To say that my journey in the performing arts is less than typical would be an understatement. Sometimes, I wake up in the morning, still in disbelief that the Lord has ordered my steps in such a way as He has, and I am here at the University of Mobile working toward my Master of Music in vocal performance. And then I get excited again.
I was a homeschool student up until college. My dream for the six years prior to beginning my undergrad degree was to be in just one musical, and it didn’t happen.
I grew up in a small town in Texas with few resources, and theatre was very low in the priority list. I contented myself doing plays when I could and studying voice with whoever would teach me.
Classical singing wasn’t even on my radar as a skill set until a substitute teacher took me up the octave (whatever an “octave” was). Thus, when it was time to find a college, I showed up with the only two songs I knew, told my potential professors about my lack of experience and trusted the Lord to open doors. To my shock, before I knew what had happened, I was enrolled as a musical theatre student who had never been in a musical and was studying foreign subjects like theory and aural skills. And I fell in love. I didn’t want the learning to stop.
Almost from the first weeks of undergrad, I knew I wanted to go to graduate school. The problem was, I had no idea where to go or who to ask. Before I knew it, my senior year began, and the clock was ticking for me to figure out the next step.
A couple of professors from my college brought the name ‘Dr. Kyle’ and ‘University of Mobile’ to mind, but I settled to take a gap year; not because I wanted to, but because I didn’t think I was good enough to get in anywhere. That wasn’t true, but sometimes it’s easier to doubt than to believe that God’s bigger. He showed me He was.
Almost on a whim, over the winter break, I contacted Dr. Maryann Kyle, the chair of Graduate Programs and professor of voice and vocal pedagogy in the Alabama School of the Arts at the University of Mobile. Before I knew it, I was completing the application process. During spring break, seemingly minutes after my senior recital, I headed to my audition completely exhausted. I sang and didn’t feel super great about it. But the Lord is the one who ultimately decides where He wants His kids. He wanted me at UM. And now there’s not a doubt in my mind. The school is everything I’m looking for. Only God does stuff like this.
Most people recommend that students audition at multiple schools before deciding where to go. I auditioned for one. Most people spend all of high school performing. That wasn’t my story. Most people do it differently, and that’s okay. God had a different idea for me, and University of Mobile is part of the story. I can’t wait to see what He’s got in store for me.