By Todd Camp
Personal details: Eric Ramsey, a 46-year-old Texas-native who moved to Dallas from Odessa in 1988 and works full time as a fraud agent for Citi and part time as a freelance hairstylist. A self-described sci-fi nerd, Eric enjoys reading and going to the movies.
Chops: He started performing and taking voice lessons at the tender age of 4 and never stopped singing until his mid-20s. In addition to early school choral groups, Eric also performed with his family’s gospel group. Many award-winning vocal performances followed throughout junior high and high school, including a full scholarship in vocal performance to Texas Tech University, before he went on to study music vocal performance (among other subjects) at the University of Texas at Arlington. He performed within several singing groups as well as a marching and jazz band. He served as president and treasurer of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the professional musicians fraternity. Eric celebrates his fourth year with TCC in August.
Most memorable performances: Though Eric says his debut performance with TCC is probably the most unforgettable largely because it was his first in 18 years, he has favorites for each of the Chorale’s internal groups with which he’s performed. For the full Chorale, his favorite performance was Andrea Ramsey’s “That Which Remains” at the Meyerson Symphony Center. For the Chamber Chorus, it was Rachmaninov’s “Bogoroditsye Dyevo” in the Dallas’ Interfaith Peace Chapel. And for Camerata, it was performing Hoagy Carmichael’s “The Nearness of You” at the New Cities Summit conference in Dallas.
What draws you to TCC: Like many of his fellow Turtles, Eric says he was drawn to the brotherhood of musical performance. “It is a communal experience which is a picture of one moment in time, and although the sound never stops traveling in space, it can never be experienced in the exact same way again. For some of us, the performance is the air that we breathe, our spirituality, and sustenance,” he says. “The fact that a lot of us, mostly gay men or musicians, may have a shared experience of sometimes personal maltreatment gives us an added layer of emotional attachment to each other which makes our performance more of a profound moment.”
Fun fact: Eric reluctantly admits that he had to wear a baby bonnet in an opera workshop in college, “under duress and to the amusement of most everyone who knew me!”