For singer/songwriter and vocal coach Heidi Jacobs, finding her passion was the easy part.

Heidi Jacobs

Heidi Jacobs

“I think I was probably 5 years old,” the Santa Ynez Valley-based voice teacher said. “I would come home from school and all I wanted to do was practice singing.”

She would sing along with the Annie soundtrack, belting tunes out at the top of her lungs. And when Cyndi Lauper’s 1983 album She’s So Unusual came out, Jacobs knew that no matter what else she did with her life, singing had to be a part of it.

But there was work to be done, she said. Her voice, though pleasant, had not reached its potential. It was through the work of years of vocal coaching from various teachers that Jacobs’ own pipes matured and acquired the versatility to handle song styles from arias to pop and rock vocals. In the process, she went from being a shy student to a confident performer.

After years of coaching in and around the valley — with several students who have gone on to perform in the popular youth regional vocal competition Teen Star, and have also become successful in the professional arena — Jacobs wants to give the gift of voice to young ladies who are in the position she was in not so long ago: wanting to sing, and wanting to be a better singer.

To answer that calling, Jacobs is forming Mystique, a contemporary choir for girls ages 12 to 18, and is looking for teen female talent and enthusiasm to participate.

The age group is special to Jacobs. Young girls in their formative years need an outlet for their creative energies as well as a place to find their inner strength and confidence, she said. And the release from the often stress filled grind of the school day is a significant bonus.

Jacobs’ unrelenting positivity is also contagious, and her ability to put her students at ease can turn even the most timid newbie singer into an enthusiastic — and finely tuned — vocalist.

“I want my students to believe in possibilities,” Jacobs said.

Many of her students start out feeling like they can’t sing well, only to surprise themselves by aligning with the strengths and working on the weaknesses Jacobs can find for them.

“Singing, to me, connects us to something larger than ourselves,” Jacobs said. “It allows us to tap into deep parts of who we are and show it to the world, which I think is super brave and amazing.”

Auditions for Mystique will be held at St. Mark’s in-the-Valley in Los Olivos from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3 and Wednesday, Sept. 10. Auditions are by appointment only. Mystique will focus largely on a cappella performance. Rehearsals for this unique choir begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17 at St. Mark’s in-the-Valley.

To schedule an audition appointment, for tuition information or other questions, please contact Jacobs at 805.448.9659 or Click here to learn more about Jacobs.

— Sonia Fernandez represents Mystique.