It’s been a crazy week for so many reasons. Whenever I am feeling some kind of way, I always find myself turning to music. Randomly, I remembered a video of an unknown singer named Calesta “Callie” Day that trended on Facebook a year or so ago and decided to give it a listen. I promise you, no matter what your musical and/or religious preferences may be, you should prepare to be astonished. In fact, you might want to sit down.
This isn’t even the full song, ya’ll…just the end. Literally, and I mean literally, every time I listen to this clip, tears come to my eyes. Now, I am not much of a religious person, but I do consider myself to be spiritual, and a lot of my belief in the divine comes from the presence and power of music. I am not here to preach to you today but to simply share with you that in this woman’s voice, I hear something greater and more powerful than us and know that things will be alright. Callie may, in fact, be the best singer I have ever heard. The run a 0:25 alone may be the most beautiful thing I have ever heard based on its articulation and dexterity. And then you get to experience the otherworldly range and percision that starts with her first tenor 2/baritone “amen” and ends with one of the most impressively difficult runs I have ever heard.
Here, you see her singing some more traditional, down home, upbeat gospel with another unknown singer named Lan Wilson. They tear this up. You can really the versatility of Callie’s voice here from gritty to operatic, which is a signal of real vocal control. The best thing about this video, besides the singing, is that Callie is having the words fed to her every few bars and she STILL busts out incredibly well composed vocal parts.
Calesta “Callie” Day is currently a doctoral candidate in Voice Performance at the University of where her doctoral project is “Exploring The Role Of African American Opera Singers In The Establishment Of The Spiritual As A Musicial Art Form From 1900 To 1920”. She has performed in numerous operas, including Porgy and Bess, The Marriage of Figaro, and Cosí Fan Tutte. Learn more about this artist on her website here.