I have been a singer for most of my life, starting in elementary school and progressing through college and beyond. When I was an undergraduate at University of Portland, I sang under the direction of Roger O. Doyle. He was a supportive mentor to me long after graduation, and I continued to sing with him as an adult as well as perform in the Gilbert & Sullivan operas he directed each summer. He was a boisterous man, with a booming laugh who often told singers that he “didn’t want any of that ‘candy-ass junior high’ sound.” He gave me the most challenging solo I’ve ever performed, “Dove sono” from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. I didn’t think I could do it, but ROD pushed me and believed in me wholeheartedly. It is one of the proudest moments in my musical career.
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