My passion in life is to sing.  Singing gives me a sense of peace and happiness.  I was in choir for two years in high school and loved every second of it.  Palm Desert High School Chamber Singers is a wonderful organization and I was lucky enough to make the cut and join them.

As a choir, we traveled and sang in Italy in 2007 and in New York City in 2008.  Italy was gorgeous and the churches echoed our voices beautifully.  That was one week in my life that I will never forget.  Being a small town girl, New York City was really not my cup of tea, but the experience of singing in places like Carnegie Hall will always by in my memories.  I know it’s something to cherish because not many get to perform there.  My choir was like a family to me and I made many lifelong friends while doing what I love, singing.

My father is a wonderful man who was a professional singer in the 1950′s and had over twenty-two gold records.  He is my inspiration.  He could sing in three different octaves and had the voice of an angel.  Sadly he lost his voice to a disorder called Spastic Dysphonia.  This is when involuntary tightening of the voice box (larynx) occurs, causing stress on the vocal chords.  Because of this, he now has a very raspy sort of tone.  He was also tragically hurt by an off duty cop in the midst of his career and never quite got back on his feet.  Singing those angelic notes is no longer in the cards.  Although his “Honey and Smoke”, so my mom calls it, way of singing isn’t the pure uplift he had before, he still sings songs to his forte, and can really make a room glow.

Passion is something my father does best.  He teaches me everyday how to be strong and get past the hard times.  My father never complains about losing what he loved doing, he just figured out a way to do it differently.  He still presses on doing what he loves, and still performs, but in his own creative way.  He talks and laughs with the people about his life and career and sings a few songs he’s written for his raspy tone.   He keeps fire in his passion by writing books about his journey and by telling his audience about his great story.

Singing will always be with me.  Even when my dad is long gone, I will remember him in song. “Keep your right hand high and you a** off the floor” he says.   I think that’s just about the best advice anyone can give.

Katrine Rodgers