by Roving Reporter Marcia M.
This Second Sunday Concert was amazing! Music Director Ron Jessee introduced our very own Erin Vanderhyde. There was an overwhelming response from the audience. He told us Erin has been with us for 8 years. “We’ve had the opportunity to see her graduate from high school and college, and become a professional musical theatre entertainer.”
Erin then introduced us to her friends: Singers Alex Lee, Megan Mattix, and Chris Gross and Pianist Rodney Girvin. Rodney was her accompanist, who most of us know as he has participated in more than one Second Sunday Concert and used to accompany our choir on the piano.
Erin opened the program talking about her musical family. All of a sudden, there was a song coming from the audience. Yvonne, Erin’s sister and former member of our choir, was singing. She moved up to the stage and finished her song. The audience just went crazy with appreciation.
As Erin and her friends sang to us, she told us about her journey through performing arts to become the talented person she is today. Each song she and/or her friends sang told the story of her journey as she figured out what she was going to do for a living. At first she didn’t think it was going to be in music. One teacher convinced her to try out for the music department. “I wasn’t sure I’d be accepted. I loved music, but didn’t feel I had what it would take to make that my career.” She was accepted and assigned to classical music. She studied classical music but eventually changed her major to Musical Theatre. Guess what? That is her career today… and, a successful one.
She sang us a bunch of solos and some duets with her friends. Her friends also sang solos and duets. She even sang one song with the three of them. All were accompanied by Rodney and helped tell her story.
She told us, “People who believed in me led me to believe in myself. I built most of my confidence my last 2 years at SDSU from the teachers who believed in me and even from those who didn’t. I was finally able to answer the question, ‘What are you doing with your life?’ I was born to be in musical theater. I am now traveling with Freedom Riders and will soon be in New York to perform in the New York Musical Festival.”
She then played a piano solo for us. She told us, “Rodney made me do this. He taught me to play the piano.” Rodney had obviously done a great job teaching her and it was clear he was proud of her from where he was sitting. Turns out she played a song she wrote herself. Wow!!
At the end of her concert, she got a standing ovation. She is amazingly talented and certainly entertained us with her story and her music.
On our way out, Vicki T. and I shared how we much we loved the concert. Like how special we felt being part of the full the sanctuary enjoying this special concert. She told me, “I can testify to how wonderful Erin and her friends were. We are in the middle of a sermon series following the story of Les Misérables, in which is found the phrase ‘music of the people’. Erin performed music of the people about herself for us.” We agreed we were very happy we attended this concert. All of the Second Sunday Concerts have been great. This one was extra special.