Chelsie Speer was born and raised in Hillsboro, Oregon. Being number 7 of 9 children and the proud aunt of 7 nieces and 8 nephews, family is very important to her. Every one of her siblings, as well as both her parents have some kind of musical background. “Music was just something I was surrounded by growing up and what our family was known for. I didn’t realize how blessed I was until I grew up and realized that wasn’t the case for everyone,” Speer says. Chelsie is now a student at Brigham Young University Idaho studying Music Education with a choral emphasis. She will be graduating in Fall 2019 before doing her student teaching. Her goal is to teach high school choir and pass on an appreciation for choral music to the next generation. She also hopes to teach private voice and piano lessons out of her home and one day work for the LDS Church teaching seminary.
Chelsie has been in choir for 15 years, starting in 6th grade and continuing to this day. She began piano lessons at age 12 after her mother saw her love of tinkering around on their family piano. From middle school and into high school, Chelsie was a founding participant of a community choir started by her director. Also in high school, she was in the honor choir, participated in Solo and Ensemble competitions, went on tours to Canada and San Francisco, and was cast in the school’s productions of Damn Yankees, Hello Dolly, and Pinocchio. Continuing her love for choir in college, Chelsie has been in several ensembles at BYU-I including Women’s Choir, Concert Choir, Collegiate Singers, and Opera Scenes Workshop. She also has experience in solo performing and has taken 4 semesters of voice lessons, but choir is her passion. Chelsie now enjoys singing in Chamber Singers, a student led choir at BYU-I, as well as David Torres’ Vocal Affinity. “Vocal Affinity has a very special place in my heart. David Torres is the fiercest person I’ve ever met and has talent pouring out of him. Not only is he and all the members of Vocal Affinity some of the best humans on the planet; they are my family. Being around them, especially while singing, reminds me that we are a part of something bigger. Music is power and this group proves that. They bring light to my life,” she says.
When she isn’t involved in music, Chelsie enjoys spending time with family and friends, studying her family history, cooking, writing, and learning about Norway, where she hopes to travel to someday. She plans to combine her study of music and her love of teaching to teach high school choir after college. She believes that music can help kids learn social skills, self-reliance, grace under pressure, and develop healthy cognitive functions, as well as give them a positive outlet in which to express themselves. She hopes her classroom can be a safe place for her students to come and be reminded that they are important. “My favorite thing about choir is that you can take a group of imperfect people and create something beautiful. That’s what life is all about.”