Every Friday, we spotlight a past Joci Awards finalist and find out what they’ve been up to since performing in the annual competition, learn what the future holds for them, and ask them to dish sage advice to future competitors. Look for a new finalist spotlight every Friday, and if you know of a past winner interested in being featured, contact us here.
First, tell us what year, category, song/piece, etc., you performed at the Joci Awards. I participated in the 2015 Joci Awards apart of the Vocal division where I performed “Green Finch and Linnet Bird” from Sweeney Todd by Sondheim.
What are you up to now? I am currently a first year at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music working towards a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. I’m so lucky to be in an environment where I’m constantly surrounded by people that appreciate and can relate to my craft. It is a truly inspiring environment and I feel I’ve already made much progress.
What are your plans for the future? After completing my undergraduate degree, I would like to get a Masters in Vocal Performance and eventually a Doctorate in Vocal Pedagogy. I definitely see myself performing on the operatic stage and ultimately teaching at a music conservatory much like the one I’m currently attending.
Tell us about your Joci Awards experience. What was it like performing on stage of the Empire Theatre? Any other fun memories that stand out? I am so thankful for my experience with the Joci Awards. This competition, dare I even call it that, was more of a celebration of everyone’s talents. I only felt positive encouragement coming from the other performers, staff, judges, and audience members. The Empire Theatre is too beautiful to put into words. There is an indescribable feeling that overcomes you when you stand on a stage where so many other talents have stood. I hope to be able to perform on that stage again in my future. One of the coolest things about the Award Show is the connection that you build with the other performers in a matter of days. When I came in for rehearsals, I hadn’t known anyone but by the time the show was wrapping up, I had already build a connection with a number of people ranging in divisions. It’s an irreplicable experience.
What advice do you have for future scholarship applicants and Joci Awards performers? Clean your audition materials so that nothing will get in the way of your audition/performance. Ultimately, think of this experience as another opportunity to work on your craft. If you go in with a positive attitude, you’re more likely to come out with positive results!
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