By Jordan Garceau, Alto
As a new Seattle transplant, I have spent the last eight months absorbing the city’s culture, and searching to find where I fit in. I grew up in a small Montana town where I knew people and people knew me. The first day I got my driver’s license, I got pulled over in the middle of Main Street. Within the five minutes it took me to get home, my mom received two texts and a Facebook message informing her that I was just pulled over by the county sheriff.
My hometown made it easy to connect to those around me. We all were in a bubble of shared experiences. Everyone knew Trail Star Café had the best breakfast in town and no one dared miss the Christmas Light Parade. I never had to search for a place to belong in my community because we were all doing similar things. City life is a different ball game. I vividly remember the day I arrived in Seattle, with my 96’ Honda accord packed to the brim, feeling overwhelmed about life in a bigger pond where everyone I passed was a stranger.
After a lot of Google maps rerouting, I finally figured out the best ways to get to work depending on how late I am running. I then focused on building up my social life. It wasn’t long before I formed a solid group of friends that I can trust and rely on. This past Christmas time, I started thinking about my current life and reflected on my goals. Although I was happy, I felt I was living on a hamster wheel doing the same things each week. I needed to find my “thing” to push me outside my comfort zone and connect me to others with similar interests.
My “thing” has always been singing. I grew up in the church and lead worship every Sunday. I was in every choir ensemble my school offered and even had a job singing at funerals for a hot minute. Singing has always been an important part of me and brings me fulfillment that I cannot get elsewhere. So one Saturday on a whim, I Googled “Seattle choirs” thinking all that would appear would be closed groups only welcome to the Susan Boyle’s of the world...
In my search, I stumbled across a full list of Seattle choirs and ended up at the web page for the Magnolia Chorale. After reading about the choir, I emailed the director and requested information on how to get involved. Within minutes, I received a warm response and encouragement to come to the first practice and see what they were all about. I remember being nervous about going. I kept asking myself “what if no one talks to me?”. I am now embarrassed that I even questioned that. Within minutes of arriving, several people excitedly greeted me. I specifically remember one member saying to me “We are so glad you are here”. I quickly knew I would not regret my decision for coming that night.
I have only been part of the choir now for about a month, but I can say my expectations have been surpassed. I find myself looking forward to our practice each week and enjoy creating music with people I never would have met otherwise. The snacks during break are also a plus. On a more philosophical note, it is remarkable to think about fifty people coming together with their talent to create something that we could not do by ourselves. Our choir is a team. Like any team, we rely on each other to get the best result. And I now have a community in Seattle where I feel valued and can do something I love.
Magnolia Chorale is...
a community of singers who enjoy spending time together making great music.