My Name Is

My Name Is... Marla Wasson of Arvada

Accountant leaves job to follow passion in directing chorale music


About me

For the past 20 years I worked as an accountant, but I was never really passionate about it. Two years ago, I gave up that life to pursue my number one passion — music. Originally, I lived in Kansas, but I moved out here in 1989 because, well, why wouldn’t you want to move to Colorado? People are so nice, so friendly and, in a lot of ways, it’s like Kansas. But it’s also just different enough.

My passion

For 20 years I crunched numbers and worked with budgets for a variety of businesses, and in my spare time I sang and directed choirs across the state. Now a full-time musician and chorale director, I feel I’m truly living out my dreams.

From the first moment I stepped up on the podium, nearly 20 years ago, I knew I was meant to direct. Music, to me, is more than a note on a page, it’s more than the tone or the vibration of music — it changes you.

For me, I sing soprano, I’m a judge for A Cappella contests, and I’ve been the proud director of the Safonia Women’s Choir for the last 10 years. Beginning last fall, I also began my directorship with the Arvada Chorale. In 2013, I was the interim director for the Chorale as they searched for a permanent director, and that was a lot of fun. When I was asked to join them again, I was floored.

This group, they’re completely different from Safonia. They’re wonderful people who come to sing — and they really love their music. We have such a large library to choose from, and they have such a passion for singing. I only want to continue that.

When a chorale sings together, and you’re in the same space, doing the same thing — it’s just magical. Our hearts beat as one.

For fun

Outside of directing, I spend my time cycling with my partner. She and I go on bike rides all over, and last year I rode 500 miles across Kansas. Possibly someday I’ll do Ride the Rockies — but I’m not sure yet. I also spend a lot of time being a housewife, taking care of our two cats. For me, moving out to Colorado and pursuing music has been the hardest and most rewarding challenge I’ve ever faced. That changed the path of my life and, while I may not make millions, that has made me happy. And to me, that is successful.


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