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Lauren Schellenbach

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1. What do you do outside of VOX? I am a Senior Vice President at Creative Circle, which is a digital, creative, and marketing company that helps bring creative projects to life with staffing and consulting services. I live in Mount Washington with my wonderful wife, Brenda; our three cats, Fizz, Cooper and Mittens; and our pandemic puppers, Mochi. My pronouns are they/them and I identify as non-binary. 


2. What drew you to singing with VOX in the first place and how did you hear about it? 

I first heard of Vox in 2000 right after my move to Los Angeles. I had been singing in the Stonewall Chorale in NYC and knew I wanted to continue singing. My girlfriend at the time (Suzy Brown, Soprano in Vox) and I went to see a concert and were so amazed we asked if we could audition mid-season! 


3. What do you remember from your first year singing with the ensemble? Or what is your favorite memory?    I remember how amazing it was to sing and work under Iris’ direction! Her energy and joy was, and still is, addictive. Anyone who has had the pleasure of working with Iris knows you will no doubt be a better singer and musician because of it. 

There are so many memorable events from traveling to Mexico, to singing with Holly Near and performing at the ACDA, but I think the most memorable was our trip to sing in Vancouver at the Electra Women’s Choir Tapestry International festival. Every three years, they invite three women’s choirs to come and sing and share each other’s music and culture. Vox was a guest in 2018, along with Kvennakór Gardabæjar, a women’s choir from Iceland, and Frisches Ei (団員募集中!), a women’s choir from Japan. This was an amazing opportunity to learn from each other and it was a powerful feeling standing on stage with so many singers! It was truly a life-changing experience.


4. What would you like to do with VOX in the future (sing at the inauguration of the first female president, for example!)? It’s been a rough couple of years for singing ensembles. We persevered by attending Zoom rehearsals, recording our parts for a “music video” style concert we produced instead of a live concert, and continuing Vox traditions like singing Happy Birthday to our singers who were celebrating each week even though it sounded pretty awful on Zoom. We had fun, we made music, and the community really came together to help each other through the isolation and grief. But there’s nothing that compares to singing together in the same room, breathing at the same time, and feeling the music as a collective body. We’re finally back, singing with masks, vaxed and boosted, but live and in person! I hope we don’t have to go through anything like this again, and I hope that we never take for granted a rehearsal, or a moment where we can be together singing and bringing joy, love, and power to our audience. 


As for the future, I would like to see us travel and sing with other choirs in other parts of the country. Maybe even in the towns that don’t have a choice of loving supportive choirs, reaching out of our bubble to experience a different reality with and for our fellow citizens. 

And yes, singing at the inauguration of the first woman president would be major.

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