I have always drawn a connection between sports and singing.
As a decathlete in college I often found that, with the right focus, one helped the other. Preparing to sing was a lot like preparing for a race, stretching and preparing your entire body to perform. Because we stand in one place for considerable length of time and often move while we sing, in Anúna, you have no choice but to be kinesthetically aware of what is happening on stage and around us at all times.
With this body awareness we find a new level of presence and focus which often translates in the music.
I first met Michael in the winter of 2013, while singing with the Kansas City Chorale. He came to work with us as we prepared a concert of his work. Before leaving, he asked if I’d like to sing with Anúna and my life hasn’t been the same since.
At 12 years old I knew singing was something I needed, rather than wanted, to do. Voice lessons, solo opportunities and choirs continually became a bigger part of my life until that was the focus of everything I did.
My first performance with Anúna wasn’t what I expected at all. I knew the music but it was so different from anything I had ever done. Through the first few years of trying to figure out how I was going to fit in as an American in a group that was perceived as Irish in its ethos, I realized that people were coming to Anúna concerts for something different from what I had thought.
The Anúna audience were coming to belong. People come to Anúna concerts not to passively sit in the audience, but to feel a sense of community as if they are on stage with you. While enjoying the beauty of individual singers, they also wish to connect through the humanity inherent of each voice; the audible initial breath, the ever-changing interpretation of line, the occasional break or crack in tone.
Things they, as the listener, can relate to and draw them inside the art form that is the ensemble.
Now comprised of extraordinary people from all over the world, I'm honored to be apart of the legacy that is Anúna.