By Kami Mastin
Atlanta Women’s Chorus Membership President
Music has always been a central part of my life. As a child, I took piano lessons, sang in the church choir, and played in the school band. In high school, I found my niche in the chorus. I joined everything I could — show choir, honor chorus, and school musicals. I took voice lessons, attended All-State Chorus, went to Governor’s Honors Program in voice, and eventually decided to pursue music education in college.
I loved music and I loved working with kids — why not share the gift of music with others? Music brought so much joy to my life that I wanted others to experience the same connection and community.
At the University of Georgia, I majored in voice and sang in Women’s Glee Club, Concert Choir, and Noteworthy (a women’s a cappella group). In Noteworthy, my true love of women’s voices developed, and I learned how deeply a team of voices can connect in music and in friendship.
After college, I sang with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus for two years and taught elementary music for three years, middle school chorus for four years, and high school chorus for five years. For the past three years, I’ve been a school counselor. Away from the choral classroom, I missed singing and making music as a daily part of my life.
When the Atlanta Women’s Chorus Project formed last spring, I leapt at the chance to join an amazing new musical venture featuring women’s voices. I began rehearsals a bit timid — it had been years since I’d been a singer in the chorus! While I enjoyed it, I was also scared of making mistakes and messing things up for the wonderful singers around me.
I did make some mistakes. But I circled them and remembered not to make them again. And I grew. I connected with the deep love of music that had become hidden within me. I remembered what it was like to feel such a profound connection. I fell in love with singing all over again.
The project was a huge success, and the Atlanta Women’s Chorus launched in fall 2013. Dr. Melissa Arasi, our fantastically talented leader, helped organize our chorus with leadership roles, and I was honored to accept the nomination and position of president of our inaugural season! I carefully considered the nomination because I knew it would be a big commitment of time and energy. Ultimately, I decided to commit to a leadership role so I could share my enthusiasm and love of singing with my fellow singers and support Dr. Arasi’s gifted musical work.
I love being a part of Atlanta Women’s Chorus because it’s a safe place to sing for all women, regardless of the divisive factors that exist outside our group. When we come together to sing, we make music as women who accept each other as we are. Our connection surpasses our differences; it binds us and uplifts us. These women are not only my fellow singers — they are my friends.