Last month, we introduced a new newsletter feature called ‘Musician Spotlight’ to give you the opportunity to learn more about the musicians in our midst. This month we’re pleased to have Nancy DeLux sharing her story. Interested in being featured? Let me know and I’ll make sure Perry gets the word so he can contact you. In the meantime, please enjoy learning more about Nancy and her musical background!
– Kaarin (email@example.com)
I have been an alto in our choir for over fifteen years, and it seems that I am carrying on a family tradition. A cousin discovered a late 1800’s newspaper article stating my paternal grandmother was also an alto in her Universalist choir in Herkimer, New York.
I grew up in the small town of Ilion in central New York where I lived with my parents, sister, and my maternal grandmother. After teaching myself the very basics of the piano, my grandmother decided to pay for lessons. However, singing was not my forte, and as a fifth grader I was told by my teacher that I sung “through my nose”. I was not easily discouraged and later discovered a love of choral singing. In high school I was selected to be an alto in a young women’s group called the Eleven Belles. I guess I had left my “nose singing” in grade school. I continued singing in college, (Buffalo State), where we sang in the chorus for “Carmen” (in French-whew!) with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. It was quite a challenge but an amazing experience.
After I married, we lived wherever the Marine Corps transferred us until in 1981 when we finally settled in Charlotte with our children, Shelley and Christopher. We were all ready to put down roots.
I sang in choruses wherever we moved, but I found my true love when I discovered the Queen Charlotte Sweet Adelines (SA) Women’s Barbershop Chorus. I sang as a baritone for 14 years, and we competed on the SA international stage in Indianapolis, New Orleans, Kansas City and Detroit. Barbershop harmony may not appeal to everyone but singing in such close harmony was a joy for me. And did I mention there were costumes and choreography, too? I was fortunate to have found a wonderful, caring community of women who shared the love of 4-part, a capella singing and loved one another as well. During this time, I substitute taught, earned an associate degree as a paralegal, and was employed by United Family Services as a credit counselor for nine years before retiring. Over the years I have learned to sail and ski and developed interests in gardening, genealogy, creating with stained glass, and dabbling with other musical instruments which brings me back to our choir.
Our members, who come from varying musical experiences, are also a wonderful and caring community and share a love of singing. We have been so fortunate to be directed by Dr. Carl DuPont and now Kaarin Record Leach because singing is a craft, and we never stop learning and improving. They have been wonderful teachers.
During this difficult time, I miss meeting and singing together but I know the time will come when we will be back making music together. Music will help all of us through this pandemic, so crank up your favorite playlist and listen to what uplifts you! I hope to be singing for and with everyone soon!