For Payton Vincent, her love for the magic in singing will never dwindle


Listening to the car radio whenever she could, senior Payton Vincent was destined to become a pop star like Taylor Swift when she grew up. 

“When I was younger, I mean, just like I am now,” Payton said, “I loved singing in the car specifically. I don’t know, If I was listening to music, I wanted it to be in the car, and I was always in the backseat. My mom would take videos and stuff of me being ridiculous and singing random Taylor Swift songs from Speak Now and all that stuff from when I was younger.”

Whenever there was a chance, Payton loved to sing the words to her favorite songs, falling in love with her talent in the process. Listening to her favorites like One Direction, using her voice to its full advantage quickly became one of her favorite activities.

However, while singing a lively, on-stage performance for her audience gathered around the bonfire one summer night, it was clear that the rising pop star in Payton wanted to improve further with what she loved. 

“​​They were like, ‘Oh my gosh, is she in vocal lessons?’” Payton said. “I was like, no, I’m just having fun [with] my little show in the backyard. But then, after that, they got my parents thinking, and then they were like, ‘Maybe we should put you in voice lessons.’”

Though the voice lessons lasted a few years, Payton was able to discover more opportunities for her to continue singing, stepping her passion for singing up to something long-term by joining the school choir as soon as she could. Since the sixth grade, Payton’s world has evolved around the solace she finds in her voice. 

In all that has happened throughout her years singing, one thing has remained constant: the crew that supports her in every step of her musical journey, especially those who’ve been around her in class since the beginning.

“[Choir teacher Sean] Ivory, he’s my favorite person ever,” Payton said. “He makes choir so fun, and the people—some of my best friends are in that class, and each year, especially moving with the same class of people and the people who have stayed, you have such a connection.“

It’s just been such a fun connection to have with these people. I never, freshman year, wouldn’t have believed I’m having as much fun now.

— Payton Vincent

These connections, closely bonded by the hardships and highlights over the years, are what make choir class so special every day. Surrounded by her friends the entire time, being able to sing in the choir this long is something she’s grateful for.

“Joking around with friends and with Mr. Ivory in class is probably my favorite part of it all,” Payton said. “We are able to make such wonderful sound together, and I know that we sound good because we’ve been working hard on it, so I think that’s really encouraging as well.”

Through the strong friendships and memories she’s made with her peers, Payton is able to perfect her talent nonetheless with everything she learns in the choir room. However, taking a brave step this year, and also for a little extra excitement, she discovered another way to take singing to the next level. 

Auditioning for The Wizard of Oz this past spring, combining the performing aspects she already loved, was a step outside her comfort zone. Luckily enough, the musical community shared a lot of the same great people Payton has grown to love, making this senior-year experience a little more special for the family she’ll miss after high school.

“I had like a little part [where] I’m right up there and can see everyone,” Payton said. “Honestly, I have to not make eye contact with anyone, that’s my thing; I have to be looking up and pretend I’m like an animated person; I’m not real, basically, is how I have to picture it for myself. With the musical, it’s easy to do because you’re acting, but when it comes to choir, it’s going up there and grabbing a microphone and singing [that] is definitely a lot more nervewracking for me, which is kind of funny.”

Though being in the musical was a new experience she’d never have, Payton’s glimpse into a new realm of entertainment and a taste of what being a pop star might be like was an unforgettable detail of her senior year. Having always been surrounded by different influences of music, Payton still isn’t able to kiss the distant dream of becoming a musical star away. 

As she gets closer to her final days of being in the building, the goodbye to the people that have supported her the most is beyond bittersweet, but for Payton, this means back to her roots where she’ll start exploring her inner artist that’s been there her whole life.

“It’s just been such a fun connection to have with these people,” Payton said. “I never, freshman year, wouldn’t have believed I’m having as much fun now. It’s hard because I’ve always been big on the more the vocals part of it. When I was younger, I would write lyrics to songs, but not actual music. You can’t really study just singing for fun [in college], but I’ve thought about looking into choirs if it comes to me in college. I guess until then, I have to find something to be able to feed into [the] musical heart in me; I’ll probably just keep it for myself and sing in the shower or in my car.”