A voice of true character

Whyte Ridge vocalist takes top marks in Manitoba

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This article was published 23/11/2015 (2451 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A classical vocalist from Whyte Ridge is hitting all the high notes.

Sarah Luby, 18, recently returned from London, Ont. where she was honoured for her high marks in the Conservatory Canada vocal exams.

Luby received the Conservatory Canada Medal for Excellence (Highest Voice Mark in Manitoba), the D.F. Cook Western Regional Scholarship for outstanding achievement in music study, and the Lillian and Don Wright National Voice Travel and Study Scholarship.

Danielle Da Silva - Sou'wester Whyte Ridge resident Sarah Luby, 18, was recently honoured for her great grades in the Conservatory Canada vocal exams.

The exam included singing a few songs, sight reading, scales and demonstrating knowledge about the composers.

“I was hoping to do well but I wasn’t assuming anything,” Luby, who finished nearly a dozen percentage points higher than others, said humbly. “It was gratifying.”

Through the Lillian and Don Wright National Voice Travel and Study Scholarship, Luby, a student in the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Music, was able to travel to the  Conservatory Canada Convocation, in London and participate in a master class weekend at no charge to her.

Luby worked with Todd Wieczorek, assistant professor of music, teacher of voice and lyric diction at Western University, who helped her perfect her two song choices, La zingara by Gaetano Donizetti and Ein Schwan by Edvard Grieg, before performing the pieces at the convocation in front of an audience of 400.

“It was an eye-opening experience,” Luby said. “It’s a different perspective and opinion than you’re used to.”

“He gave us some really great advice and the next day we recorded the two songs that we worked on,” she added.

At the age of 10, Luby says she caught the singing “bug” during a performance on Rainbow Stage. From there she began working with vocal coach Donna Fletcher and her commitment to classical voice excelled. She has since performed with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and has also received the Rainbow Stage student scholarship for performance, and the Ron Meyers Memorial Scholarship for the Performing Arts.

Luby says her love of performance and character development has driven her to continue to excel at the art and she hopes to one day join the opera.

“Singing in general is an extension of your body. Instruments are great as well but your voice goes everywhere with you and I find it a very freeing feeling and a way to express myself that I can’t do with just words or just actions,” Luby explained.

“And just getting to explore different characters,” she added. “I really love being able to transform into somebody that I’m not.”

A soprano who can also hang with the altos, Luby says it was her voice that led her to the classical genre and she had to follow.  

“I think classical chose me in all honesty. That’s where my voice decided to go,” she said. “I love classical and there’s something about the music that takes you to a different time.”

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