Santa Cruz native Heather Houston has been pulling inspiration from ocean, wildflower, and redwood –and from the women who move through them– for a long time. Singing was central to her life from a young age, and as an adult she has maintained that passion through her women’s singing circle Sisters in Harmony, women’s choir Yala Lati, and in the 10,000 voice lessons she has taught here in Santa Cruz during her 17 years in business as Heather Houston Music.
Soft-spoken in her words, when singing her voice is clear and powerful. And it is this same sense of self and support from her community that she wishes to pass on to her students.
“I’ve watched women’s lives transform within the time that they’re in my circle. Witnessed them going from being withdrawn to being open and empowered with their voices, and then in turn their lives. I’ve seen women’s lives transform just through the act of opening their voices. That’s a big piece of why I do this.”
What began as a small schedule of private lessons first expanded to include her singing circles, an all-women’s affair referred to as Sisters in Harmony in addition to monthly community circles where all are welcome. After an initial introductory class, participants of Sisters in Harmony join in to weekly sessions to build their voices together in an open and supportive environment.
“I believe that women really thrive in a community, they thrive when they collaborate, they thrive when they feel witnessed, and they also thrive when other people are holding them to their dreams.”