Story by Carly Jones, N.C. Arts Council Music Director
As a little girl who grew up playing house in tree forts while also staging living room concerts with a hairbrush as a microphone, I was taught by the world around me that these two paths were mutually exclusive. Later, as I ventured into my twenties majoring in music and pursuing a career in the arts, I was told by a mentor of mine, “You can have it all – you just can’t have it all at once.” Times are changing. Recently, I have worked with several artists who have been able to balance motherhood and a creative career. Many young artists, like myself, who hope to one day have families of our own, marvel at the women who somehow manage to balance it all. In this limited Mother’s Day series, you’ll hear from North Carolina musicians who are inspiring examples of women who have embraced motherhood and their artistry and are defying the odds.
Durham County, N.C.
Name and age of your child:
Michael, 3 1/2
What is your child's favorite song?
His favorite song is definitely Bob Dylan’s "Blowing in the Wind” with “Blueberry Hill” by Fats Domino as a close second.
What does your child think of your own music?
He seems to love it when I practice at home and goes about his playing or his own business while I’m singing away. If I’m at the piano, Michael will sometimes come up and try to accompany me which usually results in us making stomping dinosaurs or fluttering butterfly sounds on the keys.
What’s the coolest part about being both a musician and a mother?
We’ve been fortunate to host several artists in residence at our home: several pianists, a banjo player, a violinist, a conductor from Germany and even a Grammy Award-winning producer. We also have salon concerts in our living room from time to time, and I teach at home weekly. From those salon recitals to impromptu jam sessions, Michael has seen many performances. He's even had a few personal serenades sung to him. I think having a home full of music is a pretty special and magical thing for a child to experience, and I’m grateful for all of my musician friends and colleagues who share themselves and their music with him so graciously.
Just yesterday Michael attended a concert of mine at the Carolina Theater and afterwards he said to me, “Mommy, when you were singing I was sending you all the love in my heart! Did you feel it?” The answer is YES, I truly felt it! So beautiful!
Andrea Edith Moore and her family
What challenges have you faced being both a musician and a mother?
Time management is always the biggest challenge. In addition to my own schedule, which can be all over the map from evening concerts and rehearsals to sometimes weeks away, my husband also owns and runs two restaurants and has a completely wild schedule. Somehow, we manage it all and are good partners in parenting, but we do it with a LOT of support from family nearby. We’re extremely fortunate that my parents and sister are nearby, and they’re is rarely a week that passes when we don’t count on them for some sort of childcare support. Of course that also means Michael is very close with and has special bonds with his extended family, cousins and grandparents and that is wonderful.
How does being a mother change the way you approach your music and your career?
I think I’m better at both planning and being spontaneous. I’ve become more efficient at practicing and preparation and I’ve also learned to let go of some extraneous nerves and anxieties. For example, I spent most of the morning yesterday at the playground with Michael before an afternoon concert. I think before I was a parent, I might have spent that earlier part of the day with my nerves. It makes me a better musician in general, I believe.
What advice would you give young musicians who would like to one day also be mothers?
You can do it! It’s not easy, but I have many friends and colleagues who are amazing women with vibrant careers and are succeeding at motherhood as well. I do think it helps to have a spouse who can truly co-parent and be near family or a great support system since the realities of performing mean that your schedule will likely be non-traditional and possibly involve travel for extended periods. It’s so worth it!
About the Artist
Soprano Andrea Edith Moore is a singing artist, music creator, actress, dynamic collaborator and educator who approaches all things vocal with a fearless excellence. She brings a “certain opalescence that is particularly served by her impressive phrasing and inherent musicality” (operagasm.com) and comfortably traverses repertoire from opera roles such as the Countess to Anne Trulove to chamber music spanning the gamut of Monteverdi to Kate Soper and singing backup vocals for pop genre-bender My Brightest Diamond. Moore has been a principle artist with North Carolina Opera, Hamburg Kammeroper, Central City Opera, Aspen Music Festival, Greensboro Opera, Long Leaf Opera Festival, Yale Opera, and Peabody Opera Theater. Moore is a prize-winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a grant recipient from the Anna Sosenko Assist Trust and has been twice awarded the Yale School of Music Alumni Award. For her commission Family Secrets: Kith and Kin Moore was granted the Performing Arts Special Activities Fund from UNC-CH and the Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artist Grant from the Durham and NC Arts Councils. Ms. Moore holds degrees from Yale University, the Peabody Conservatory of Music at The Johns Hopkins University and UNCSA. She served on the voice faculty of UNC at Chapel Hill for seven years. Ms. Moore now performs full time, teaches privately and, with her husband, is a mom to an energetic 3 year old and owns two restaurants in Durham and Chapel Hill, NC.