Aaron M. Villalobos Executive Director Nicole Belmont rounds out her administrative staff with the addition…
We are excited to introduce our newest soprano Leia Wasbotten who will be joining the Chorale for our “A Chorale Christmas” series. Leia is a graduate of Penn State University with a BA in Voice. She is expecting to begin her Master’s at Arizona State next fall studying Music Therapy. Read below for a Q&A with Leia!
When did you decide that you wanted to start singing professionally and why?
I honestly didn’t see myself singing professionally until probably my senior year of college, so last year… I never thought I was good enough to make a career out of singing, but always dreamed of it! I’ve loved singing since I was a little kid; I was always the child at the dinner table singing about her meal and getting in trouble for making too much noise. I never thought I would be able to call myself a professional singer and now that I can, it’s surreal. This is what working hard will get you!
What singing accomplishment are you most proud of?
I got to perform with The Rolling Stones this past summer in Pittsburgh! It was the craziest and most amazing experience I’ve ever had…
How is singing important in your life?
Singing is my personal form of therapy. When I’m stressed, I sing. When I’m sad, I sing. When I’m happy, I sing. You get the picture :) Singing is an incredible way to relax for me, but it’s also a great way to express myself when simple words can’t. It’s also so important to me in the sense that it gives me a community wherever I go. Singing truly brings people together in ways that nothing else can, and I’m so grateful for that.
What is most exciting to you about joining the Phoenix Chorale?
At first I was just so excited to be in a professional music group! But then I witnessed them sing Brahms Requiem and it truly hit me. I was speechless. I still can’t believe I get to sing alongside the most insanely talented musicians I’ve been around so far in my life, under the leadership of a world-renowned Director… I feel humbled and terrified. And excited. Also, the Grammy wins are pretty cool too :)
If you were stranded on an island and could only have three albums to listen to, what would they be and why?
Little Voice, Kaleidoscope Heart, and Songs from Waitress. All by Sara Bareilles. Saying I’m obsessed with this artist is an understatement. Sara is my inspiration for everything in life. She is who taught me how to belt, how to riff, she made me want to work harder at piano so I could accompany myself while singing, her lyrics are so inspirational, I’ll never get bored of her songs!
What musician inspires you?
Sara Bareilles; surprise, surprise! Reasons are written above…
What was your first concert?
The Jonas Brothers. My parents were pretty strict growing up and didn’t let us do much, including go to concerts. We all went to this concert together when I was in 8th grade I think, and it was terribly awesome! I definitely fan-girl(ed) hard core.
What is your pre-performance routine, if any?
I breathe? I don’t really have a pre-performance routine, lip trills maybe? I drink water? Nothing special.
What is your spirit animal and why?
So I was in a choir called Essence of Joy when I was in college at Penn State, and we would tour almost every weekend. This meant we had plenty of long bus rides as a choir. A few members thought it would be funny/entertaining/cool if they came up with spirit animals for everyone in the choir. It. Was. Awful. Four years later, they still think I’m a Wild Horse. I don’t get it, but it’s stuck since I was a Freshman… They say it’s because of my thick hair (what??) and I’m strong and a free-spirit. I guess I’ll take it?
What is the strangest or most random talent you have?
Nothing :( all I do is sing! I’m super boring.