ALUMNI CORNER: ALLISON ANNICK
September 27, 2022
What Years Were You In LACC?
2008|09 – 2015|16
In Which Choirs Did You Participate?
Apprentice Choir, Intermediate Choir, Concert Choir, Chamber Singers
Where Are You Living These Days? What Do You Do?
I live in Washington, DC and work in Maryland as a 1st Lieutenant in the US Marine Corps.
How Did You First Get Involved With LACC?
My [older] brother and sister were in LACC before I was, so I was able to see them early on in LACC. My brother, in particular, was in LACC until he aged out of Concert Choir (just before the creation of YME), so I got to see him really enjoy his time with LACC and in performances such as Carmen and Pagliacci, which was amazing. My parents made sure music was always a part of our lives, and from a young age, I knew I wanted to be a part of LACC, too.
What is a favorite memory, tour, or concert experience with LACC?
The South Africa tour was incredible in its entirety. Music is such a part of the culture that it was so special traveling there. The tour group was a fantastic collection of people, many of whom are still my close friends. Traveling for three weeks with a bunch of your best friends is just amazing. Then throw the music and culture of South Africa into the mix, and it was beyond incredible.
How did LACC help prepare you for your current career as a 1st Lieutenant and Cyberspace Officer with the United States Marine Corps?
Having spent some time in the Marine Corps, it honestly felt like LACC was sometimes harder than the military—like sitting still all the way through Mahler’s III as a kid. Then there were other little things like understanding how to stay focused, how to work as a team, when it’s your time to shine, and when it’s time to let others shine. We talked about all of those things.
I think the discipline we learned as choristers really helped prepare me for this career, and also the humility. I remember once at rehearsal, the alto section sang their part and messed up the phrasing a bit. Some of the sopranos laughed at the mistake, and the rehearsal was quickly stopped. We were immediately reminded: “We don’t make fun of people for trying.” We were a team and that was always abundantly clear. Understanding that team mentality has been incredibly important for me in my current career, and it was essential during my time in college at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.
Are You Still Singing? What Else Are You Up to Now?
Through college, I sang with the United States Naval Academy Gospel Choir and the Women’s Glee Club. I graduated during COVID (go Class of ’20!!) and the isolation helped me realize how much I missed singing and needed it in my life.
When I moved to Washington, DC, I auditioned for The Washington Chorus, and I’ve been singing with them since. We rehearse weekly, and with them, I’ve had the chance to perform at [The Music Center at] Strathmore, The Kennedy Center, and Wolf Trap. There’s nothing quite like choir friends!
Do you have any advice for current LACC choristers?
I don’t know that I’m at the point yet where I’m qualified to give life advice! But I guess I would say live as true to yourself as possible and trust your friends and choir-mates with your whole self. LACC was one of the places growing up where I was most myself. And looking back, I credit LACC and the people in the choir who loved me for me with helping me grow my confidence and find my love for myself. Trust your friends with all of you.
What’s your favorite song?
“Sail Away” feels like a cop out, but I have a lot of really wonderful memories associated with it.
“Amavolovolo” was effectively the South Africa tour anthem, and it’s close to my heart for the reasons I mentioned before.
How has your experience as a performer prepared you for where you are now?
In a couple of ways, especially performing with LACC. Coming up in the choirs, the standard we were held to was sometimes higher than the adults we performed with. I think learning how to follow—well, when to lead and when to follow—and how to be responsive was really important for me.
I also really appreciated the emphasis not just on learning the music, but why the music was important. The performance was always better when we were able to understand more than just the song.
We would learn about the background and history of a lot of what we performed, and I think anything, any book, culture, song, or story is more beautiful when you can understand not just the surface, but the deeper meaning of it. I think that helped me better participate in life later on.
What does LACC mean to you?
LACC was where I was most myself growing up. So, to that end, it meant love and support and vulnerability and understanding the power of a universal language. I don’t think we get see that regularly in our world today. LACC taught me that you can connect with anybody through music, and I’m a better person for understanding that you can always find a way to connect with someone.
Do You Have Anything Else to Add?
I’m so grateful for everyone who gave their time to the organization. Mrs. T (Ann Tomlinson) is such a wonderful role model, and she has given so much to LACC and to the kids. She was such a role model to us – and especially to the girls and young women. She helped me learn that you can be strong, outspoken, and powerful as a women in our world. That was incredibly valuable to me.
I’m incredibly grateful to her, and to everyone else—my peers and the conductors—who made the organization what it was, and taught me the skills that allow me to have the gift of singing in a choir today.