A singer who found herself

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It’s almost like music found her. Marjorie Shieman smiles as she recalls her path from a freshman at Lincoln, planning to be a pediatrician to soloist for the school choir, aiming for a career as an opera singer.

Initially, she admits, she was  “not a fan of music.”

That’s the reason she urges others to embrace new experiences. A friend coaxed her to take choir as her elective. Shieman gathered it would be an easy course, so she signed up.

Then she discovered her voice. So did her teacher, Bethany Goshorn-Schweitzer, who nurtured and encouraged  Shieman hidden gift.

Now Shieman along with the rest of the choir are busy rehearsing for the holiday concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday. She took time to talk to The Cardinal Times about finding herself in music.

What was the first song you heard?

It’s hard to know, because we were all so young. The first one I heard and remember hearing was, my mom and dad singing, “All The Little Horses.”

What or who inspired you to sing?

The person who inspired me to sing was (choir teacher) Bethany Goshorn-Schweitzer. Freshman year I joined choir, because my friend Ashley Smith was like, “Hey, you have a second period you want to fill, then you should come join, come sing. It’s a lot of fun- the teacher is very nice. “ I didn’t like singing, but it seemed like an easy A , so I said ‘OK, let’s try it out.’ I dropped it in the middle of my sophomore year

Who really inspired me to keep singing was Bethany. She had a lot of faith in me and could see where my potential was going.

What career opportunities are you open to?

So I am hoping to go into professional singing. By that I mean opera and choral music.If  that does not work out, I’ll become a choral music educator (a choir teacher). My main goal is to go into vocal performance as a career in itself.

Are there any other voices in your family?

My brother, Andrew,  he’s a freshman this year. He’s been singing with me in (the Pacific Youth Choir) and he’s been also singing since seventh grade and in the Cardinal varsity choir this year. My mom did a little of music theater in high school. My sister did some choir at the end of high and early in college.

After school ends, what then?

I am hoping to go for a bachelor’s in vocal performance and hopefully a master’s in music education with the specificity in choral education.

What music do you like?

I like basically everything. I listen to whatever is on the radio at the time. I do like rhythm and blues. I also listen to opera and a lot of choral music.

You were also the president of the chess club?

Yeah, co-president of the chess club. I’m secretary this year. I do a lot of other Lincoln activities. Used to be on student council for a couple of years and I do Lincoln drama and other performances.

Singers often strain their voices, have you ever tried to prevent that?

I also had an issue with this earlier in the year. If you do sing on a bad voice –- with laryngitis or a strained voice – you can get vocal nodes. And those are basically a dissention to your voice. – You have to get them surgically removed. There are basically callouses on your vocal chords. – You are not able to hit higher notes, and it’s painful to sing. To avoid that, make sure to warm up before you start singing. Stretch your voice, stretch your range. Don’t sing if you’re too sick. If it hurts to sing, just stop.