The Joy of it All!

Greatness – Considerably above the normal or average.
Joy- A feeling of great pleasure and happiness.

So why is it we sing? Why is it we teach? Why is it we do anything?
If it were all about the money, most of us would be abject failures as only a select few “make it big” so-to-speak. The majority of us toil in anonymity, going about our daily lives and routines without fanfare and without publicity.
But if we’re lucky, we at least go about doing something we’re passionate about—even if it’s just part time or for a few hours a week. For you it may be singing. Or it may be teaching. For me, besides helping singers, it’s coaching high school basketball.
Regardless, of what we do, I believe we all yearn to be a part of something great, to stand out, to stand above in some way. And I believe we have an innate desire to feel good and to help others feel good.
The video clip below from Alfie Boe’s rendition of “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables is a perfect example of greatness and joy.

If greatness in your craft, profession, or hobby was ever evident, it is in this performance. Who knows the thousands and thousands of hours of practice, repetition, sweat, tears, and sacrifice were put in by Mr. Boe to result in 4 minues and 52 seconds of greatness.
And greatness was certainly achieved.
Now fast forward in the clip to the 4:31 mark. Watch the final 20 seconds and make note of what you see. More accurately, take note of what you feel, what Alfie Boe feels, and what the audience feels.
For a just a few second, in the midst of a special-recorded 25th anniversary performance of one of the most successful and beloved Broadway shows of all time, Boe breaks from his stoic Jean Valjean character to show his true emotions. For a few brief moments—as evidenced by his genuine smile—his joy is full.
His joy came not only from achieving greatness, but from seeing, hearing, and feeling the audience’s joy as they stood in thunderous applause.
And therein lies the secret of happiness, and the reason we sing or teach or coach.
We don’t sing to simply earn a paycheck. We don’t teach so we can pay bills. And we certainly don’t coach high school athletics to be famous.
We sing, we teach, we coach to help others feel joy. And when we help others, we feel good. We feel joy.
While I’m not a singer—except at church when surrounded by others in the general congregation—my passion is no different then yours. I want to be a part of something great and I want to help others feel joy.
The same is true of our goal at Auditions Plus and Classical Singer—we want to be a great organization and we want to help others find joy. Maybe that’s by providing education resources like Classical Singer magazine or the Auditions Plus Blog. Perhaps it’s through our online listings and directories to find jobs, training, scholarships, and other opportunities. And it’s certainly through the live competition and convention events we host.
And we’re constantly looking for more ways—and better ways—to help singers reach their ultimate goal. Not the goal of singing in Carnegie Hall or on Broadway.
But rather, we want to help singers be great.
And we want to help singers feel the joy of helping others feel joy.
So let us know what else we can do to help. Tell me what topics you want discussed on the blog. Tell me what tools you need on the website. And tell me what types of auditions you’re looking for.
Leave a comment on this blog post, email me at, or leave a message on Facebook at
I look forward to hearing from you!

Written by Alex Stoddard. Alex is the is the General Manager of Classical Singer & Auditions Plus. He has worked with singers and teachers for more than 8 years managing Classical Singer magazine, running the High School & University Vocal Competition, and developing Auditions Plus.


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