As the whole class practiced a song for the assembly, Pat’s fifth grade teacher screamed at her that she was ruining everything and she was doing it on purpose. What she was doing was happily singing an octave lower than everyone else in the class! She didn’t sing in public for the next 8 years because of embarrassment over her deep voice.
Love of singing eventually overcame embarrassment and she spent her college days and beyond singing solo and accompanying herself on a guitar. Never able to sing harmony naturally, Pat never sang with any kind of a group. That ended when she joined the Vocal Minority from 1983 to 1985--a mixed lesbian and gay group that performed in many venues around the Bay Area, including the Venetian Room, Victoria Theater, Palace of Fine Arts Theater, and most frequently, at Valencia Rose. She sang 2nd tenor or occasionally bass with the men depending on what was needed.
Pat and her voice found a home when she discovered Sweet Adelines in 1996, an international women’s barbershop organization. Singing bass in 4-part harmony with other women became her passion. She competed at the regional level with 3 different quartets placing in the top eight twice and in fourth place once. She has belonged to the highly competitive Pacific Empire Chorus in Petaluma and been on its music staff for 8 years. PEC won the Region 12 contest this year and will be competing at the International Competition in Las Vegas in 2006.
Pat joined Out On A Clef in 2002 and has been able to combine her love of 4-part harmony with her lesbian identitya wonderful combination. She looks forward to years of singing and friendship with her favorite quartet.