My current job description is that of a Sunday soloist at Trinity United Methodist Church. I lead worship in hymns, as well as sing solos each Sunday. Occasional nannying also plays a part here and there. Prior to June of this year, I was a Graduate Assistant at the University of Florida while I was attaining my Masters degree in Vocal performance. I will now pursue a Doctorate degree in Vocal performance at Indiana University this fall, 2017. Go Hoosiers!
I have had the pleasure of performing in various venues and different locations since graduating from PBA. While I was a student at PBA, I had the professional experience and honor of performing at The Breakers for the "Who's Who Amongst Women." I have also sung for the mayor of South Palm Beach. During my first year at UF, (Go Gators!) I received the leading lady role in the opera, La Bohème. I played the part of Mimi. Professionally, things really began to take off from there. I have played principal roles in the opera Carmen, Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute, and many more! I was invited to Italy last summer to sing the role of the First Lady in Mozart's "The Magic Flute." It was the experience of a lifetime! I spent a month in Italy, and while there, I was able to audition and network with talent agencies, as well as artistic directors of various Opera houses.
I wouldn't really say that there's one profound thing that I wish I would have known back then. It's mainly second nature knowledge. I often think about the value of time, more discipline... things of that nature.
"PBA is where I received my salvation, so at its core, this university will ALWAYS be in my heart."
PBA prepared me in a lot of ways. I was spiritually, physically and mentally prepared in every aspect of my tenure there. PBA was where I received my salvation, so at its core, this university will ALWAYS be in my heart. Although I am a Pastors kid, I did not start seeking the Lord until I came to PBA. I experienced a lot of self-growth at PBA. I came into this university very immature, risky, and unafraid of anything! After coming to Christ, I was literally changed from the inside out... in every aspect of my life! We had a music major Bible study that I attended, as well as a "Southside Girls Bible Study."
I founded the annual "Day of Thanks" for the maintenance staff at Palm Beach Atlantic. The first two years, Denny's catered, and the third year, President Fleming was able to get Sailfish dining to cater it. We held this event each year, during the first week of December, before finals week. I was able to gather my friends from the music building to take care of Christmas carols, solos, and the like. Pastor Bernie would do the blessing of the food each year, often translating it for the staff too!
These acts are ways that PBA has prepared me for the real world—selflessness being the foundation. Being at this university allowed me to get ready for what was next on my journey.
There's a scripture and a saying that I would like to leave with current PBA students and new alumni. The scripture is 1Cor. 15:58. It reads, "Be ye steadfast, unmovable, ALWAYS abounding in the works of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain." Also-- "Always know that your gift will make room for you. Coming straight out of college is a scary thing. Some of us have debt, while others don't. Either way, it's a frightening thing, but be encouraged. The gift that God has blessed you with will ALWAYS make room for you. He will always open doors for you. Don't ever feel like you have to compete with this person, or that person."
Mentors in my profession consist of my previous voice teacher from PBA, Marilyn Mims, and Dr. Elizabeth Graham, my voice teacher at UF. These women have welcomed me into their homes on numerous occasions, helped me through tough times, encouraged me and added healthy criticism when it was necessary. These are also retired professionals of the opera world, so I was able to talk about things pertaining to this profession, knowing that they understood. Both Mims and Graham have traveled the world singing in the Sydney opera house, La Scala, and other famous opera houses. They know all about the business, so it helps! We are still very close to this day. I am truly thankful for them and the leadership that they possess.
Spotlight posted in September 2017. For current updates from Timeelah, visit her Facebook page.