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Meet Allison Tyler!
Allison (Allie) Tyler is in her second season with Choral Arts Initiative and sings in the soprano section.
So, tells us more about you!
I was one of those odd children whose parents were musicians and would yell from the kitchen “B flat, not B natural!” when I was practicing the piano. At the time, I really didn’t understand how lucky I was to grow up with music; in fact, I sort of resented it! But having my mom as my accompanist and my dad as my number one fan, I feel very blessed to have had such a nurturing support group. From playing piano and violin to high school marching band (all four years - yep - I’m a band geek) and choir the “Madrigals,” I really don’t know any other life besides a musical one. I’m grateful!
What is your most marked characteristic?
Hmm. How other people view of me? Or what I think? I would say... I’m characterized predominantly as a blonde by pretty much every person I’ve ever met (ha!). But as far as something “below the surface,” I’d say, I’m a pretty free-willed person. I enjoy life and am overtly expressive about how I feel. Who knows if that’s a good thing... :)
If you could have dinner with any composer (dead or alive), who would it be?
Bach. Hands down. I’d love to hear him talk - I envision him as this spaced out nerdy, brainy, mathematically driven person. Only an off the charts genius can manifest the kind of compositional output that he did.
What does passion mean to you?
Passion is what fuels our inner fires. It’s what makes us feel the most present and full of joy. This can often be mixed up with what is expected of us - by peers, colleagues, teachers, or society in general. Having passion, related to art or not, is the guiltless ability to feel the most alive.
What is your best or most inspiring memory (musical or otherwise)?
It is so incredibly difficult to pick one. But I think my very FIRST inspiring memory was being the lead in my high school’s musical production of A Chorus Line. It was in that moment that I learned what it felt like to touch an audience and be touched personally by music. However, there is absolutely nothing like singing in a choir - a GOOD choir - full of human magnetic energy and unified musicality. My best memories are those singing with the CSUF University Singers - on tours in Europe or at home in California. Those performances literally have brought me to tears; they were genuinely those moments of sublime enlightenment that every person searches for in their life.
When did you begin your musical training? Why do you believe that music education is so important?
I think I “began” at the age of four, though my mom taught me music throughout my childhood so I really can’t remember. Music education is important for a bajillion reasons: it’s an art that correlates both sides of the brain simultaneously (in which most other subjects do not), evokes creativity in a child (in a society with excessive imaginary limits), and most importantly, it sparks confidence! There is nothing better for a child than to feel good doing something and be GOOD at it!
Who or what inspired you to make singing a part of your life?
The first singer I ever heard (and understood as a kid) was Natalie Cole. She didn’t necessarily “inspire” me to sing, but she definitely ignited some sort of musical fire within me. I don’t remember a distinct figure or moment that propelled me to sing as a career, though I grew up listening and mimicking the great pop artists - Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera - and was inspired to sing just like them.
Which author or poet touches you deeply?
I really can’t name one! I’m touched by so many poems and SO many authors. I’ve always been in love with texts of a political or sociological message. American writers and poets - Walt Whitman, Toni Morrison, e.e. cummings - are all wonderful. But who can pick just one?
Outside of music, what brings you great joy?
Nothing! Ha - just kidding... kind of. I really enjoy yoga, hiking, running, reading, writing, and playing with my dog. Being with people always makes me happy (cheesy, I know) or just having time to meditate and learn new things. I’d love to learn to paint! And be a better cook... one day... :)
What achievement(s) are you most proud of at this point in your life?
I’m proud to have been mastering my craft of singing, writing music, and arranging. It’s extremely difficult for musicians and artists of any kind to step out of the artistic world; to recognize that I have spent endless hours on a craft that I love is something to be proud of! I’m excited to be earning a Masters degree next year (something I never thought I’d ever do) and to be living a life in sunny California! I’m one very lucky (and grateful!) girl.
Lorraine Joy Welling