Walking through those halls felt really weird.
I returned to my high school this week. My choir conductor and favorite teacher had the school’s choir room named after him. There was a special dedication ceremony, and alumni were asked not only to attend, but to surprise “Doc” by singing. We joined current Lincoln High School choir members and formed a large choir. Autumn Farewell’s a cappella harmonies bounced off the auditorium walls and surrounded Doc with love. He even got to conduct us. It felt like Mr. Holland’s Opus.
It’s always weird to return to a piece of your past. I walked past familiar old buildings, having déjà vu again and again. Memories flooded back. I remembered the insecurity I grappled with for so long. I walked down the long corridor that led back to the math and foreign language rooms. I found the hallway where I used to sit with all my math nerd friends. It felt familiar and yet not at all like I remembered. Everything was so different.
And then I walked into that choir room, and it was just as I remembered. Things were different, for sure, but that room felt comfortably familiar. There might have been new pictures or paint colors or chairs, but that overwhelming feeling of “home” is ever present.
That room is where I fell in love with music.
Doc and his wife Miss Bobbie are very special people in my life. In that choir room I began to learn about quarter notes and key signatures. I learned how to form proper vowels and produce a beautiful tone. But I also learned how powerful music is. How a simple, beautiful melody can bring a tear to your eye. How a certain chord progression can weigh on your heart. How singing made me feel whole.
I walked into that room with a small, timid voice. By the time I walked out for the last time, I was singing in front of audiences by myself. Without the love and encouragement I found in that room, I would not be the person I am today.
I’m so incredibly thankful for that room, and the reminder that music still burns deeply inside me.