A piano, a voice and a racket

Carly Bohman and Rebecca Breland will perform in a talent show later this month.

Carly Bohman (left) and Rebecca Breland have been involved with music nearly their entire lives. Bohman plays the piano and ukelele, while Breland enjoys singing. | Hua Zong TTN
Carly Bohman (left) and Rebecca Breland have been involved with music nearly their entire lives. Bohman plays the piano and ukelele, while Breland enjoys singing. | Hua Zong TTN

In the lobby of a Houston hotel, Carly Bohman spotted a piano.

She and the rest of the women’s tennis team were waiting for transportation to arrive during the middle of a two-match Texas road trip in early March.

“I can play,” Bohman told the players.

She walked over and sat down on the bench. As her fingers glided across the keys, she began to sing – her teammates soon joined her. The longer the taxi took to arrive, the more their voices echoed throughout the room.

One voice that stood out was that of junior Rebecca Breland, who, like Bohman, has been involved with music nearly her entire life. The two students said they plan to showcase their abilities at a talent show for Temple student-athletes on April 28 at McGonigle Hall.

Coach Steve Mauro said he has seen a YouTube video Bohman uploaded of her singing and said it was enjoyable to hear her vocal abilities during the trip.

“Carly entertained us and all the girls were so impressed with how she sings,” Mauro said. “It’s nice. It shows another side of Carly besides being a good tennis player.”

Breland, a junior from Las Vegas, has a passion for singing while Bohman, a senior, tackled everything from the piano to the ukulele at a performing arts high school in Ontario, Canada.

For as long as Bohman has been devoted to tennis, she has been dedicated to music. She first began formal lessons around the time she was 5 years old, and became serious about tennis around when she turned 9 years old.

But Bohman said she feels like she’s been playing instruments since before she could talk.

“I’ve always been really drawn to the lyrical aspect,” Bohman said. “There’s such an emotion tied to it that you can’t get across in any other medium.”

While Breland does not have the same expansive instrumental repertoire as her teammate, music is a part of who she is – as a student and an athlete. Breland said she has been asked to sing the national anthem at sporting events, something she hopes to do in the future.

“I started singing when I was about 5,” Breland said. “I’m always singing. I sing all the time on the court or when I’m walking around. I just love the vibe. It’s so relaxing and it calms me down.”

Breland said her singing has greatly benefited her play during competition. When her vocals begin to subtly creep onto the court, she said it could often be advantageous.

“I find that when I sing more it helps me to relax on the court,” Breland said. “Music loosens me up.”

With the rigorous schedule of a Division I athlete, both Bohman and Breland say it can often be hard for them to find time for the hobby they love.

“I don’t feel like I play as much during the tennis season,” Bohman said.

“It can be really time-consuming,” Breland said.

Although Breland and Bohman are majoring in fields unrelated to music, both say it is a part of their lives that they cherish.

“It’s something that’s been with me my whole life,” Bohman said. “I definitely plan on continuing to play music in the future.”

“I like singing for fun just to do it,” Breland said. “If it opens up opportunities for me, then that would be great.”

Benjamin McWilliams can be reached at benjamin.mcwilliams@temple.edu.

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