This weekend, we held our last studio recital before we head off on our Florida Adventure! It was so exciting to see all of our students up there performing with all of their hearts. They worked so hard to prepare the duets and group numbers, which was the theme for this recital. We love seeing how much they enjoy sharing their music and progress with their friends and family. In our studio, we teach classical music, musical theatre, jazz, whatever our students bring to work on. We encourage them to try different kinds of music because we learn so much from each style. Not only do we teach this to our students, but we also live it as performers!
|Griffiths Music Studio Final Recital!|
|American Traditions Vocal Competition. Photo Credit: John Carrington|
In 8th grade I joined my school choir, and I stayed in choir all the way until I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Choral Music Education from the University of Utah in 2013. Right after graduating, I started teaching choir at a local high school. I wanted to instill my love of music with my students. I was always sure to program a variety of music, and we often had themed concerts like Broadway, Movies, Pop, and International music. I always loved finding new music for my students that would be challenging and enjoyable for them and for the audience. I’m sure many of you reading this have been to a fair share of boring choir concerts of all slow music. You wouldn’t have had that experience coming to my concerts!
|King Kaspar in
“Amahl and the Night Visitors”
at the U of U
A highlight during my degree was competing in the American Traditions Vocal Competition in Savannah, Georgia. This competition was very unique and didn’t focus on exclusively operatic singing like most other competitions. The competition was music by exclusively American composers, but each of the contestant’s nine songs must be in a different genre, including Opera, Musical Theatre, Jazz, Country, Singer-songwriter, Hollywood, Gospel, etc. When I read about this competition I thought, “FINALLY! A competition that celebrates vocal performance the way I do!”
This competition opened my eyes and confirmed to me what I’ve felt all along about vocal performance: It is a giant world that is far too fun to be a part of to isolate it into a single box. I respect anyone who only feels comfortable singing in one style, but for me, my voice longs to explore all of it! What I found is that instead of imposing a song on my voice, I need to find songs that speak to me, regardless of where I find them. If we don’t find something that speaks to us, how could we possibly communicate it with our audiences? I’ve found that opera is still enjoyable for me, but not what I want to do all the time. I’ve expressed this to some people who say, “But you got a Master’s degree in it!,” to which I respond, “No. I got a degree in Vocal Performance.
Whatever your passion, whether it’s music, art, athletics, writing, or something else entirely, always look for ways to keep it as your passion, not as a chore. There will always be naysayers, but who cares? I think we spend far too much time trying to find a path of belonging in society rather than finding a place within ourselves. One of my largest performance goals is finding the songs that allow me to communicate in a way that I wouldn’t be able to otherwise. The best performers I’ve observed are the ones who are honest and that the audience can understand and connect with.
One of my big career goals is to be a professional performer with Disney! Dream gigs are playing “Crush” in Finding Nemo: The Musical at Animal Kingdom, singing with the Voices of Liberty at the American Pavilion in Epcot, and, the big one, singing as lead tenor with the Dapper Dans in Magic Kingdom.
What are some of your passions? What’s holding you back from going forward with your goals? We would love to hear your story as well! Please comment and tell us more about you!