Local singer Leslie Frye will perform ‘The Wind Beneath My Wings’ at your ceremony, but he really doesn’t want to
Leslie Frye is more than happy to sing at your wedding, but if you select a song that’s been performed countless times before at millions of other weddings, he may have words with you. He keeps it friendly, but Frye also wants couples getting married to have an extra-special day, and special means unique. And that Titanic song just doesn’t cut it.
“God help me if I have to sing ‘You Raise Me Up’ by Josh Groban again,” he laughs. “I get ‘I Hope You Dance’ a lot. But ‘Wind Beneath my Wings’ may be the top of my please-don’t-ask-me-to-sing-that song list.”
It’s not that Frye won’t serenade new couples with their choice of music, but as a person who truly believes in the magic of the ceremony, he wants to contribute tunes that haven’t been done to death. People tend to gravitate either toward trendy songs or traditional wedding hymns, but Frye is intent on working with the couple to create something original.
“I sang at a wedding recently for some dear friends and I just love finding a song that fits them perfectly,” he says. “I’ll even rewrite some words to fit the occasion of a same-sex couple. And really, those traditional or obvious songs are fine, but I always say I want it to be a song they love, not one they think I should sing.”
If you really wanna hear that Celine Dion earworm again, Frye won’t dismiss you. He’d just prefer to search for the meaning it may have to justify it. And every so often, a tune just isn’t going to work.
“Someone wanted ‘Sweet Home Alabama,’ and you just can’t translate that into a church with a piano and a voice. But I don’t get asked to do Lady Gaga a lot,” he laughs. “Usually people come open-minded, but there are some who are strong headed about what they want. But we’ll always discuss it.
Frye, who also performs with the Turtle Creek Chorale, has built his reputation by word-of-mouth, fast becoming a favorite for the Cathedral of Hope congregation. Add to that his gregarious personality and genuine regard for providing an emotional touch to the ceremony, and Frye has garnered many fans. Event services manager at COH Travis Lee-Moore is an enthusiastic supporter.
“Leslie can bring down a house of 50 at, say, the Interfaith Peace Chapel, or a couple thousand at the Meyerson,” he says. “He is so very talented and never misses an opportunity to leave his audience in stitches or tears or somewhere in between. His rendition of ‘You Are My Home’ from The Scarlet Pimpernel was a beautiful addition to the wedding we just performed.”
By day, Frye is an ultrasound technician where he gets to tell expectant mothers if they are having a boy or a girl. As a voice major in college, he longed to be a performer, but the reality of it was all too obvious.
“Well, I needed to eat, “ he chuckles. “I never considered myself a wedding singer but I do consider myself a singer who has sung at many weddings.”
And it’s no wonder. He doesn’t just sing at weddings, he wholeheartedly believes in the procession of them all. Whether gay or straight, he’s seen up close that the dynamic of love is the same. For him, a gay wedding looks the same as any straight one.
“I hope [the community] gets to a level where we stop seeing ourselves as different,” he explains. “Love is the same journey for everyone! I feel blessed to live in this time to see that. Other than maybe some lyric changes, there’s no different when I design a music program for a couple. It’s wonderful.”
Which sounds like he’s the perfect guy you want singing at your wedding.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 4, 2012.