COMPETITIVE EDGE FOR
YOUNG CLASSICAL SINGERS
Practical solutions for the challenges of
getting ahead in our industry:
- Finding the auditions you want
- Deciding which concert repertoire to prepare for auditions
- Reliable vocal health advice
- Valuable intel for conquering the obstacles facing young singers today
- Plus subscriber feedback!
DAWNA RAE WARREN
Dawna Rae is one of the newest members of our Emerging Artists Division program here at VAMS. Extremely lucky and proud to be associated with her magical, versatile artistry, and her lovely, down-to-earth personality!
A recent graduate of University of Colorado (Boulder) Artists Diploma program (2023), Dawna Rae also has a Bachelor of Music degree from Baldwin Wallace College and a Masters in Music from University of Kentucky.
One frustration felt by many young singers is perfectly expressed by Dawna Rae: I’m pretty freshly out of school, and most of my performance opportunities have come out of recommendations and positive experience from working with me before. It seems I am viewed as a “no-brainer, hire her again!” — but not always a “Who is she? Let’s give her a chance!”
This is only a matter of perseverance — assuming you have a great voice teacher and are having regular lessons. Hang in there and keep singing for everyone who will hear you. That low-humming buzz you hear means that someone is deciding to take a chance on you!
Let’s listen to Dawna Rae’s brilliant performance of Musetta, Act 2 of La Boheme, in which Musetta sings Quando m’en vo’.
One thing I really love about this one is how it shows Dawna Rae’s own distinctive creative style and how boldly and confidently she inhabits the character! Her instrument is first-rate — very beautiful sound, yes, but also a wide range of colors she uses at her artistic whim. Dawna Rae’s vocal technique is solid and reliable, so she is free to use her musical imagination. Her performances draw people into the music.
Dawna Rae Warren is a young coloratura with exciting potential and is definitely an artist to watch!
Your Vocal Health Comes First
Fall allergies, anyone? Scratchy throat, excess mucus production? This could help!
Natural Remedies for Singers’ Allergies
A somewhat off-the-beaten track website for finding auditions is Audition Oracle. It does require a small subscription fee. But you are likely to discover auditions that often are not listed elsewhere, including musical theatre auditions and listings for teaching jobs. You can build your own profile page on Audition Oracle, so others can discover you. Most of us are familiar with ClassicalSinger.net, which is also a subscription-based source of audition listings. But Audition Oracle is kind of a best-kept secret. Our represented singers love it!
Another source for auditions you might check, if you are not already aware, is this one.
Watching Your Wallet
Do you have a recital booked out of town? Paying your accompanist’s travel expense is frequently a deal-breaker. What are your options?
First, ask the good people who have engaged you if they might suggest a good local accompanist. Of course any musicians you know who live within a reasonable distance should be asked as well. The largest church(es) in town will likely employ the finest organists. You might ask if he/she accompanies singers’ recitals.
When your recital program requires travelling, another choice for hiring an accompanist is locating one through pianoaccompanists.com.
If you select an accompanist this way, you will want to communicate with him/her early on, preferably weeks before the performance. Ask well in advance to meet over the internet, so you can listen to him/her play the accompaniments for your program. This should tell you whether you have the right person, or whether you should find a different accompanist.
Faced with the latter situation, you certainly do not want to be scrambling at the last minute. For the sake of your performance, plan ahead. Consider arriving a day prior to the performance, so you have ample time to rehearse.
Remember, a recital accompanist is your duo partner. The quality of your performance depends upon creating a great ensemble!
Good question from a subscriber:
How should I select a young artist’s apprentice program to apply for?
My view is word of mouth referral is usually much better than being enticed by advertisements.
First, I recommend asking voice teachers and style coaches which programs they believe are best and why. Also, think of which friends or acquaintances have recently completed a program you are considering. We singers love to talk, so you are likely okay to ask if he or she will tell you whether or not they benefited from the experience.
Sending you warm wishes and tons of good luck!
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