Music has always been an important part of Cecile “Cec” Owings’s life. Some of her fondest memories are of her family singing around the piano with her sister, Virginia, playing. She learned to play the flute, but singing always remained her favorite. As a youth, Cec sang in her church choir, and being Catholic that meant a lot of Latin!
Growing up in Iowa City, Cec and her family attended many of the concerts and operas staged at the University of Iowa. As a student at the University of Iowa, Cec had the opportunity and pleasure of working under the baton of Dr. Dan Moe and Dr. James Dixon, both legendary University of Iowa choral conductors. One of the highlights of her time in the University of Iowa choir was singing in the final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
In the early 1990s, after being away from church and not singing for many years, Cec found UUSIC. Her first experience was attending a funeral, and shortly after that she began attending regularly. She joined the choir almost right away and again sang for the well-known and beloved conductor, Peter Alexander. Singing with the Fireside Choir was a great way to feel a part of the community, to feel supported, and a way to enhance her spiritual experience.
Cec earned her BA from the University of Iowa and then went to Waterloo for nursing school. After a long and successful nursing career, Cec retired almost three years ago. She is now taking advantage of the many opportunities the greater Iowa City community has to offer. She is taking classes through the University of Iowa Senior College. Most of the classes she has chosen are medical or science based (e.g., genetics and evolution). Reading is a favorite past time, and presently she is reading a book by David Quammen about animal diseases and pandemics (just a little light reading!). Some of her favorite reads circle around, and she just finished rereading Tale of Two Cities and the Harry Potter series.