What an exciting time of year! The hustle and bustle of Christmas and preparation for the BIG DAY are quickly approaching! My Miss America send off party was yesterday, and what an amazing day for me that was! Not only do I feel blessed to have such a wonderful organization behind me, but also my family and friends. In two weeks I leave for the most EXCITING and AMAZING journey of my life... MISS AMERICA. I'm so honored to be competing with 52 distinguished young women. We all have worked so hard for this moment and now it is time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the remarkable journey we are about to embark on and to know that God will place the right girl in the position as the next Miss America.
My grandmother (memaw)
who I owe my love for classical music to!
|Playing at church with my dad!|
My grandmother who grew up on a farm in a small town adored opera and her love of the spectacular art rubbed off on me at a young age. Many times I spent my afternoons or mornings at my grandparents house. My grandmother, or what we all call her, Memaw, would be a busy bee in the kitchen. Whipping up all the "Southern Fixin's" and listening to opera. I smiled as I helped out and enjoyed being exposed to such beautiful music. It made me feel alive! I started singing at the age of 2 when my grandfather tickled the ivory's at church. "Have a Little Talk with Jesus" was our absolute favorite song to perform together. He also taught me to pick up the violin and enjoy the beautiful sound that it made. I began playing by ear and watching him. (Both him and my father can pick up any instrument and play by ear, I was so amazed by them) After getting the hang of the violin I was enrolled in lessons along with my sister and eventually joined my school and church orchestra. Tiffany and I both play the violin, while my two brothers play the trumpet. We are sometimes jokingly called "The Partridge Family" at church. My dad is the music director and we all play in the Orchestra or sing in the choir. I'm looking forward to this Christmas to be home with my entire family and play together a Christmas piece to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior this Sunday. This is how we come together to be a family and enjoy each other. By giving thanks to God for the talents he has possessed upon us. I truly miss my grandfather this time of year. He passed away when I was in the 8th grade, but I will never forget the love he had for me, God, music, and anyone he ever came into contact with. I traveled with him and my dad as they sang in different churches as apart of a quartet. Gazing up at them I'd always sing along and loved when they pulled me up to join them. Every time I perform I think of him and the role he played in my life. He never once doubted me and deep down, I knew that. I know he is watching from Heaven and saying "I told you, my Bree, you'd be signing autographs one day!" He was so proud of me and my family. I know we continue to make him proud.
At the age of 6 I decided I wanted to be enrolled in music classes and when I turned 8 I wanted to be a professional opera singer. Immediately I BEGGED for classical training! My parents saw that I was actually finally interested in something. For years, they exposed me to gymnastics, dance, cheerleading, and pageantry... None of what I wanted to do. They were thrilled that Bree had found something that was her niche! After we dropped my sister, Tiffany, off at dance or cheerleading, my mom whisked me off to voice lessons! I was so nervous and anxious every time I was dropped off at my weekly lesson! I wanted to impress my teacher by showing her all of the practice I had put into the piece of music she had given me the week before. My first operatic piece was Puccini's famous "O Mio Babbino Caro" and I blew my teacher away! Italian-PERFECT, vibratoinhibitions and doing what I loved. I never really expressed to my family that I dreamed
|YES! That is me! |
The (once) Cowardly Lion!
|From a little boy I met! This is what makes my job |
worth it all!
This week I vow to spend time loving on my family, packing, celebrating Christ birth, packing some more, seeing friends, not wearing makeup OR doing my hair, catching up on much needed sleep, finalizing prep for Miss America, again...spending as MUCH time with my family AND more packing!! I vow to do these things because I may not be returning home after January 14th. 53 of us have an amazing shot at an amazing year as Miss America and I know that I am fully capable and ready for that job. Thank you to all who believed in me from the start and the MANY (AND I MEAN MANY) of you who have decided to join me in Vegas to cheer me on! I love each and everyone of you and I look forward seeing the purpose God has planned out for my life.
Merry Christmas to you all and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!! May you be blessed with family, friends, laughter, and love!
All my best,
Miss South Carolina 2011