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Opera singer hits the right notes

Ashley Boychuk picks up $1,000 bursary

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Ashley Boychuk, the community services co-ordinator at the Manitoba Conservatory of Music & Arts (MCMA), is one of five recipients of scholarships from the Women’s Musical Club (WMC).

Boychuk will receive a $1,000 Berythe Birse scholarship at the 2013 WMC Scholarship Winners’ Recital at 2 p.m. on Dec. 29 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (300 Memorial Blvd.).

Boychuk grew up in the Charleswood area, attending elementary school at River West Park School. She sang in a choir called the Pembina Trail Voices, starting in Grade 4. At 16, Boychuk began private voice lessons with Phyllis Thomson. From there, she did did her undergrad studies in vocal performance at Brandon University, then studied for two years in the University of Manitoba’s post-baccalaureate vocal performance program. She went obtasined a master’s degree at the University of Minnesota in May 2012.

"My biggest influence at the (University of Minnesota) was my opera director (David Walsh)," Boychuk said. "He ran a very strong opera program and helped develop my love of opera."

As a classical and opera singer, Boychuk realizes there are certain challenges in the style, but she said she loves every minute of it.

"It’s a lot of patience with yourself and with the learning process. We have so many different elements we have to learn to do," Boychuk said.

For example, several opera pieces are in a different language, so opera singers have to work on diction so the audience can understand what they’re singing.

"We throw in acting as well," Boychuk added.

Tickets for WMC recital are $20, and are available at the door. They can also be purchased at McNally Robinson Booksellers (1120 Grant Ave.). Students pay $5.

For more information about the MCMA, visit mcma.ca


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