VOICEMAIL NEWSLETTER 12/31/23
2023 Wrap UP
As we come to the close of 2023 I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for a wonderful year! There were so many bright moments making 2023 extra special. Here are a few highlights.
In April of this year we had our second Spring Fling with Strings for the Narada Michael Walden Foundation at the Throckmorton theater featuring several of my students performing with a pro band including Narada on drums and a symphony orchestra. I had the pleasure of working with my students & the other singers to prepare them for ensemble singing/performing, as well as their featured solo performances. Bravo to all the performers!
Spring Fling video https://youtu.be/EZdVZvtOtmU?si=l342cJB93JCmTmnN
The Narada Michael Walden Foundation's 26th annual Holiday Jam featuring the great Lisa Fischer (Rolling Stones, Tina Turner), was held on Dec. 16 at 142 Throckmorton in Mill Valley, featuring several of my incredibly talented students. Congratulations to Makena McComb and Kat Stone on their Best Duet award! This high energy, heartfelt holiday show features many talented kids throughout the Bay Area.
This year a portion of the proceeds and your generous donations will help the children of Lahaina, Maui.
Anna Harrell, Charly Kerr and Bella Kraus put on a stellar concert during Sweetwater's Sunday Brunch in March. They performed their outstanding original songs to a full house. The girls also performed at a fabulous house concert in Berkeley hosted by producer Jim Greer.
Singer/Songwriter Anna Harrell played the Sweetwater stage at the Mill Valley Music Festival, and released a beautiful, original song for the PNOC Foundation titled "Night Light" you can listen and donate to PNOC by purchasing this beautiful song written by Anna and produced by Jim Greer.
My long time student Charly Kerr released her beautiful, original song “Oranges” masterfully produced by Renee Harcourt (Blame Sally, Dear John, Love Renee) in June of this year. Charly is currently wrapping up production on her next single “Bluebird” also produced by Renee. Release date to be announced soon!
Congratulations to my student Kat Stone for releasing her original song "Neon Sign" produced by Jim Greer and is wrapping up her next hot single “Up In Flames” in 2024.
You can listen to Charly & Kat's music on all streaming platforms.
I had the absolute pleasure of co-writing songs and producing vocals with my adult student, the incomparable Carmen Maria with producer Jim Greer. I can't wait to share it with you in the new year. Carmen Maria is a multi talented artist, actress, pro ice skater and entrepreneur. This project was one of my favorites of the year. More to come soon!
My long time student Dylan Webb recorded a live performance with their Father Paul Webb for "Jam in the Van" in Las Vegas in May. This clip features an original song titled "Made of Clay" written for Dylan by pro singer/songwriter Holly Davidson: https://youtu.be/fDEeOciFWto?si=6IhEdcOAPfJW6vBb Dylan has a killer voice and stage presence, and has been performing weekly for the past couple of years in Bend Oregon at a popular wine bar developing a strong, loyal following.
I had the pleasure of singing at their 18th Birthday in Bend which featured Dylan, Paul, and many outstanding local musicians. Dylan will be recording and releasing music in the new year. Stay tuned!
Another long time student Lexi Donovan blew me away with their riveting, powerful performance in Tam High's phenomenal production of War of the Roses. My hats off to Lexi and the entire cast for one of the best plays I have ever attended. Special shout out to my former student Jack Hochschild for his outstanding performances in War of the Roses and in Marin Theater Company's production of Dunsmuir.
Special shout out to my friend of many years, an incredible bass player, songwriter and educator, Angeline Saris for hiring me to coach the singers in her Foundations of Music Performance class at Marin Academy. I've been a guest teacher at MA for the past 3 years. Thank you Angeline!
Check out Angeline's original song and music video "Come Undone" Angie's bass solo is fire!
I love working with all of you and look forward to continuing to teach, mentor and create opportunities for my students to record and perform in the new year.
Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed new year.
With love and gratitude,
2021 NEW BEGINNINGS
As I sit at my desk in my home office in Marin County, CA, the trees are sprouting new buds as the flowers make their Spring debut. Spring wakes us up from our Winter slumber. As the days become longer and we begin to take steps to return to "life as we knew it," I am aware that in order for us to resume our "normal" lives out of quarantine we must be willing to take an honest look at how we are going to re-enter society.
I had heard the term "re-entry" over the years from friends who had visited India and Nepal, as well as those who attended Burning Man. My re entry experience came in 2001 when I trekked the Annapurna Circuit with my bf Michaela Wung. We spent six life changing weeks in Nepal. It was my first trip to that part of the world. It was one of the most transformational experiences of my life along with moving from Maine to California 28 years ago, the unexpected passing of my beloved Mother, participating in a Year To Live practice based on Steven Levine's work with hospice patients, going through Breast Cancer twice, and raising a child.
Coming home after six weeks in Nepal I became acutely aware of how different life was in the U.S. vs Nepal. In Nepal life was simpler, especially on the trek. Hard as hell, but simpler. No trappings, only you and the ground beneath your feet and the majestic beauty of the Himalayas. The three weeks we spent trekking revealed so much to me, not the least of which how strong I was physically and mentally, and how many things I wanted to let go of once I returned to California. As I share this with you I can remember how it felt to liberate myself from all the stuff I had been burdened with in my then 38 years, especially other people's expectations. Can I get an Amen!
Change is not inherently easy for any of us. We tend to resist change and embrace the familiar. 2020 was a year that forced change on the world. A change that none of us could have predicted. Have you looked at photos from the end of 2019 or January 0f 2020? We were unaware of what we were about to experience. Sometimes change is forced upon us and sometimes it manifests by our intentions or by necessity. However it manifests we are given the opportunity to grow.
Now is the time to assess the things that no longer serve us. To let go of the baggage we have been dragging behind us for too long and to sit quietly and listen to our most sacred inner voice, the voice that has the answers to what matters most to us. It takes courage to listen to that voice. I hope that each of us will not rush back into the world coming out of our quarantine, and instead take time to do so intentionally and with humility and grace. I hope too that each of us will seek out ways in which we can be more authentic in our lives and how we can be of service. I know these are the questions I have been sitting with. How can I use my life in addition to my teaching voice and performing to help create a better world?
I would love to hear from you. What has the past year revealed to you? How do you plan to be of service for the greater good?
Life is a precious gift. May we appreciate every breath.
Share your gifts
I don't know about you, but for me, being in nature, whether it's the ocean or the mountains, brings me so much joy! I feel better when I am hiking, walking the beach or exploring new places. It feeds my soul. If I go even a couple of days without connecting to nature, I start to feel anxious. The same is true when I take breaks from singing. Having been a singer for many years, (really all my life), I get the same feeling I do from being in nature... it's natural, nurturing, and where my spirit feels 100% aligned.
When I was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer in January of 2014, I was singing with Danny Click and the Hell Yeah's, a killer, original Americana band based in Marin County, CA. I LOVE this band. I was singing with people I had known for many years, and loving the songs Danny wrote. Our voices sounded amazing together and singing backing vocals on his songs with my other long-time dear friend Don Bassey, was definitely a highlight of my career.
When you get a diagnosis such as Breast Cancer, life comes into sharp focus. For me, it was both a blessing and one of the worst experiences medically I have ever had. Suffice it to say, I learned A LOT, and would do things a little differently now. When you know better, you do better. That said, I did pretty damn well all things considered.
I took a break while in treatment from performing. The first break in many years. And initially it felt good to focus on my healing and to allow my body to recover. I returned to performing only a week after my final round of chemo, bald head covered in a beautiful scarf, signing at one of Rancho Nicasio's famous BBQ gigs in August of 2015 with Danny Click and the Hell Yeah's. I was excited, and also curious if I would have my voice. Turns out I did. I was touched by everyone's love and support, but I wasn't ready to return to gigging full time. As I recall, I did a few gigs here and there before I decided to take a break altogether. I wanted to spend the time I would have been gigging with my young Daughter, time I would never get back. I am so glad that I made that choice.
In October of that same year, 2015, I performed for one of my all time favorite charities "Wine Women and Song", Founded by my dear friend Susan Zelinksy, to raise money and awareness for Breast Cancer. I have been performing with WW&S since 2009. This year will be their 20th!
I also performed for another local Breast Cancer organization "To Celebrate Life" in 2015. Both of those events were near and dear to my heart, and reminded me of why I loved singing in the first place, to connect soul to soul, to be of service, to have that special connection to the divine. Throughout my career, I have performed for charities and non-profits such as Bread and Roses, The Narada Michael Walden Foundation and more.
In December of 2016, I had a recurrence of Breast Cancer and again, had to put life on hold to heal from yet another surgery. This time however, I did not do any other treatment. 2017 Was a big year for healing and for re-grouping. I joined a fabulous on-line community of women called "Origin" founded and created by Kate Northrup, who developed this business to support women who are entrepreneurs and mothers. I don't know where I would be without Origin. It gave me the tools and the spark I needed to start fresh, and focus my energies on my business as a vocal coach. I have been teaching voice for ten years, and have been blessed to have a music studio and amazing students, all by referral and word of mouth. I have a desire to offer more than private voice lessons, so I joined Marie Forleo's B-School on 2/26/18, Twenty five years to the day I took my "leap of faith" moving from Maine to California! Time yet again to re-ignite, create, and SHINE!
I look forward to the unfolding, the discovery, creativity, and yes, the work. Change requires focus, discipline and consistency. I have been self-employed for nearly all of the 25 years I have lived here in the Bay Area, and I am ready to ramp things up to create more of what makes my soul leap with joy!!
Before I forget, please sign up on my mailing list to receive updates about performances, workshops, and my FREE Monthly Vocal Tip! Sign up links are below and on my home page and other pages here on my website.
What are you passionate about? What have you taken a break from, or are excited about creating this year. Email me at Lynn.firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you.
Shine on you crazy diamond!