There are so many beautiful things about this lady, that I really am not sure where to begin.
Margaret Williams Jones
Margaret was one of the first people we met when we moved into Twelve Oaks, our gated community in 2007. Of course, her name and reputation had preceded our meeting her.
Let me back up and tell you some very interesting things about her, and you will understand why we knew her before we knew her.
From a very early age, Margaret loved music and it became a very important part of her life. Perhaps the greatest contribution to her early musical training and experiences came as a member of the Youth Choir at First Baptist Church, Shreveport, Louisiana. As a member of this prestigious group, she was given the opportunity to participate in choir tours in the states and abroad.
After graduating from Byrd High School, she attended Centenary College, also in Shreveport, where she studied music. It was during her time there, at the age of 19 that she won the Regional Metropolitan Opera auditions. This meant a frightening two-week stay in New York City for this small city girl.
During these two weeks, she competed with 22 other regional winners, and was selected to be in the National Top Ten. These 10 finalists then had the wonderful opportunity to compete on stage in the Metropolitan Opera.
|Margaret is the beauty 3rd from right, front row|
Margaret told me a funny story, which is about the only way she knows to tell a story.
She said no one told them what to expect when they stepped out on stage, so when it was her turn she walked out and only saw a silent black wall. She said, she wanted to holler out, "Is there anyone out there?" But, she decided that might not make the best impression, so decided if her accompanist could play for a big black wall, she could certainly sing to one, and she did. Afterward, the applause let her know that it wasn't a black wall after all.
She didn't win the competition, but did receive a $1,000 scholarship and the life-long honor of being a Metropolitan Opera Finalist.
By the way, she came home and married her sweetheart since age 15 and used the scholarship money to buy her first piano.
As a result of the honor of being a Met finalist, she was invited to sing all over the country in various venues. She has sung with the Mississippi and New Orleans Symphonies. And has performed numerous times with the exceptional Shreveport Symphony. For nine years she was principle soloist with this symphony for the huge Fourth of July celebration on the River Front.
|A concert with Larnell Harris and Wayne Watson|
The following are only a few of her accomplishments:
Sang with the Billy Graham #2 Team in North Carolina, singing with Norma Zimmer
Symphony Guest Soloist
Many Church Concerts all over the United States
Member of the Symphony Guild
Member of PEO
Daughter's of Confederacy
Soloist for 20 years with "Phantom of the Organ," a summer production performed in various US cities, where she sings major works from Operas such as
Les Miserable, Cats, and Phantom of the Opera. This will be held in Houston this weekend.
Margaret was Director of the Children's Music Program and Artist in Residence at the First Methodist Church in Shreveport for 15 years. During those years, she had the opportunity to tour and sing in Europe and Asia. Currently, she is Artist in Residence at the Noel Methodist Church.
Perhaps one of the most exciting accomplishments was her debut in 2010 at Carnegie Hall as featured soloist. We were all thrilled for her as we discussed the gown and shoes she would wear, and how she would wear her hair, and all that girly stuff before a big event.
Needless to say, she did an outstanding job and we her friends could not be more proud of her.
I asked Margaret to what she attributes her success and her immediate response was:
"It is just a God-given talent. I haven't had to work for it, and it has never been a drudgery. I have enjoyed singing and being with people all over the world. And I sing for my God."
One might expect Margaret to be a "Diva" with all her accomplishments, but she is anything but. She is humble, down-to-earth, and perhaps the most friendly person you will ever meet. Yet, she is so grateful for every opportunity to share her God-given talent with others. One of her main desires is to treat her friends as she would want to be treated - to be loved and liked by others.
An example of this is the fact that no event is beneath her. A few years ago she was invited to sing at an outdoor Tea Party Rally. It was in mid August and over 100 degrees. But we went and she sang her sweltering heart out.
She describes herself as fun-loving, compassionate, religious, out-going and humorous.
Truly, she is one of the funniest people to be around. Mutual friends would laugh and say, "If you are having a party, you want to hire Margaret." She keeps us in stitches as she tells some of her experiences.
My favorite is the time she was to sing following a baptism in a large church. Unfortunately, the person being baptized was a very large person, and water from the baptistry, which was behind and above the choir, began to spill out over the protective wall, soaking the choir members in the back row. I wish you could hear her describe how she tried to sing while the choir was soaking wet and the congregation was laughing.
Margaret and Rick were married in 1972 and have one daughter, Heather and two grandchildren, Sydney Renee who is 10 and Luke Alexander, 8. Heather and husband Mark live in Mansfield, Texas. Truly, Margaret's family and her faith are the most important things to her.
She told me that the older she gets, the more she wants to invest in her young voice students the love for and enjoyment of music. These are some fortunate children.
You will love seeing her and hearing her sing, "We Shall Behold Him."