Why I quit

Cartoon in the upper left corner of a blue haired woman with hands in prayer, picture of a confessional with the words "Why I quit" blazened across it diagonally, Mezzoid Voice Studio logo in the lower left hand corner. Background a blue night sky.

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned…….. It has been 9 months (almost) since my last confession blogpost.

Cartoon in the upper left corner of a blue haired woman with hands in prayer, picture of a confessional with the words

How appropriate that I used the penitential terminology of my upbringing, because in May, I quit my church job of 8 years at the Cathedral of Mary our Queen. (Note: This is not what I was going to write about but that opening line kind of pushed me in that direction.)

I didn’t quit because of issues with the institution (although, admittedly, I do have some of those) or with most of the music I was singing. I loved the job. I loved the space. I loved the convenience of it – it was across the street from my house! I could literally see the the place from every room in the front of my house.

In fact, I got the job after my first shower in our new house, in June 2015. I was standing in the shower and I saw the spires of the Cathedral as I was rinsing shampoo out of my hair. I thought, “Hey, I’ve subbed there. Perhaps I should send the director my new address.” So I did. Within an hour, I had a new job.

And I was really happy there up till the pandemic. And once we (eventually) returned to singing in 2021, I was happy again. I was a regular cantor and soloist in addition to my position as alto section leader. I loved the people with whom I sang, and we made good music.

My director left in July 2021 and was replaced by someone who had a very different attitude (from both their predecessor and me) toward the music of the church and the role of the section leaders as professional musicians.

I gave the job another two years, and then I realized that I could no longer continue in a position that was no longer serving me in either a spiritual or professional sense. This was a hard realization (did I mention that the job is across the street from my house??) but I decided that I didn’t like feeling angry all the time. So, when I came back from vacation in May, I gave my note effective immediately (Note: I was off the next week for my Irish song concert and there were only two weeks left in the choir season after that, so really, I gave two weeks notice).

The good news is that, by the end of the week after I quit, I had picked up multiple cantor/subbing gigs for the summer, effective with the following Sunday. This past Saturday, I sang my 16th gig of the summer.  They’re not across the street, but they are providing me with more musical and professional satisfaction than I’ve had since July 2021. And hopefully, they will continue to do so.

In my last blogpost, I wrote about my word of the year being Tessitura, specifically about how I was defining it as find where and how I wanted to live.

To be honest, I was already contemplating this decision at that point, as hinted at in this quote:

I may have to explore some options and decide what’s not for me.

There are many things I want to do, as outlined in that new year’s post. And some of those things mean that I need some more time to myself, and not tie myself to a regular Thursday night/Sunday morning commitment. Specifically, I’m going to start writing again. More here, and the book(s) that I talked about in Tessitura. (Yes, plural, because the idea for a novel came to me.) I am also going to do some weekend things with my husband that I couldn’t do because of having a regular church gig, to which I’m looking forward!

In the last year or so, many of my posts were about things I thought I should write about. Going forward, I’m going to get back to the idea of “Why I….” and re-find my why. I think it may have changed a bit.

In fact, today’s blogpost was supposed to be just that: Why I moved here. Because I’ve done some examining about that and there are some things I want to say.

Good to be back and I promise it won’t be another 8 months before I write again.

If you would like to find your why – and your voice – I have a few spots open for 2023-2024. Check out how to work with me

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.

6 thoughts on “Why I quit

  1. I love you SO much, Chris! You are an amazing musician, an woman and an incredible human being. I am so happy to know that you’re taking time for yourself. You don’t need to work so hard. You no longer need to impress anyone. Just LIVE and BE HAPPY. You deserve it!

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