Student Successes

Here are some of The Bolshoi Music Studio’s exceptional students…

Carleigh Ross is currently a student at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, in their 4-year Opera Program.  Carleigh had planned on studying music education with a minor in voice, but when she went to her audition she was encouraged by the judging panel to switch her major to vocal performance, so she did.  Carleigh was one of the first sophomores ever to be chosen to sing with the prestigious Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.  She sang selections from Hansel & Gretel, Christmas carols and the mezzo solo from Handel’s Messiah.                      

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At only 11 years old, K-Lynn Jackman is a supremely talented young lady.  After working with me and learning a healthier way to belt, K-Lynn went on to secure the starring female role, Nala, in The Lion King, on Broadway at the Minskoff Theatre.  K-Lynn completed her two-year contract this past September and is now preparing for the National Tour! To balance all the belting she does and keep a high forward placement, K-Lynn works on operatic repertoire in her lessons, most recently from Mozart’s Don Giovannias well as standard Italian art songs.  Her Italian is absolutely beautiful and her diction is flawless.  When she grows up, she feels she would like to be an opera singer, and if she decides to go this way, I believe we are looking at the next Leontyne Price.  K-Lynn’s charismatic acting ability is only equaled by her facility at going from a chesty belt to head voice, and back again. 

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Maya Watters has a lovely, clear-as-a-bell mezzo-soprano tone, and recently began working on belting as well. She communicates exceptionally well with her audiences and has wonderful stage presence. All Maya’s teachers report on what a joy it is to work with her.  She began dance lessons when she was 3, focusing on ballet and tap. Her performances include Baby Take a Bow, Broadway Baby, and Shuffle off to Buffalo.  Maya began acting lessons in 2014 at the Action Theater Conservatory in Clifton and is currently in her third session working on Monologues.  Maya began work at our studio in 2014. She is rocketing ahead with technique and loves singing.  She has sung in every talent show at the Dogwood Hill Elementary School since first grade leaving no dry eye in the house when she sang “Over the Rainbow” a capella. In 2014, she sang a solo in the school production of “Grease is the Word,” and was Sally in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown in 2016.  Maya has begun going on professional auditions and had a Broadway producer’s attention for a few weeks this year.

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Erin Pach is a Renaissance-singer, meaning that she fits into several categories; Musical Theatre, Cabaret, and Operetta.  Sexy and a natural comedienne, she has a wonderful ability to cross from a full belt into head voice and back again with no break; a perfect column, up and down.  Her connection to the text displays an exquisitely fragile vulnerability at times, while at others her ability to allow her emotions to dictate where a piece can travel is uniquely powerful.  Erin is building up a large repertoire of songs to begin work as a Cabaret singer.  In regional companies over the last three years, Erin has played the Leading Player and Roller Rita in The Musical of Musicals: The Musical with Nutley Little Theater, and Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, Lieutenant Genevieve Marshall and Glory Baker in South Pacific, and Rifka in Fiddler On The Roof  with Theatre League of Clifton.

GinaRegina Reilly is a dramatic soprano with a full, round sound that fills the hall with warmth and color.  Her dedication to feeling the text produces an emotional line to her phrasing that is uniquely beautiful. When we first began working together, Gina struggled with finding consistency in her sound, which came from a misunderstanding about support that many singers have.  Though we have not worked together long, her voice has become even and is starting to match her emotional line much more closely.  I applaud her bravery in the commitment she makes every day to connect her emotions to her body.  Gina is drawn to musical theater ballads, though we hear a legitimate dramatic soprano voice for the opera stage.  As she continues to build strength, we will introduce more operatic pieces and we are excited to see what happens!

 

Yulia Geniush is a ravishingly beautiful woman with a full lyric mezzo voice to match it.  When Yulia sings she goes toYuliaunimaginably beautiful places and takes the audience with her.  A native Russian speaker, Yulia is working on bringing her depthof feeling to other languages, especially English.  There is a ring on this voice to which she is just starting to connect, and whichproduces a sound so thrilling you must hear her to believe it. Coming from an esteemed musical family, Yulia is talented in several different genres of music, and it’s difficult to say she belongs to any one of them exclusively.  Her singing of Gershwin’s The Man I Love was sultry and evoked a smoky NY nightclub in the ‘40s, but her Tchaikovsky in our last concert was as legitimate as any professional opera singer would hope to produce. This singer bears watching!

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Nadya Geniush is a perfect Mimi in La BohemeHer lyric-spinto soprano voice shimmers with colors and her understanding of characterization is splendid.  She is so beautiful that when she’s singing you cannot take your eyes off her.  Nadya came to the studio as a choral singer from the well known Celebration Singers in Cranford, NJ, with hopes of becoming good enough to get more solo work within her choir.  She had a vibrato that was sped up so much it was impossible to hear, but after working on it diligently it is now audible and even.  She has progressed so far and so fast that she is now looking to begin singing operatic roles in regional companies in the tri-State area.  A native Russian speaker, she also works on the roles of Tatiana from Eugene Oneginas well as Tosca.

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Nicole Pepe has a rich, chocolatey mezzo-soprano voice and has been exploring its boundaries for the past four semesters. When Nicole first began work she had no discernible vibrato and a limited range, but now has a clear and even vibrato, and belts up to a B!  A full time music teacher in the NJ school system and also a Celebration Choir soloist, Nicole has wonderful musicianship skills.  But it is the classical work which has grown Nicole’s range, namely the “Habanera” from Carmenand the “Che faro senza Euridice” from Orfeo ed Euridicethough you wouldn’t know it from the powerful ballads she sings like “No Good Deed” from the Broadway show Wicked.  Nicole is a singer who continues to show audiences more of her inner depths in every performance.

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Conrad Erdt is our current class pianist and we have been working together about five years. Recently Conrad expressed a desire to learn how to sing, and we discovered that in addition to being an excellent pianist (who can play anything excellently and with panache!) he also has a terrific voice. Born to two German parents, Conrad has a true affinity for the German language, which when sung pulls the vowels forward and helps with placement. Though Conrad chose a bluesy song for his debut at our last concert, he worked as much on a German lieder as he did on the song he performed. Pianists are so fascinating, because of their ability to coordinate so many things at once, and Conrad is no exception to this. While playing for himself he has been able to make finite adjustments to his vocal technique and has improved quickly and dramatically. He just opened a new door to his own performing, since being a “piano man” who can sing is something sought after by many establishments. We look forward to where his voice will go.