Musical career major change — Q&A

Heather Vest, director of the Eastern New Mexico Children’s Choir, has been gearing up for a new season, which will start rehearsal today.

Vest founded the choir in 2010.

“This year the kids will be part of the opera of ‘Hansel and Gretel’ with parts in the opera,” Vest said.

In high school in Indianapolis, Ind., Vest was in choir and loved to sing, but when she went to college her major was journalism.

“I remember I was helping my roommate out with her music theory homework and I was like ,‘Why am I not learning this?’” Vest said.

Vest is married to Jason Vest, a professor of music at ENMU, and they have three sons and a daughter.

Rehearsal and registration for the choir is today at 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the ENMU’s music building and is open to third- through eighth-grade students.

What is the most rewarding thing about directing a children’s choir?

Hands down would have to be seeing the kids coming together as a choir and gaining self-confidence in their ability. Some kids come in so shy and not wanting to sing loud, but then seeing them belt it out a few week later coming out of their shell is so rewarding.

What has been the most difficult challenge when directing a children’s choir?

Trying to get the kids to realize their potential. It is hard to get the kids to realize they can sing and come together as a choir. They come into the choir as individuals, but then they come out as a team.

What is you favorite genre of music?

That is hard question. It is like asking a librarian what their favorite book is. I really do not have a favorite genre because I would just get bored listening to the same type of music over and over again.

Where did you meet your husband?

We met at high school choir, so it was a high school musical kind of story. He was the lead of the play “Guy and Dolls,” and he became my best friend and I have known him since I was 15.

What are you most excited about this year directing?

I am really excited for the collaboration with ENMU Opera. The kids will be making memories that will last forever. Not only will they be learning songs for the it, they will also be learning the process of putting a production together.

How is it to direct your own two kids on the choir?

There are some pros and cons to it. I sometimes throw some “mom looks” in the middle of rehearsal at my kids.

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