I talked last month about getting to know someone new, so what better way to start the new year than for me to do that. I attended the symphony Christmas concert, and to my surprise, Lance Orta was the featured soloist. That was exciting, and I wanted to tell everyone that Lance sang at my church! I felt this was a sign that I had found my next Heartbeat story. I assumed Lance had been singing and performing since he was a child and that it really wasn’t a big deal to get up in front of hundreds and sing your heart out. I soon learned that wasn’t the case at all.
A shy kid with a spectacular voice just seems to be one of those illogical things God always likes to do, sort of like a built-in obstacle to character development that turns us into the person we are meant to be. Lance joined Renee’s high school choir as a freshman and was content to remain in the background until he realized you could get a letterman jacket for singing a solo, and the attention you received from the girls was an unexpected bonus. He decided to try out for a part singing ‘Circle of Life’ from The Lion King, and this quiet kid surprised everyone who heard that audition.
Lance was able to conquer his fear because he knew singing was what he was meant to do. It led him to DePauw University where he majored in vocal performance and experienced opportunities to travel and sing, including the White House for Christmas carols.
Lance told me music is more than just music, it brings people together, and it is a part of something bigger than just the music itself. Music defines moments, it lifts our spirits, it plays on our emotions, it lives in our memories, and it is hard to imagine life without it. We talked about community and how it feels to be a part of this one, to be a part of something that is bigger than yourself. God gave us all a purpose and finding that purpose despite the obstacles we encounter provides meaning to our lives and develops us into who we are called to be. Lance found his gift, and we get to be part of his journey as he is a part of ours. Who knows, maybe some Sunday we will hear him sing ‘Circle of Life’, I know I would love to experience it.
By Michelle Holland