It's very exciting~ I've been selected as one of 28 Quarter-Finalists for the American Traditions Competition. After an intense application process and pre-screening, the judges selected just 28 contestants from all over the United States, to compete as part of a week-long festival in beautiful Savannah, Georgia, in late February. Unlike so many competitions, this one reimburses travel costs, and provides host-housing during the festival.
Each of these contestants specialize in versatility of the voice- as they must demonstrate the ability to sing across all genres, from Opera to Country and Folk Songs to Jazz and Hymns & Spirituals, to Broadway! I am very excited about befriending and hearing other people who love these genres as much as I do.
A description from their website states: "The American Traditions Competition was established as a world renowned arts institution located in Savannah, Georgia. It was established to provide a forum for showcasing tomorrow's vocal talents and superstars; and to celebrate the diverse repertoire of standard, classic American music."
This song: "The Sweetheart Tree"---was my favorite clip that I submitted for the application (I also submitted Star Dust, and Girl in 14G, which you can watch on my youtube page); but this simple Johnny Mercer song, has special meaning for me- I remember singing it as a kid when my Mom gave me a bunch of old sheet music from my Grandfather's Piano Store. I never knew my Papa Kurtz; he died from Heart Disease before I was born, but I have been told lots of stories about him by my 98 year-old Nannee (grandma) in Nashville, TN. That stack of old sheet music was well-loved by me, because for some reason just knowing it was labeled by my Papa and sitting in his store in the 50's and 60's always took me to a different place. Sometimes, a simpler place. At least, that's how I imagine it. Like this song.
"Becoming a mother changed me. I have more love, passion, and fulfillment in life; which in turn, enriches my artistry. Please join me in normalizing motherhood within the performing artist's culture."
- Rachel Sparrow
Rachel Sparrow is a professional singer, musician,(violin, piano, ukulele) actor, teacher, arranger, writer, and most importantly: a wife and a mommy of two littles. She loves to help parents make everyday life musical with their kids as well as share backstage stories, and performance experiences here. She earned her Master's degree in Voice Performance from Northwestern University, and also holds two Bachelor's degrees in Voice, and Music Education (certified to teach k-12 vocal & instrumental music) from Idaho State University. She is also a certified Music Together Director (music class for birth-5 yrs). See about Rachel.
"Think Outside Your Box" means 3 things:
1. Be Selfless - think beyond your own "box". (and for singers, there's more to life than your voice box!) You're capable of helping and healing others.
2. Feel Empowered to bust out of the proverbial
"box" made of societally-induced-parameters.
3. Be Bold. Innovate. Stretch yourself. You can do anything if you set your mind to it.