Music and Me: My Choral Upbringing

I have been singing all my life. My dad was trained classically by E. F. Berg of Charlotte, NC and his gift of music was given to all four of his children. I remember when I was young, my dad was sitting at the piano with me on his lap and when my brothers walked up, we just instantly started singing perfect harmony. We began singing as a family, The Spearman Family, in church and at church gatherings, and that was my first experience with choral singing. As I grew up, I became the youngest member of my church choir at the age of 12.

When I started high school, in 9th grade, I began singing with the regular high school chorus and then I auditioned for the school’s prestigious Select Chorus. I sang Alto for the first three years, and in my Senior year, the choral teacher placed me in First Soprano. The Select Chorus performed at state competition each year and I was selected to participate in the Select Chorus Trio and we placed first several times. I learned to hone my craft under the direction of the high school choral teacher.

Photos above: Award-winning Select Chorus and the Select Chorus Trio

After high school, I got a job, got married, but I still continued singing in church choir. I joined a group of six ladies (sextet) called Celebration and we traveled all over the state singing for different church events for many years. But church choirs began to give way to worship teams to appeal to more young people. I followed suit and served on the worship team many years until the year 2017.

In 2017, I went through a lot of loss. A pet died suddenly. A good friend died tragically. Another friend died of cancer. I lost touch with two of my best friends. I was devastatingly forced out of a paid singing position I had held for 23 years in a Catholic Church. I was in a really sad place for months. And then God began opening doors for me to new experiences. My pianist at the Catholic Church was already playing on Sundays at a Lutheran Church so I left my church of 24 years and followed her. I was offered a part time choir director position shortly thereafter.

The Lutheran Choir that Mary directs

I had heard of SMULE online and I downloaded the app. I started singing and joining open calls and it wasn’t long before I got invited into a group from Brazil. I was with that group for two years. Then Jake (Smule name: Mockingbird_APEX) who I had been singing with, of whom I was enamored because of his talent, sponsored me to be in APEX Team, a very well-known choral group. I auditioned and was accepted in 2019 and am very happy to be a part of this amazing team.

My high school choral teacher had started a community choir in the early 2000’s and I told her that if my job ever allowed it, I’d come to sing for her. In summer of 2019, I auditioned and was accepted and I currently sing Second Soprano in the 75-voice choir.

With faith in God, determination and perseverance, I am now exactly where I should be. If there’s anything I’ve learned on my journey, it’s to never lose your faith. The old cliche “when one door closes, another opens” is really true because God has a plan for each of us. In the midst of pain, we often can’t see down the road. But trust in what we can’t see IS faith. You just have to be willing to take that leap!


Mary Spearman (Mare)

Smule ID: highlites_GloFu

Georgia, United States

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