Another friend of mine named Robin has a musical creative outlet. She sings tenor in an a cappella quartet called The Peppermint Twist with Angie Whitten, Debra Aungst, and Shelly Bray Bristow.
Robin Hornsby Osborn works for the Puyallup School district during the day, but in the evenings and on weekends she and her three partners take the stage, singing songs like “Beautiful” and “When I Lift Up My Head” while dressed in outfits that sparkle almost as much as their voices.
I asked her the same questions of the writer and the beauty consultant I interviewed for this series. Here’s what this talented singer had to say:
How did you get started in Peppermint Twist? Was there a person or event that got you interested?
I got started in Peppermint Twist because the previous quartet I had been in came to an end. The lead and I wanted to keep singing together, so we sought out two more singers and created a new quartet. I have been singing in quartets for about 10 years — it’s a natural progression from singing in a chorus, as it makes you a better chorus singer if you have to stand on your own (with three other people!!) in a quartet.
I have sung all my life and really enjoy the camaraderie and education I get from singing. Plus, it keeps me young!
As far as singing in general goes, my dad used to sing snippets of songs around the house. We always had music playing. My parents had records of many musicals, which my sister and I used to play and sing along and/or dance to.
I also sang in school all the way through my senior year. I also played the flute and piano, so music was really a big deal. Our parents encouraged us and provided private lessons, which really made a big difference in our skill levels. We also sang at church and since it was very small, we were also called upon to play the piano for the hymns.
In my early adult life, when I lived in New Jersey, I sang in the church choir. We left that particular church and the new one did not have any opportunities for me to sing. I’d heard a small group of women singing at a town fair and boldly asked them if they ever needed another singer to please contact me.
Funnily enough, they did!
As I’ve moved, I’ve always sought out singing groups and found that the benefits of being part of a singing organization like Sweet Adelines really help with all the details. There are competitions every year, and arrangements and coaches available, which makes it much easier than just creating a singing group from complete scratch.
What was the hardest part about getting started?
The hardest part about getting started is dealing with stage fright. Now that I’ve done it for years and years, it is certainly easier to stand up in front of people and sing, but it’s always a little nerve-wracking. Having people around me who are also singing is a great support, it feels like a security blanket! I still do relaxation and deep breathing exercises before singing to help ease the nerves.
Singing in Peppermint Twist is really an uplifting experience. We keep getting better and better and each member is really dedicated to doing her part. It takes a lot of time, but it is totally worth it.
I always have songs running through my head and playing on my speakers, as well as doing pseudo-choreography while doing other things (like showering, getting dressed, eating – anywhere my brain doesn’t need to fully concentrate!).
My husband Wayne is very patient, as we rehearse at our house!
What do you know now that you wish you had known before you started?
I wish I had known how much fun it is earlier in life. Think how much better I’d be at this point if I’d started years ago!
What is one of the best things that has happened for you since you began with Peppermint Twist?
A recent reminder of why I sing happened at Molbacks (garden store in Woodinville). We were singing Christmas songs one Saturday inside the store and after we’d finished one of our songs, one of the shoppers came up to us and said her mom used to sing that all the time. She had passed away and the lady said it felt like her mom was right there with us. It sent chills down our spines, and made us really happy to give that experience to her.
Robin and her fabulous quartet conclude my series this month on creative beginnings. I’m brainstorming for February after that small football game is over this weekend.
Meanwhile, I’m wishing you all your own creative beginnings whether or not you watch football.
Remember to take Robin’s advice and start sooner rather than later. Think how much better you’ll be next year if you don’t wait!