Teena Handline remembers the exact moment she realized she had a gift. “I actually remember the story very vividly,” she starts. “I was in choir, and my vocal teacher in school just said ‘Project. Open your mouth. You don’t know what’s going to come out but just try.’ I did, and that’s when I realized I could really sing.”
That moment has led to a life of singing for Handline, now a third-year student at Temple Law School. Since that day, Handline has performed several times in theater and choir, recorded original music, and taken part in several musical student organizations, including Women’s Rea and Habeas Chorus, two a cappella groups at Temple Law School.
Most recently, Handline’s voice landed her an appearance on Philadelphia’s Wired 96.5 FM, where she was one of five contestants to compete for front-of-the-line passes to audition for NBC’s reality TV competition, The Voice, in Philadelphia. Handline tweeted a YouTube video of her singing the National Anthem at last year’s Deans’ Cup basketball game to earn her spot in the competition. She says it was an adrenaline rush to appear on the radio. “I mean, it’s live a cappella on the radio,” said Handline. “That’s hard for a professional artist, never mind at six in the morning in a cold radio studio.”
Handline handled her nerves, however, and sang a beautiful a cappella rendition of Jessie J’s “Big White Room,” (listen to Handline’s performance below) after which she sat with other contestants while listeners called the station and revealed whether or not they would turn their chair for each performance. Listening to the callers, she admitted, “Was more nerve wracking than the actual
Ultimately, Handline earned her front-of-the-line pass to audition for The Voice, and while she didn’t make it through to Los Angeles, the entire event has had a big impact on her. “It did kind of inspire me to get back into music,” said Handline, who at one time had dreams of a career in the music industry but was ultimately drawn to the legal side of sports and entertainment.
Since the audition, Handline has purchased a microphone and recently recorded two songs with a high school friend. While she doesn’t know what they’re going to do with the songs yet, she does admit to having a lot of fun making music again. “It’s something I’m passionate about,” she said. “If you don’t have that thing, I don’t think you’re really living.”