Dear friends, family, and the internet world!
In August of 2013, I will begin my Master of Music degree in Voice Performance at Arizona State University
in Phoenix, Arizona. I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University
with a Bachelor of Music degree, Magna Cum Laude, in May of 2012. During the past year, I have been auditioning for graduate school in order to further my education towards becoming a full-time opera singer. I have also worked during this time, funding my graduate school application process single-handedly, which included paying for my voice lessons, coachings, application fees, transportation to and from the auditions, lodgings, and more, which has totaled to over $4,100 since I started this process in September of 2012. This was also the second time I applied to graduate school, the first process beginning in September of 2011.
At the conclusion of the auditions, I was admitted to four top schools in the country: University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Temple University, Arizona State University and Mannes College The New School For Music. I was offered scholarships by all of them, but I could not bring myself to go into so much student debt. Even after receiving Mannes' Dean's Merit Scholarship based on talent exhibited in my audition in the amount of $18,330, one semester's worth of tuition, there was no way I could afford to take out $54,990 in loans to cover the rest of the cost of tuition, much less pay for room and board myself in NYC for two years.
I chose Arizona State, who offered me an 85% scholarship with their Special Talent Award, leaving me $2,528 short in tuition costs for the first year. I hope I can receive the same scholarship for my second year there. I was offered an incredible scholarship from Arizona State University and am eternally grateful for it! Unfortunately, I do not have the funds I need to cover the rest of tuition, much less my room, board, transportation and other living expenses. This summer, I will be working full time to save up for my rent and expenses for the upcoming school year. Fortunately, I have defrayed the costs of voice lessons for this summer by receiving the Shirley Rabb Winston Scholarship in Voice
from the National Society of Arts and Letters in the amount of $1,200. One less expense I need to cover, I can now focus on saving for my living ones for the fall.
However, I need your help to cover the rest of my tuition.
Any amount that you can donate will be greatly appreciated and bring me one step closer to realizing my dreams!
For those of you who do not know me personally or would like more details on what I've been doing: I am thrilled to have been a part of multiple operas, performing in Die Fledermaus, as Lay Sister (Suor Angelica), Dew Fairy (Hansel and Gretel), Amelia (Amelia Goes to the Ball), and in Camelot with Virginia Opera. I have also been in many opera and theater scenes performances, playing Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare), Kostanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Laurie (The Tender Land), Dorine (Tartuffe), and Maria (West Side Story). I am so lucky to have been a part of these productions; having this first hand experience in shows with a full orchestra and ones with piano has been incomparable to anything I could study from a book and has given me the experience that I need in order to know how to prepare and perform in opera productions.
In 2011, I was fortunate enough to study in Germany
for nearly two months with James Madison University
's summer abroad program, "Opera, Lieder, Language, and Culture of Germany." While there, I performed as Genevieffa (Suor Angelica) and Solo Angel (Maid of Orléans with the Mittelsächsisches Philharmonie and Theater
. I also performed in a Wolf Lieder recital, was selected to perform in a scenes gala as Zerlina (Don Giovanni) and in musical theatre performances. I studied German in a fully immersed setting, inside the classroom and out. I took voice lessons, had coachings, diction coachings, and master classes. This experience was so rewarding in so many ways; it was the first time I had ever left the country, so I was able to experience another culture and be a part of it, one that I will be emulating in my performances for the rest of my life. It was also the first time I had ever sung in a professional company, much less a European one, so getting to actually be in professional productions really showed exactly what it is like. I was extremely grateful to VCU for their Summer Studies Grant, without which this amazing program would not have been possible to attend.
Last summer, I was able to attend the Crittenden Opera Studio
Summer Workshop in Bethesda, MD in which I performed as Adina (The Elixir of Love), Ilia (Idomeneo) and Susanna (The Marriage of Figaro) in their scenes galas. I was also selected as one of four out of 30 to perform in a master class given. I participated in daily movement, acting and business classes while there. Also last summer, I attended the Buck Hill-Skytop Music Festival
in East Stroudsburg, PA. While there, I performed and participated in ten master classes and multiple galas. I was selected to perform as Christine Daaé (The Phantom of the Opera) as a part of the final gala. Both of these programs were very helpful towards my education and I feel blessed to have been a part of each, teaching me more than I could imagine about rehearsing, performing and the music business.
These invaluable experiences along with my college education have offered more than I could ever ask for in terms of what I have learned and gained, and the masters I have learned from have given me so much knowledge concerning everything I need to know to be able to learn and perform to the best of my ability. I have taken away so much valuable information from each lesson, coaching, master class, rehearsal, production and more that I can only hope to pass along in the future.
My goals are accessible, but have expenses. If you can help to bring them closer by donating to my education, I would be so grateful. Thank you so much in advance for any contribution you can give!
If you cannot make a donation, thank you for taking the time to read this and catch up on my happenings--please don't hesitate to shoot me a message, say hi and let me know what you have been up to as well!!