About 7 months ago I was getting ready to record my 2nd Kirtan (Indian chanting) album. I wanted to "clean up" my voice before going into the recording studio so I decided to take some voice lessons. I have been in choir since I was a little girl, but have yet to take a formal lesson. Joe met a guy at a poker game who gave lessons (who has the most amazing voice) so I met with him. We had a few sessions and he invited me to perform at an event that he organizes every year called "Music for the Soul". It is a charity concert that raises money for Meals on Wheels, elder care groups, and single mothers groups. It is an ensemble of performers that represent spiritual cultures around the world. They had an African dance and singing group, a Native American group, a Christian choir, and Buddhist monk among others. I heard a couple people say,"Where is the Indian girl who is doing the chanting?" and saw the confused looks on their faces when they realized that I was "it". People were surprised to find out that a blonde-haired-blue-eyed-all-American-girl was doing Indian chanting. I performed with Beth Daunis, a violinist, who also was a part of the upcoming cd.
Performing at the Fox theater was such a thrill. It was built in 1929 and was recently renovated. It is an iconic, historical landmark in Tucson and is in the center of downtown Tucson. It seats about 1,300 people and nearly 1,000 were at the performance easily making it the largest audience I have performed in front of. I usually sing to my students at the end of a yoga class which, at the most, was only 60 people. I was pretty nervous, but I tried to get into the spirit of the evening and have fun with it.
My husband, Joe, my sister Jane and her husband, my father-in-law and sister-in-law all came to watch me. My mother-in-law really saved the day and stayed home to babysit my six week old baby. I didn't really tell many people about the concert because if I screwed it up I didn't want everyone to watch it happen, but at the last minute I invited family. I was so touched that they not only came to the show, but wanted to show their support. It meant SO much to me to have them there.
After the show was over we congregated in the lobby and chatted with audience members. They were so complimentary, but I really appreciated those who thanked me for being a part of creating an experience. I got to meet the mayor of Tucson, Bob Walkup, who sought me out to find out more about my instrument, a harmonium.
In spite of all my reservations and nervousness it was a great experience. Every opportunity is an opportunity to grow. Being a part of this concert bolstered my confidence as a singer/songwriter and gave me the chance to represent the yoga community in a positive way.
*The cd is due out in the next couple of months. It will be available on itunes and on my website at www.anniesmithmusic.com. It is called "Lullabies".*