Finding Her Voice

Finding Her Voice

L. Anderson“I love opera,” says music major Lindsey Anderson. So much so that the third floor of Le Mans Hall sometimes rings with the sound of her favorite opera CDs. “I’m pretty sure my neighbors get annoyed,” the Saint Mary’s senior admits. “They knock on my door and say, ‘Lindsey, could you just take a break?’”

With a full scholarship to attend the master’s in music program at the Cleveland Institute of Music next fall, she won’t be taking a break anytime soon. Yet Lindsey wasn’t always pursuing a career as a soprano. As a first-year student, she majored in biology while singing in the Women’s Choir and taking voice lessons for fun. Her plan was to pursue a science career like her sister Holly, who graduated from Saint Mary’s in 2006 with a nursing degree.

But Lindsey’s talent—and encouragement from faculty—changed her destiny. Professor and music department chair Nancy Menk was especially instrumental. “Lindsey's voice has such a beautiful, dark, rich quality,” says Menk. “I remember asking her in her first choir audition if she knew what she had there, and she seemed surprised by my question. I suggested that she study voice while at Saint Mary's and consider becoming a music major.”

Lindsey thought it over. “There came a point where I was in the genetics lab, when I was breeding fruit flies and listening to opera on an iPod, and I said, ‘Well, this could be a sign,’” she remembers. The aria playing was Puccini’s “Vissi D’Arte”—which means, “I lived for my art.”

In the three years since, Lindsey has done just that. She’s performed and toured nationally with the Women’s Choir, given recitals, sung a major role in the opera Witness, studied opera for six weeks in Austria, and taken a master class with star baritone Nathan Gunn. Her dream is “to be a Wagnerian soprano” or to perform with an opera company in some other capacity. “If that doesn’t work out I would love to teach, because I’ve had so many wonderful teachers,” she says. “Studying voice is an emotional adventure and at Saint Mary’s, you’re supported every step of the way, both emotionally and academically … It’s a program that prepares you for a future in music, and prepares you well.”