A Class Act - Nora Collins '11

A Class Act

If you went to see the recent production of Chicago at the University of Notre Dame, you experienced the musical talents of Nora Collins '11 playing the lead role of Roxie Hart, a murderous bombshell. This fourth year student fell in love with the stage in fourth grade and has embraced music ever since.  

A native from Hinsdale, Illinois, Nora is pursuing a degree in music education, earning her teaching certificate in secondary education. She is currently student teaching at Adams High School and Clay High School, both located in South Bend. She instructs Adams’ show choir, concert choir, and beginning mixed choir in the mornings and teaches beginning piano and music theory at Clay in the afternoons.

Nora has always had a passion for music and desired to work with children for a career. “What’s better than combining two of my loves?” she said. “I want to inspire my students and instill in them the same love of music I have.”

Nora has been involved with the happenings in the Department of Music since her first year at Saint Mary’s. She joined the Collegiate Choir and after studying abroad in Seville, Spain, her sophomore year, joined the Women’s Choir, which will be touring China over Spring Break, an opportunity that Nora is looking forward to.

“I am really excited to be in a new and foreign cultural environment,” Nora said. They are currently working on some Chinese pieces to sing while on tour. “It’s always neat to study new material, especially those in a foreign language with such new and interesting harmonies.”

When she’s not involved in the happenings at Saint Mary’s, Nora participates in the Pasquerilla East Musical Company, a student-run group at Notre Dame that puts on musicals there. The group is comprised of students from Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s, and Holy Cross College.  Nora found out about the group before coming to Saint Mary’s and has been heavily involved ever since. To date, she has performed in seven productions with the group, Chicago being the latest and her personal favorite.  

“It was fun to play a character that was so opposite from myself,” she said.  “It was a challenge but it was a big accomplishment to land such a big part my senior year.”

Nora isn’t the only one with talent in her family. She and her 11 brothers and sisters have many musical abilities. She started the trend by being the first in her family to be in a musical. Her sisters soon followed. As for her brothers, they all play guitar, along with her father, who plays the piano and tin whistle as well.  

“We’re like the Von Trapps or the Partridge family, but cooler!” she said.  

Nora hopes that she can end up teaching at her high school in Illinois, and maybe direct their musicals.  

“I was named ‘Most Likely to Become a Teacher’ at my high school, in my senior year there,” she said. “It would be pretty funny if I actually did!”

-Written by Krystina Harcourt '11