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Sing & Play Festival Stories

Why I Write Songs

Submitted by Jenny Voelker, Community Member and Contributing Writer

I wrote my first song in November 2020 in a Songwriting 101 class taught by Chloe Brisson through the Upper Valley Music Center (UVMC). I never identified as a singer and had never written songs before. But I had been taking Patricia Norton’s Pocket Songs class, also through UVMC. Patricia’s belief that singing is not reserved for a chosen few, but open to ALL human beings emboldened me to try songwriting and find my voice. The fact these classes were on Zoom also made them more approachable to me. If worst came to worst, I knew I could always turn off my camera or log off! …

Read More from Jenny Voelker

Advice From Alumni:

Soloist at 2019 Messiah Sing with Orchestra

Soloist at 2019 Messiah Sing with Orchestra

My absolute best advice would be to play what you love, and play what moves you. Whether or not you become a professional musician, taking time every day to play the music that brings you joy for its own sake will make you a happier person, whether or not anyone but you will ever hear it. I spend at least as much time singing songs I think are beautiful as actual rep I’ve been assigned, and I don’t believe I’ll ever stop singing songs I love no matter what happens with my career.  Will Tanksi, Voice Program Alum

“Since high school I have realized that music and singing are not only something I can study but they are a safe space for me as well. My advice to young singers would be to find a place where you can be free of pressures and constraints and fully enjoy and feel safe in the music you love.” Marie Pillsbury, Voice Program Alum