Member Profile: Vanessa Cameron

Vanessa Cameron

Editor’s Note: Vanessa joined us in January, 2015, and sings Soprano 1. Since Vanessa’s writing is so perky and fun, we will present the following in her own words. Enjoy.

The lone-arranger: What kind of musical training and experience do you have?

Vanessa Cameron: I have played music and sang for as long as I can remember. I played multiple instruments and was in an honor band throughout high school; the band traveled the country for performances. I continued with choir through the first part of college, but took a music sabbatical until I joined Sonoro.

l-a: What’s your favorite thing about Sonoro?

VC: The people I have met, the reminder of how much I always loved music, and the amazing progress I have made in my vocal technique since starting (thank you Jeremy for always pushing us to become better!)

l-a: Who are your favorite musical groups or musical icons? Why?

VC: Hmmmm…. I mostly appreciate people that write and perform their own music. To me, the beauty of music is equal parts sound and lyrical meaning. There is nothing more personal than putting your own thoughts and feelings into a song and sharing it with the world. Those people are inspiring.

l-a: If you could perform anything, anywhere, what would it be, where, and why?

VC: I want to perform in a large musical hall or theatre. Something classical, pretty, and full of emotion. The acoustics in those places are magical. It seems to make time stop, just for a second, while you are listening.

l-a: Tell us something about your family:

VC: I have a toddler, a dog, and an amazing husband.

l-a: Vocation?

VC: Nurse

l-a: Other hobbies?

VC: Yoga, rock climbing, being outside with my family (zoo, hikes, throwing rocks in the river, etc…), and working too much.

l-a: Favorites?

VC: Color: Blue

      Season: Fall

      Animal: Dog?

      Food: Spicy

l-a: Do you play another musical instrument?

VC: Flute. I started playing the piano when I was young, then once band started I played the clarinet, then went to the flute, then oboe (which I played throughout high school honor band), and then moved on to the trumpet for my normal high school band. But the flute is really pretty. Everything else was just a lot of fun, except the oboe… that is mostly just weird. But it fit me well 🙂 

Interview by the lone_arranger

Member Profile: Krystal Hames

Krystal Hames

Krystal tells us that her favorite thing about Sonoro is the “sense of community; keeps people staying with us. We all work together.”

Krystal joined Sonoro for the spring show in 2013, in which we performed musical theatre and opera pieces. Her favorite kind of music to perform is Musical Theatre, so this was good timing. Krystal comes from a musical family; when she was a child, her father would write down the notes to music he heard, and then play the songs. In her mother’s side of the family, everyone plays guitar, and her uncle makes electric guitars. Krystal’s artistic abilities include make-up; she won a costume contest last October. Krystal sings Alto 2, and has sung Soprano 2.

Krystal’s current vocation is as a leasing consultant (“some say as the devil, especially when they are behind in their rent!”). Previously, she spent seven years as a service specialist at BJ’s; they keep asking her to come back.

Krystal’s favorite performer is Johnny Cash, because “he is real. He had problems, and wrote and sang about them.”

Krystal’s hobbies include drawing, painting, and photography. She has a son, Spencer, now 15, for whom the only place she can find shoes for him is Nordstrom, “because his feet are so big!”

Other favorites:

Color: Green

Season: Summer

Animal: Used to be cats, but after adopting her dog, Mickey, a cha-weenie, he “stole her heart”.

Food: Dark Chocolate (at least 80%, no dairy)

Musical instrument: Guitar

Interview and blog entry by lone_arranger

Member Profile: Eve Taylor

Eve Taylor

Eve’s favorite things about Sonoro are the people, learning new music, and performances.

Eve began singing in the 6th grade, and continued with choral and solo work throughout high school and college. She began vocal instruction at age 15, and was fortunate to be selected to attend Tulane University Choir the following year. She will never forget the excitement of learning Carmina Burana performed with full orchestra and dancers! Her first experience singing opera was when she was selected to attend a young artist music camp in Vermont. Her passion for classical singing and opera persisted, although her singing took a 25-year break. Eve joined Sonoro in 2013, and sings Soprano 1.

Eve holds dual citizenship, French and US. Her mother and sister eventually became US citizens. Her father was a concert pianist, composer, author, and professor. He left his family when Eve was born, and later died in a car accident. Both Eve and her sister had to attend Catholic boarding schools while her mother worked three jobs to support them. These were the days of no childcare centers! Eve was finally able to live at home in the ninth grade.  Her mother was a beloved French teacher in New Orleans, and became somewhat of a celebrity for her incredibly successful and unique teaching methods. She was given the Keys to the City by the Mayor, plus a special chair with inscription and a week of parties celebrating her retirement! When Eve went out with her mother, people would shout out, ”Hey, Madame”!

Eve waitressed during college. She attended nursing school for her BSN degree, and began to work as a psychiatric RN in Denver in 1977. She has worked the gamut: locked hold and treat units, therapeutic units, adolescent units, eating disorder units, drug and alcohol, geriatric, Air Force nursing, home mental health, and finally at an outpatient clinic. Eve also has a degree in radio broadcasting. She began as a DJ in Aspen at KSPN FM when it was album-oriented rock, and became the production manager after six months, when she became responsible for making the commercials (this was her favorite task). She also worked at KEYV FM in 1988 in Las Vegas, which was jazz/new age format.

Eve has been married for 21 years to her handsome pilot husband; they met at Travis Air Force base, and he currently works for American Airlines.

Eve’s favorite musicians are Rene Fleming, Elina Garanča, Sondra Radvanovsky, Maria Callas, and Diana Damrau. Her hobbies include making jewelry, cooking, gardening, walking, and voice lessons.

Other favorites:

Color: Greens, Blues, Golds, Grey and Rose

Season: Fall

Animal: lover of all animals, especially Cats

Food:  Carbs and cheese!

Musical instrument: Voice, Piano, Drums

Member Profile: Chelsea Falk

Chelsea Falk

Chelsea tells us that her favorite thing about Sonoro is the community.”The way we invest in each other and show compassion for each other is unlike anything I have seen before!”

Chelsea is a Washington native, married for two years to the love of her life, Richard. Her father is a piper, and currently Fire Chief in Tangent, Oregon. Her mother is a retired medical imaging manager. Chelsea joined Sonoro in 2012 for the Christmas show Rejoice!, in which her favorite piece is Gaudete; she started out as an Alto 1, and moved to Alto 2 when a series of events led to that voice part having too few singers. She has also sung Soprano 2 in other choirs.

Chelsea’s first work experience as a child was as a live dummy for mass casualty training for FEMA. Her more formal employment began in Kazakhstan as a second grade teacher. Currently she sorts books at a used book store, while working toward a degree in the counseling field. She describe this as being “a vagabond in transition.” Her previous employments include four years teaching biology at a local high school, hotel reservation specialist, residence assistant, admissions ambassador, and tour guide at Whitworth College (now Whitworth University), stage manager at Tacoma Little Theatre, and “scream killer” at a haunted house.

Chelsea’s favorite musical groups are Foreigner, “because I AM a jukebox hero,” and Queen, because “I am having a good time! [Don’t Stop Me Now!].” Her favorite kind of music to perform is “music of the world, with cultural significance”. Besides English, she has sung in Filipino (Tagalog), Latin, French, Hebrew, Spanish, German, Italian, Czechoslovakian, Russian, Yiddish, Olde English, and Nigerian. She would like to sing in Arabic.

Chelsea’s hobbies include painting and community service working with refugees.

Other favorites:

Color: Sea Spray

Season: Spring

Animal: Elephant

Food: Nachos

Musical instrument: Bagpipes

Interview and blog entry by lone_arranger

Member Profile: Karen Estes

Karen Estes

When asked what her favorite thing is about Sonoro, Karen answers, “The members, the girls. The music is wonderful also, but the main thing is the community we have built.”

Karen came to the choir through our Director, Jeremy Shilley. While going through the heartache of watching a parent’s last years with cancer, her father told her she needed to sing. Karen began vocal lessons with Jeremy; to her, that was singing. Then he asked her if she would be interested in joining a choir.

Karen joined Sonoro in 2010 when it was still a mixed choir (men and women). That was the year that there were not enough men to have a balanced choir for a Christmas concert, so there was no concert. Karen stuck with Sonoro in spite of that disappointment; she began as an Alto 1, and is now singing Alto 2.

Karen’s work history is varied. Her last conventional job was with a non-profit in Tacoma. When she was told that they needed to cut her position, Karen began studying medical transcription, and finished highest in her class. She now works from home, can set her own hours, and is always available to take care of the second love of her life, Angel, a Doberman rescue. Karen’s first love is her husband, who is a firefighter, and an expert in classic Chevy truck restoration.

Karen’s favorite musical group is The Beatles. Her mother listened to the Beatles a great deal while Karen was in utero, and the iconic group remains a favorite to this day, although Karen enjoys many types of music. Her favorite music to perform is musical theatre; she feels most comfortable on stage portraying a character. A recent Sonoro concert featured Karen as Monty Python’s Lady of the Lake, and may this author tell you, it was a wonderful performance!

Karen has taught herself to read music; the note tags on her piano keyboard attest to this fact. She works very hard on her music, and although she will most likely deny it, is one of the strongest singers in the group. Her other hobbies include taking care of her chickens, her dobie Angel, running, dog training, and anything with animals.

Other favorites:

Color:                               Pink, “anything pink, and has been since before it became popular.”

Season:                            Summer

Animal:                            Dog

Food:                                Coconut

Musical instrument: Harp

Written by: lone_arranger