Growing up, music was always a part of Frances Lee’s life. In addition to singing, she played piano and flute, and went on to study instrumental music education in college. But life intervened, and she stepped away from music for 10 years.
A friend sang in the Choir, so Frances knew the caliber of the group. The urge to have music back in her life prompted Frances to start voice lessons and to audition for SFBC; she was accepted and immediately fell in love with the SFBC community.
“Singing with Magen is a real hook,” says Frances. “The way she communicates, how she teaches the pieces and her ability as a singing teacher….she brings a musical excellence, a group approach and attention to detail, and a high level of musicianship that resonates at SFBC.”
In 2016, SFBC created a new Operations Manager position, and as an experienced nonprofit professional, Frances was a natural fit. In her dual roles she experienced SFBC both inside and out, connecting deeply with people in new ways. ”Our community of volunteers and the way the choir matches the interests of the singers with non-musical talents makes this organization feel bigger. There is a lot to making the rehearsals, concerts and community events happen!” Though Frances moved on to a new job a few years later, she continued singing with SFBC.
Watching SFBC navigate the pandemic, in 2021 Frances felt it was the right time to deepen her connection and she joined the Board. She was inspired by “the collective of volunteers that kept us alive during the pandemic. It was pretty amazing. We were super flexible, and were able to create high quality music virtually.” Frances is helping SFBC apply lessons learned over these last years, including new and nimble ways of thinking and planning.
Though online technology like Zoom and Jacktrip kept SFBC going during the worst times of the pandemic, singing together in person is what Frances missed most. She is grateful that SFBC’s ever-vigilant medical safety team has kept our community healthy, and is looking forward to a full season of singing in 2022-2023. “Singing in person changes you,” she says. “The weekly touch point with your choir friends and the impact singing has on your physical body and mental health: it’s critical.”