I have always been a performer. My very first song was singing, “You’re A Grand Ole Flag” at a spaghetti supper in first grade. I felt included. At a young age, I knew my voice could be a tool for change. I could use it to be included. I continued singing throughout my education.
Recently, I gave a concert as an alumni, for my high school choir director who died from COVID unexpectedly two years ago. Emotions were running high as I still miss my choir director a lot, as he was a champion for inclusion, as well as a surrogate father figure, as he had no kids of his own.
When I arrived at rehearsal the first evening, I was greeted by friends I hadn’t seen in 22 years since graduation, some even longer. I hugged necks instead of waists. I could participate in conversation about the upcoming songs, without feeling left out.
Friday night, July 15, the curtain was raised. My friends, family, and mentor were all in the audience. They watched me sing to the heavens, not as a goodbye but as a thank you for instilling in me a love for the arts.
My mom told me, that not only did I look radiant but this is the first time since high school that they could see me from the audience, thanks to iLevel.
I took so many memorable pictures that night. The ones that stick out in my head are the ones that took no effort. No one was squatting down next to me so that they were at the same level. The tables were turned. I said, “Hold on. Let me raise up for this.”
That night my life changed again with iLevel. Inclusion at its finest, as a performer.
About Alison Chancellor: Alison is a friend of Quantum. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where she cheers on her beloved St. Louis Blues at hockey games. Click here to learn more about Alison.