Making an Impact Goes Both Ways

Sometimes I get emails from the parents of former students asking me to put something together to commemorate their child’s success – usually, graduation from high school or college – because apparently I had made some kind of impact in their lives and it would mean something to them. (I’ve also been to a couple of pretty great college recitals, bat mitzvahs, and weddings as well.) This is always a huge honor for me.

The other day I came across an email I sent back in 2014 to a student who had decided, upon graduating from college with a degree in contemporary commercial music, that what she really wanted to do was to move to Los Angeles and be a comedy writer. Her mom asked me to write her a letter of encouragement to her, which she would be putting in a collection of messages called Life Instruction Book.  This is what I wrote:

Dear Maria:

When I was a little kid, I thought the greatest jobs in the world were:

  1. Comedy Writer
  2. Advertising Copywriter
  3. Singing and Dancing Nanny 

Yes, I was a fan of the Dick Van Dyke Show, Bewitched and Mary Poppins (especially since the star of the latter got to dance with the star of the first one). I am so excited that you are pursuing your dream – even if that dream has changed along the way – but life throws us curveballs sometimes. I hope you’ll keep singing, because, as my teacher always said, “If you have the voice, you have no choice,” but know that I think what you’re doing is terrific and I hope it all works out for you! I am and will always be so proud of having had you as a student.


Very little has changed since my childhood. I still think those are three of the greatest jobs in the world. And I still love Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews.

However, I have transferred my advertising copywriter affection from the late Dick York over to Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm.

Dick York Jon Hamm
(Sorry, Dick)

Maria (the recipient of the above email) is still singing, and she’s doing some writing as well, plus she’s just scored a sweet gig working for Soundcloud. Speaking of Soundcloud, here’s a recording of her covering a Sara Bareilles song, “Dear Hope” (with her brother, composer Dan Waldkirch, at the keyboard). Have a listen:


If you want to hear more (covers and originals) from Maria and Dan, as well as some of their collaborators, check out their Soundcloud page, Strange Battery.

Another one of my more recent students, Olive DeVille, just graduated from the vocal prime program at Carver Center of Arts & Technology, and is headed out to Long Island University toTowson student Olive DeVille begin her BFA in Musical Theatre. You might remember Olive from the recent What To Know/What I WISH I’d Known About College Auditions panel discussion, for which she was one of the panelists. 

Her parents put together a similar project to the one Maria’s mom did back in 2014, but with a video component rather than print. I was very honored to put together a video for her, and I decided to do one of my favorite songs, but with words specific to the 5+ years that Olive and I worked together.


I am honored to work with each and every one of my students, whether they go into music or not. And I am glad for “what we’ve done and what’s to come.” I can’t wait to see what else Maria, and Olive, and Juliet, and Julia, and Maureen, and Matt, and Sasha, and Ella, and Sela, and … wait, I can’t write all their names. But I can’t wait to see what they’re going to do, whether it’s in the arts, or politics, or medicine, or business, or whatever.  

Because they’ve all had an impact on me. More than they could ever imagine.

If you’re curious about becoming a curiously strong singer and performer,
I have a few openings for students for 2021-2022. Lessons begin 9/7.
Find out how to work with me, either on a regular or intermittent basis.
Let’s have an impact on each other.

Work with MVS

Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

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