From the Editor : Lasts. And Firsts. And Everything In Between.

Life is a journey full of firsts and lasts. Beginnings and ends. Starts and finishes. And all of the wonderful, hard, sad, good, happy, difficult, messy, normal, and extraordinary stuff in between.

I started at Classical Singer magazine in January 2004 as an assistant editor. A year later, I finished my master’s degree and began working as editor-in-chief of CS after magazine founder CJ Williamson’s tragic and untimely passing. Thus began a career I didn’t anticipate but have embraced and loved ever since.

And now, 13 years later, my time at CS is coming to an end. I am stepping down to . . . wait for it . . . spend time with my family.

Yes, really.

I’m not saying that as a euphemism to cover up an underlying scandal. I get along with my coworkers. I’m not bored and looking for something better. And I haven’t been pushed out in a juicy, corporate coupe (although that would be pretty exciting!).

Nope. No euphemism here. I am leaving to do what I’ve contemplated since the birth of my first child seven years ago—and contemplated again with each additional child. And now it’s time for a new chapter as a full-time, stay-at-home mom to my four young children, ages 7, 5, 3, and 1. (Actually, moms don’t stay home much. Too much to do, too many places to go.)

I have certainly wondered if I might have a little more free time after my term ends. But I’m not counting on it. Four kids is an awesome amount of work! But I’m looking forward to feeling more single minded and focused on my family and children. They are amazing little humans growing up way too fast. Time feels fleeting, and I hope to be more present.

As I am preparing to say goodbye to my role as editor, I think a lot about the middle “stuff,” the cream filling, sandwiched between the beginning and end of my time at CS. This is my 149th issue as editor. That’s 149 cover stories and 13 summer program and university issues, as well as balancing family and career issues, fitness issues, and so many amazing features—including fashion advice for auditions, racial discrimination, a yoga and chakra series, an online summer program, the #lastgotpaid column, addiction, mental health, recordings, interviews with general directors and managers, advice from working singers, Dr. Jahn, Ask Erda, and so, so much more.

During these years, CS has seen me through moves to New York City and back to Utah, as well as through production runs when I would edit between rehearsals and before performances. My paychecks have covered many voice lessons, coachings, and plane tickets and hotel rooms for auditions. CS has been with me through a wedding, four pregnancies, and four newborns. All four of my babies have traveled with me to the annual conventions. And I have nursed each one while proofing final copies before press time.

These experiences have informed my time at CS. I have indulged in sharing my experiences in editorials introducing the magazine each month. Thank you for indulging me this one last time.

But, really, isn’t that what Classical Singer has always been about? A community where singers can come together and find support and success in all avenues of their life—from home to the stage?

I know that was CJ Williamson’s vision when she started the magazine over 30 years ago. I am thankful I had the privilege to carry on her vision in some small way these past years. That opportunity has blessed my life immeasurably. Now as it comes to an end, I hope I have done her proud.

And, so, here’s to bittersweet endings. And happy beginnings. And everything else in between.

Sara Thomas

Sara Thomas is editor of Classical Singer magazine. She welcomes your comments.