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Senior singer Julia Rivera recalls getting used to the stage

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Senior singer Julia Rivera recalls getting used to the stage

Senior and choir member Julia Rivera is an accomplished singer.

Senior and choir member Julia Rivera is an accomplished singer.

Sydney Woodward

Senior and choir member Julia Rivera is an accomplished singer.

Sydney Woodward

Sydney Woodward

Senior and choir member Julia Rivera is an accomplished singer.

Sydney Younge, Special Contributer

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She tugged her shoe laces tight, listening as the last singer made her way offstage.

It was dark, quiet.

The performer rose, her footsteps echoing as she stumbled through the inky darkness onto the stage. A row of faces peered up at her as she reached her place in front of the microphone.

She wrung her hands nervously, shifting in place, waiting for the lights to come up and reveal her.

Julia Rivera was 17, and this was new.

Her voice was usually quiet, her place usually tucked away behind rows of others, her face usually just another in the crowd.

But this time wasn’t usual. This time she was to be loud and alone, displayed for everyone to see.

Before this, her voice had been heard by her boyfriend through a phone perched precariously against her TV on her dresser. By a few girls settled in the choir room as she auditioned for her director. By her parents and brother as her voice bounced off the walls in her room as she practiced in front of the mirror.

Later her voice would become louder and more confident. She would be told “I didn’t even know that’s what you sounded like,” and a worker backstage would stare at her as she walked away.

Her walk would gain a bounce as she giddily made her way into the dark backstage, almost amused by the looks of shock on faces around her.

Her quiet voice would be quiet no more.

But for now, the faces that watched her terrified her. The luck of her newly- tied laces meant everything.

The spotlight flashed on. The performer began her song.

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