Alumni

Vivian Ho
As a member of MSC, I sang starting in third grade up to the year of my high school graduation. Ten years in MSC taught me the art of lifting my voice up for things I stand for. I gained a sense of discipline, discovered the collective power of working towards a common goal, and found a family. It was not until I left MSC that I truly realized how a choir like MSC, with its high level of musical ability and collaboration, is hard to find. I am simply thankful for all of the memories and moments with MSC.
After my time with Mobile’s Singing Children, I completed my B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University with a concentration in Global Health and Development. I continued my love for music and sang in an an all female a cappella group for three years beginning as a soprano, moving to bass, and stayed as the beatboxer. After graduation, I conducted public health research in Uganda as a Fulbright fellow and spent some time in East Africa working on social entrepreneurship, design, sexual and reproductive health issues, and community empowerment. Currently, I am biking across the country teaching creative writing and STEM workshops in rural America, my last big adventure before starting medical school at Stanford in the fall.
Hannah Spalding
When I was in 8th grade, my family and I moved to Mobile, Alabama. Mobile’s Singing Children played a big role in helping me feel connected and included in a new place, with a terrific group of talented and driven singers. For me, Mobile’s Singing Children gave me a place where I could be myself and enjoy the experience that music gives me. It taught me discipline in learning to do my part in a group setting and pushed me to work harder to become a better performer. Most importantly, I gained a family through MSC who still supports me and urges me to continue to follow my dreams!
 
After graduating from high school and becoming an alumni of Mobile’s Singing Children, I attended Auburn University, where I graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Through out college, I was able to use the skills I gained from MSC to continue being a hard worker and a disciplined singer and performer. I am currently going into my second year of working for Merry-Go-Round Youth Theatre in Central New York, where I tour around to schools across central New York and perform for children from kindergarten to high school. As an actor, I am never sure where my next adventure will take me, but I am enjoying the ride and loving the experience!
Ben Hightower

When I joined Encore, Mobile Singing Children’s smaller high school group, I was nervous. I wondered if I sang well enough, or if I would fit in with the other trained, older musicians (I was in 7th grade at the time). I was intimidated because I’d have to read sheet music while singing, which I no experience doing.  Hilariously, my mom later told me she waited outside during my first practice, in case I was picked on by the older kids… Despite my shoulder-length, probably straightened hair, I was not bullied even a little.
 
After my first few weeks in the group, I knew I had found my niche. The singing was difficult, and the sheet music challenging but the director, Mrs. Hoitt, along with the other students were patient with me. They helped me understand how to read music, how to make it sound clear, but more importantly, how to express myself creatively in the process. During my six years in MSC, our group sang at many cool events and places: concerts at Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, recording workshops at Disney World, Dickens-themed Christmas parties downtown, and (a personal favorite) a selection of songs from Les Miserables where I sang the parts of Jean ValjeanI learned a great deal about music. I expanded my horizons and challenged myself through performance. What I did NOT expect, however, was the life-long friendships I’d make in the process. It may sound cheesy, but at MSC I made some of my most special and fundamental friendships I’ve ever had. The people there were wonderful, diverse, and all psyched about music- that’s why the group was so special.
 
After high school, I went to the United States Air Force Academy, where I thought my journey with music would be at a standstill (the military doesn’t necessarily “prioritize” the arts, which is appropriate). I was frustrated because I knew God sent me to the Academy, but also was confident music was part of my calling. I heard on campus there was a small a cappella group called “In the Stairwell”. I gave it a shot, and made it! For three years we sang at small events until we were recruited to sing on the NBC show “America’s Got Talent”. It was on this show that I was able to work with professional music producers in LA, meet celebrities, and sing solos in front of 15 million people, four times. When I joined the military, I thought music was over for me, but I see now God had different plans. 
 
When I graduated from the Academy and commissioned as a second lieutenant, I received a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue a Masters of European Studies at University of Leuven, near Brussels, Belgium. I spent a year in Belgium, studying what I love, with the people that I love. During that time, I was able to write a bit of music as well as perform at a variety of events, including at the European Union’s Prayer Breakfast and in a castle for the Prince and Princess of Merode. Then, the following summer I had the opportunity to spend a month in the country of Senegal in West Africa as an immersion in the language and culture. It was there I got to experience Senegalese jazz music in some of the city’s boisterous night clubs. 
 
Now, I’m currently training as an Intelligence Officer in the state of Texas. Although music opportunities are sparse here, I still find opportunities to sing. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my short 24 years is that music can, and will, follow you anywhere.  Thanks to MSC for being part of my journey with music.
 
 





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