I have such happy memories of performing in a choir and I don't think I'd have got where I am today without all that experience. So my advice to young singers is to either join your school or church's choir or find one in your local area. Choral music at any level teaches you so much about musicianship and blending your voice.
I was in high school - and I went to an all-boys Catholic high school, a Jesuit high school, where I was focused on academics and athletics, going to church every Sunday at Little Flower, working on my service projects, and friendship, friendship with my fellow classmates and friendship with girls from the local all-girls Catholic schools.
Mom and Dad were married 64 years. And if you wondered what their secret was, you could have asked the local florist - because every day Dad gave Mom a rose, which he put on her bedside table. That's how she found out what happened on the day my father died - she went looking for him because that morning, there was no rose.
I come from a blue collar family, but my personal life isn't. I didn't get the gene that my grandfather had in spades. He was a local hero. Built the church that I went to. Built the house I grew up in. Steamfitter, pipefitter, electrician, mechanic and plumber. I wanted to do those things. But it just didn't come easy.