Walk into the CU football locker rooms at the Champions Center on a quiet afternoon and listen closely. If you’re lucky, you might just hear Chance Lytle’s bass drifting out of an empty room.
“I’m able to fit in practicing in the football building. There are several quiet rooms and large, open rooms that are empty a lot of the time.”
Lytle will be a sophomore this year at the College of Music, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in music with a focus on voice performance. He’ll also join the Buffs football team on the field for the first time as a guard and tackle on the offensive line. He was recruited as a grayshirt freshman during his senior year of high school—right around the time he was picking up singing.
“I started playing violin in fifth grade, then cello until my senior year of high school,” he explains. “But then I had to get surgery on my shoulder because of football, so I joined choir during the second half of my senior year.”
The San Antonio native fell in love with singing, quickly learning a couple of pieces just in time to audition at the College of Music. Now that his shoulder is healed, he says he occasionally picks up his bowed instruments to give them a spin—when he can find the time.
“Football is every day until 11, and it’s every day, all year. There are off times when you’re not on the field, but then you’re attending meetings. That’s why I have to get in singing when I can. But both the football and music programs have done their best to accommodate me.”
Though they seem like fundamentally different pursuits, Lytle says football and music have more in common than just halftime performances.
“Both of them require unbelievable amounts of practice. That’s something that thankfully crosses over. That work ethic carries through to all aspects of my life.
“The way I try to approach it is to put as much into music as I put into football, and vice versa.”
Having been an athlete for 10 years and a musician for almost as long, Lytle has learned to balance his two passions, even finding a kind of serenity in the constant back and forth.
“I love them both. I enjoy having multiple passions and feel very lucky to have that. Both of them are an escape so I can never get tired of either one.”
And when it all comes together—whether on stage or on the field—the hard work is all worth it.
“I compare practicing scales to the constant grind of football practice. You may not enjoy it as much, but the payoff is great. The games and the performances are a blast.
“Plus, I get to hear the band and hum along with the chords during football games.”
Lytle hopes to work toward a degree in music education and someday teach and coach high school football.