The Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSULB congratulates Amy Joy Choate, soprano, as the Cole Conservatory Scholar of the Month for May 2012.
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This Week at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music

Cole Conservatory Scholar of the Month:
May 2012

Amy Joy Choate, SOPRANO

Portrait of Amy Joy.

Amy Joy has thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Opera Institute these past four years. Her previous roles include the roles of Antonia in Tales of Hoffmann, Mabel in Pirates of Penzance, Rapunzel in Into the Woods, Cendrillon in Cendrillon, Constanza in Abduction from the Seraglio for Opera Scenes 2008, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni for Opera Scenes 2009 & 2010, and the Countess in this April's production of Le nozze di Figaro.

She has also garnered many awards, including 1st place in Opera 100, 1st place in the CWC Scholarship Auditions, Leni Fe Bland scholarship recipient, the Matsumoto Scholarship, and she is also a Bob Cole Scholar.

Amy Joy studies with Shigemi Matsumoto.

K. When did you begin to study music seriously?

A. I began to study music seriously at age 9. I was singing classical music in my room as a 10 year-old. At 13 I started studying music at La Sierra University. I was home schooled through junior high and took private voice and piano lessons at the music department at LSU. I became involved in their opera department and performed in their shows as an "honorary" college student. I was part of three operas there and I was in heaven! It was a great learning experience.

K. Why music? What was your inspiration?

A. My love for opera/classical music began early. My first inspiration was when my grandparents took me to see Handel's Messiah. After that performance that there was nothing else I wanted to do but sing. My grandparents paid for my private lessons, and at age 10 took me to see Don Giovanni. I absolutely loved it! I sang in many classical competitions in high school and tried to glean as much information from the adjudicators during those. I enjoyed the process of preparing classical repertoire for a competition; playing opera arias at my piano for hours, working hard and presenting the music I had poured my heart and soul into before the judges. I remember watching a soprano singing an aria on television once when I was 9 years old and I started to cry. My dad asked me why I was crying, and I said, "Because it's so beautiful, and I want to sing it, but I haven't learned it yet!" I have always been internally motivated because singing is what I love to do.

K. What teaching technique have you adopted from the educators here?

A. I have learned so much here at BCCM. My voice teacher Shigemi Matsumoto is a miracle worker. She always pushes me to try harder and trust my instrument more. She keeps me balanced in the areas of artistry, natural instincts as a performer, and technicality. Being in Chamber Choir with Dr. Talberg has been really wonderful for my musicianship skills. I feel very prepared when I am in an audition or sight-reading a piece, because of the skills I learn everyday in choir. I am so blessed to be apart of an incredible Opera Program. I learn something new every year coaching with Dr. Anglin, and get familiar with different, interesting roles in various languages. I am motivated daily to be better and more informed as a performer in Opera!

K. What do you find most valuable to prepare for a role—ie. how do you memorize, tone, pitch words, diction, and then sing all at the same time? Do you have a secret technique for prep?

A. What I find most valuable in preparing for a role is having a strong work ethic. It is important to be as technically prepared as possible before the rehearsals/performance. Knowing translations, rhythms, and technique is essential. All the technical preparation is important so that when the performance and character development take place, I can then trust that I have done my work and focus strictly on conveying the emotions of the character while having fun onstage! One secret technique I use to prep myself right before I go onstage is that I pray. I am a Christian, and believe God has blessed me with many musical opportunities. I always like to calm my nerves by praying that God would bless my performance.

K. Why CSULB? Future plans, etc.

A. I chose CSULB because I heard the chamber choir an ACDA convention and I loved the powerful voices that were in the group (I didn't know at that point that I would be apart of that group and sing in it with the man that eventually became my husband!). I also wouldn't be here if I didn't receive the Bob Cole Scholarship, it has been truly such a blessing! I loved the opera program at BCCM and that was a huge deciding factor for me. My future plans include a lot of singing! I hope to continue singing and performing in operas. I just want as much experience under my belt that I can find. After my studies here at BCCM, I know that I want to audition for some Young Artist programs and major competitions to experience what the professional life of a singer is like, and to meet some new faces in the musical world. I am so excited for the future possibilities, and I am so grateful to work everyday on a career path that I am so passionate about!

Congraulations to Amy Joy, our May 2012 Cole Scholar of the Month!

Previously Honored Cole Scholars of the Month






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Bob Cole Conservatory of Music
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