By: Emma F., National Opera Teens Advisory Committee
For high school students who are considering studying music in college, summer music programs can be a great way to get prepared. These programs show what it’s like to be able to have days where you study music constantly and are a good indicator of what going to a conservatory would be like. This summer, I had the opportunity to study at the Brevard Music Center.
My time at Brevard was educational, exciting, but above all, inspiring. As a prospective vocal performance major, I am frequently reminded of the dangers of pursuing music. While my family and friends are all very supportive, sometimes it feels as though I am told not to follow my dreams far more frequently than I am told to follow them. I rarely have the opportunity to speak with thriving performers, teachers and composers. However, at Brevard, I was surrounded by them. These are my ultimate role models – people who decided to do what they love simply because they can’t imagine themselves doing anything else.
This experience didn’t only motivate me to pursue my passions – it also made me a much better musician. Access to regular concerts deepened my appreciation for orchestral music; daily music theory or history classes increased my knowledge about music and prepared me for those types of classes in college; daily voice lessons, acting classes, and sitting in on masterclasses strengthened me as a performer.
This experience was also exciting because of the numerous experiences with opera that I had. I was able to attend a performance of Weill’s Street Scene – which has become one of my favorite contemporary operas – as well as a concert dedicated to Gilbert and Sullivan. I performed in a solo recital as well as an opera scenes recital, where I myself had the opportunity to sing in several scenes from Gilbert and Sullivan works. I also had the opportunity to perform in my first Verdi Requiem under the baton of Joann Falletta and alongside world renowned musicians such as Ryan Speedo Green.
I would highly recommend a program such as Brevard to any high schooler who is passionate about music. I can’t imagine a more valuable musical experience.
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