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She’s engineering her musical ambitions
Seasoned vocalist accepted to Glenn Gould School
When Heather Kozak found out she’d been accepted to a prestigious school in Toronto, it was like music to her ears.
The St. Vital resident will head to the Glenn Gould School later this summer on a two-year scholarship, worth something to the tune of $80,000.
The internationally-acclaimed school — founded in 1987 as the Royal Conservatory of Music Professional School by the Royal Conservatory of Music — has competitive entry requirements and limited enrolment. It’s now named after Gould, a classical pianist who died in 1982 and is widely hailed as a musical genius.
Before heading east, Kozak, 26, will play a "goodbye concert" on Wed., July 18, accompanied by Cary Denby, at St. Andrews River Heights United Church (255 Oak St.) in River Heights. The event will start at 7 p.m. and admission is by donation. All proceeds will be donated to the church’s shelter project (she’s been involved with SARHUC’s various choirs for years), Siloam Mission and Save our Seine.
Kozak — who plays piano and writes music, but is primarily a vocal performer (mezzo-soprano) — already has a distinguished singing resumé in Winnipeg.
Highlights include winning the Rose Bowl for top senior vocalist at the Winnipeg Music Festival in 2006, performing in The Sound of Music at Rainbow Stage in 2007 and recently singing O Canada at Canstar Day at the Races at Assiniboia Downs on July 1.
Despite her musical ambitions, Kozak opted to study mechanical engineering at the University of Manitoba several years ago.
"The reason is that I wanted a secure career path for a female," said Kozak, who currently works at Northern Blower, an industrial fan company based in Transcona. "Singing is a huge risk because it’s such a competitive industry."
Now she’s been accepted to the school, Kozak hopes the hands-on experience will help her realize her dream.
"It’s basically preparing you for a professional career in vocal performance," she said, noting the school puts on two operas a year.
Kozak expects to be immersed in acting courses; some of Europe’s popular languages including French, Russian, Italian and German; and awareness courses, which "prep you for a career and are more geared to employability."
Wherever the spirit of Gould ultimately guides her, Kozak said there is no feeling like performing on stage.
"I can’t describe it and I can’t imagine my life without it. It’s the greatest feeling," she said.
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