turned to my teacher to let her know I was ready to tackle the beast. Her warm face assured me, reminded me that I was among friends, fellow patrons of the arts. I shut my eyes and inhaled deeply, anticipating the familiar sound of those terrifying notes. Miraculously, when my eyes opened and I began to sing Leonard Bernstein’s infamous words, “Glitter and be gay,” my nerves turned into adrenaline, pulsating though my core and out my vocal chords.
After studying for more than five years, after growing out of my pubescent preteen stage, after grounding the innate performer in me, that performance in particular resonated. As I was singing, acting, unleashing the diva within, I saw the faces of my family, heard their laughs, their cheers, and I forgot my prior fears. All that existed was my audience and my voice.
The thrill of performing is my driving force. I have more energy than I often know what to do with, The stage is my canvas, the place where I re-create the aspects of myself that are not always on the surface. Music has always been my outlet, my healer, and singing rejuvenates me. As a scholar strives for more information, my soul yearns to fly up to the rafters with music, always searching for new tunes, new rhythms, new harmonies.
After being an academic for so many years, I know that the only way to further my education and expand my knowledge is through performance and sound. Opening my spirit to the artistic world has shown me my direction in life and allowing it to grow has guided me to the place I am now, determined to continue learning and performing, a simple satisfaction.
Music has the power to evoke emotion. The careful construction of chords and notes is a science particular to those able to understand its simplicity and depth simultaneously.
A creative mind is a gift, a chance to share and educate and make people experience emotion that is difficult to understand in our complicated world. I feel that with my talent, I am meant to open minds to the beauty and possibility of art.