Story by Lisa Anderson
Joshua L. Mazur is a self-admitted over-thinker. Music is certainly his first love, but when life hands him bigger questions, he turns to other forms of art to help him work through the answers. He dabbles in photography, painting, and even dance. Music is his vocation, but the arts are his inspiration.
“My mother and father were avid at-home musicians. My mom sang at church all of the time. Lately, I’ve realized that experience had been a huge one for me.”
His family attended the First Baptist Church, and to Joshua, the hymns they would sing now sound similar to the Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi’s music. What may seem like cheating to him now, it was the big, loud singing through large numbers that made it sound like an opera. “I think that musical experience was formative.”
His journey has always been a musical one, but how it would shape his future wasn’t crystal clear as a child. Joshua wanted to be a professional flutist, but a hand injury made that dream impossible. In college, the composition department closed, so he decided to tackle the piano. Eventually, he switched to voice, which led to studying opera.
Joshua wasn’t prepared for the cost of singing. No, not the cost of time or sacrifice, but the actual financial cost. “There are some particular things about the business that [are] unseemly and inequitable.”
He’s referring to massive audition fees: “Paying $200 for the pleasure of auditioning for someone and only singing halfway through your aria before someone calls next.”
While he has chosen not to pursue a professional singing career for those reasons, Joshua is at peace with leading his communities through music and helping them to find comfort, joy, and peace. Whether that is with the praise and worship team at Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, conducting his Gainesville community choir Capella Nova, or being a servant to the Ocala Symphony Orchestra through its standing chorus, Joshua is held by the inspiration of music.