A Tale of Two Encouragers

The Scene: 5th Grade

The Characters: A music teacher, a mom, and an insecure 10 year old

The Setting: Small town Virginia, 1970s

In fifth grade, a very exciting and unusual thing occurred. Our young, beautiful music teacher announced that she was having auditions for a big musical, “Oklahoma,” by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Yes, the original Broadway version of the musical, edited of course for 5th grade appropriateness. Live music and everything.

We were all beside ourselves with excitement and nervousness. I went home and announced the news to my mom after school. She was a wonderful musician herself, and promptly ordered the “Oklahoma” album so that I could learn and practice the songs to get ready for the auditions. She calmed my many anxieties and steadily encouraged me that I could do this.

Auditions came and went, and lo and behold…..Ado Annie came my way. After a brief disappointment that I didn’t get Laurey (which, by the way, was much too high for my singing voice and not right for me), I dived into the role and thrived under my music teacher’s encouragement and direction.

Somehow, that group of untrained, untried fifth graders pulled off the musical, and we gained confidence and memories that would last a lifetime.

So thank you, Mom. Thank you, Debbie Greeley. You made a huge difference with your love and encouragement. Love, Lisa

P.S. If any of you reading happen to know this song, it will do wonders for your mood to sing along with it this morning. By the end, you will be singing your head off and loving it! 🙂

P.S.S. If any of you would like to share stories of someone who encouraged you along the way, I would love to hear them in the comments below. 🙂

P.S.S.S. Cathy Liles Sweeney….you better be singing along! LOL

5 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Encouragers

  1. What an unexpected and incredibly wonderful uplift you gave this mom of that special fifth grader today!! It has been so long since I relived that AMAZING production that my good friend, Debbie Greeley, pulled off so miraculously with a bunch of fifth graders! INCREDIBLE!!! I must go and find my phots album of pictures from that special production so I can actually relive every special moment!!! Thank you Debbie, for your inspiration and your love of those young people that made this happen! Thanks for the memory, Lisa!! It has made my day!!

  2. Lisa, you were A Wonderful Ado Annie!! Sassy and perky and pretty! Such great memories for all of us. Remember the gun that didn’t go off and Curly yelled “bang”? And the scenery of mountains when Oklahoma doesn’t even have mountains! O well, I was young. You have really touched me by remembering that play. I’m humbled that it meant so much to you. Such a fun start for a supremely talented young lady in a lifetime of rich musical work. Only God could have made this the spark for an amazing Christian artist like you, who has touched SO many with your work. And will continue to. Thank you for this walk down memory lane today.

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