CONTRIBUTED BY CHLOE LOCKE
Choirs are, by design, meant to blend the voices of their members together to make a more unified and beautiful sound. While audience members can hear the benefits of this style of musical arrangement, it leaves an interesting challenge to the individual performer: how to stand out.
For sophomore Chloe Locke, this challenge is faced with her dedication to improving and expanding her abilities as a musician.
Locke began taking singing lessons when she was seven years old, and now she is involved in many areas of music, from opera to guitar to the music she writes for herself. Locke said that she likes to have a balance of these very different musical styles in her life.
“I’m mostly a classical singer, but with classical music, it’s harder to put your own emotion into your work; when you’re singing arias it’s not typically ‘expressing yourself as a 16-year-old,’ I will say, but that’s where the writing comes in,” Locke said. “I think why I branched out to doing some more stuff that wasn’t just centered around classical was so that I could have that emotional outlet, but I still have classical because the classical stuff I do is more professional. Writing music, guitar, that’s much more for myself.”
Locke is a soprano, and she has been a part of many choruses and choirs including Voices Boston and now Camerata Choir at the high school. Locke said that having music in her life is very important to her, and it is something that she can always turn to.
“You always have singing. It became a part of my life. If I was stressed about school or something, I could turn to singing. I could be successful in that sense and then not have to worry about other parts of my life that weren’t going as amazing,” Locke said. “I can always run to my piano and play something and not really have to think.”
Music teacher and Director of Choruses, Dr. Michael Driscoll, has been Locke’s teacher for the past two years; last year in Concert Choir and this year in Camerata Choir. Driscoll said that he notices the dedication and passion Locke puts into her music.
“She’s a very good musician. She’s good at reading and hearing music and understanding what is going on. In all of the quizzes that we’ve been doing on that kind of stuff this year she’s been very strong,” Driscoll said.
Voice teacher Emily Siar has worked with Locke on her technique since the summer of 2019. According to Siar, the effort and talent that Locke brings to music make her especially fun to work with.
“She is very dedicated. She’s involved in a lot of musical activities so she’s really open to exploring a lot of genres of music,” Siar said. “She’s really bright, very quick to pick up her music, notes and rhythms, and she’s also quite artistic and musical. She’s really delightful to work with.”
Siar said that Locke has grown a lot as a musician since she started working with her and that she’s gained more skills and versatility in singing.
“In the last two years since we’ve been working together, her voice has grown in size: she has access to higher notes and she also has increased vocal stamina, so being able to sing for longer periods of time. She has also developed as a musician in terms of her languages,” Siar said. “A lot of the time in classical music we have to sing in German, Italian, French, English among other languages. Her language knowledge has improved and her diction with it. Overall, she’s accessing more freedom in both her voice and her artistic endeavors. It’s been really joyful to be a part of that process with her!”
Locke realizes how much she’s improved over the years, and she even tells people to turn off recordings of herself singing from five, six years ago because of how much better she sounds now. Locke said that the biggest way that she has grown as a musician over time is by learning new skills, many of which are useful to her outside of music as well.
“I’ve learned a lot of things about how to deal with auditions and performances, and that’s really centered around music, but you can take those skills into other parts of your life. With auditions, you can take that into when you’re being interviewed for an internship or a job,” Locke said. “You learn how to deal with the stress of having to try out for something, or the stress of having to do a big performance.”
Though she doesn’t want to have a career as a musician, Locke still wants to keep music in her life in the future.
“I still want to have some aspect of music in my life. There’s a lot of things with psychology and music, and music therapy and all these things, so finding a way to incorporate music into my life and my job, even if I’m not necessarily singing, is a big thing for me,” Locke said. “That is a really important part of my life, and an important part of who I am as a person. I feel like it’s a part of me, so I can’t just throw it away.”