Choir member Lori Reeder

Hello, my name is Lori Reeder. I serve on the Communication Committee, I am a strong supporter of the Rebuild Houston Team, and I attend the Adult Religious Education workshop/class/lectures.


I am also a member of the Emerson Choir (you should be too as it is no audition and we would LOVE for you to be there). This is my reflection blog about my second year in the Emerson Choir.

Second year of choir in the bag, I am feeling strong and excited to begin my third year. We started this choir season with a new Director, Adrian Rodriguez, and although he is TOTALLY awesome, this is my blog so it’s all about me. Besides, there’s not much to say, he is an experienced teacher and under his guidance the choir sounds AMAZING.

If you read my first blog detailing the tribulations of my first year being in the choir, you know I have had absolutely NO musical training. I was constantly told that “you cannot carry a tune in a bucket” (see picture). Okay, so singing was not my thing, but being part of a team IS my thing. I enjoy working with people to achieve a common goal, and I like the community that is the Emerson Choir. These are some really cool people. And guess what!!! These really cool people let ANYONE be part of their community, even if they cannot sing.

That being said, I struggled, and I am not the silent type so my team knew all about my struggles. The problem is that there are so many things I don’t know about singing and my exposure to religious and historical music is lacking. One very big example is the spring concert where we performed Gabriel Faure’s Requiem. Have you heard of it? I hadn’t. I had never heard of it nor had I ever heard it, and it’s a very famous historical work. It was HARD!!! An extremely overwhelming work. Everyone and their dog got an earful from me about how overwhelmed I was. That was the big one, but along the way there were pieces that I found frustrating as well.

So here I am, part of this really cool group of people who not only want me there, they want me to want to be there. The choir members were constantly encouraging me to keep going, not to give up, to make mistakes and laugh about them. Let me let you in on a mega big secret, we made TONS of mistakes. Not just me either, we all did, and it was fun! Sounds counterintuitive doesn’t it? We got up in front of an audience, had some wonderful but imperfect performances, and LOVED it. The performances are a byproduct of being part of this community, they are the goal, but they are not the point.

Did I mention that Adrian is TOTALLY awesome and an experienced teacher? He didn’t let any of us give up, he reminded us that learning is hard and messy and that if we weren’t pushing ourselves then it was a waste of our time anyway. And when we made mistakes, he encouraged us to make more. REALLY, he wants us to make more mistakes!!!

So going into my third year, I am committed to making mistakes, taking risks, being overwhelmed and leaning on my team. Learning and growing and singing and (least of all) performing.

Lori Reeder

“Just because I cannot sing, does not mean I will not sing.” – Unknown

P.S. – Our choir program starts up again in late August and we welcome you to attend our Performing Arts potluck on Wednesday, August 31st at 6:30 PM in Westwood Hall!