I have an extensive background in cello, so when I decided to switch my primary instrument to voice the adjustment was weird, to say the least. I am a junior and I am still adjusting to it, which is fine as I had 9 years of cello education. Learning the proper technique for healthy singing has been a long journey and not a very simple one. I was used to physically playing an instrument, another being, but now I am that being.
The Essentials in my Daily Life
As a junior, I have learned key aspects in my life that help me keep going and ensure that I am healthy. Of course, I am still learning and there is no perfect routine out there, but I have come a long way in figuring out some things that work for me. As long as you are willing to learn and experiment with what brings you joy then that’s all that matters. I thought I might share some things I do every day that make life a bit easier.
In the midst of unprecedented times, several musicians have faced a new challenge: several auditions that have typically been in-person have now switched to a virtual format. For many musicians, this is a MUCH more comfortable audition method! However, I consider myself as more of a “one and done” kind of gal. I want to walk onto a stage, introduce myself, sing for a judge, and then call it a day… but sometimes, you gotta record your audition from your apartment. I like to think I’ve got my virtual audition method down to a science, and I would love to share it with you!
Singing in the Sunken Gardens
Sept 24, 2021, marked the first Lyric Theatre at Illinois concert of the 2021/22 season, which sold out within the first two weeks! It was electrifying to sing to a sold-out house (or should I say- garden) of 250+ people after a year of virtual music-making and limited audience attendance. As a part of the “Lyric Theatre Under the Stars” concert, I had the opportunity to perform the witch’s aria from Rusalka and a gorgeous duet from Madama Butterfly. We also sang beautiful chorus numbers such as One Day More from Les Misérables, Va Pensiero from Nabucco, and Make our Garden Grow from Candide.
Learning, Singing, Laughing, and… Crawling:
Joining Lyric Theatre Studio as a Vocal Performance Major
Entering my junior year as a vocal performance major, I wanted to bring more improvisation, movement, and musical theater repertoire into my craft. After a long chat with my voice teacher, I decided to give the lyric theater studio a try! Meeting on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3 to 5, the studio encourages lyric theatre majors, as well as vocal performance and choral music ed majors to join! Led by professors Sarah Wigley and Michael Tilley, this studio has been nothing but warm, welcoming, and FUN!
My Senior Recital
The Senior Recital is the ultimate culmination of the Bachelor of Music degree. This is an hour-long program, and the solo performer takes the stage for its entirety. I gave a Junior Recital last year, and this was a 30-minute performance in the Smith Memorial Room. I was very excited to present an hour-long program, as I knew this would give me space to tell many stories and present different musical styles.
Preparing My Recital
One of the great milestones of any undergraduate music student’s career is their senior recital, which truly serves as a culmination of the previous four years. I am just over a month from giving my senior recital and finishing off my musical requirements here at the University of Illinois.
I have always heard about the Krannert Debut Artist competition, one of the most prestigious competitions in the UIUC School of Music. One artist is selected each year to give a debut performance as a young professional musician on the Foellinger Great Hall stage. They are a featured artist in the Krannert Season, and they even get to sign a brick in the production hallway of Krannert! Last Tuesday, I got an email from my professor, Jerold Siena, saying that he had nominated me for this competition.
Since I am a senior undergraduate, the question of my plans after graduation looms large. I started thinking about these plans quite early, meeting professors from appealing graduate programs during junior year. Now, in late February of my senior year, I am nearing the end of this long but imperative process. This is a very unique audition season; some schools eliminated the pre-screen round entirely, some simply advanced our videos to a second viewing, and a few required live virtual auditions over Zoom! In January, I had such an audition for Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and this helped me get comfortable with this unique audition format. Earlier today, February 20th, I had another virtual live audition, this time for the Voice and Opera Program at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music in Evanston, IL.