I sing because I need to sing. I love making music and sharing it with others. Everyone who is able to listen to music can think of a moment when music caused him or her to have a transcendent experience. These experiences can come from the adrenaline rush that occurs while performing or from truly being touched on an inexplicable level by the power of the music itself. Either way, I live for those moments.
I sing to inspire the next generation through exposure to classical music. I decided at age 15 that I wanted to be an opera singer when I was in the chorus of Carmen with a regional company. The principals in that cast had no idea that they were changing my life by singing in that production. They inspired me simply by performing, and that is what I hope to do. Last year, four of us from Heartland sang opera arias to a room full of middle schoolers. Because we live in a city with no opera company, that performance may have been the first time those students heard a classical singer in person. I hope I inspired even one student to want to look up an aria on YouTube or sing an art song, just the way other singers inspired me.
Simply put, I sing because I love it. I need music to survive, whether I am performing it or listening to it, so I sing to enrich both my life and the lives of audience members.
- Ashlee Bickley McCrory, Alto Heartland Vocal Artist