Student Spotlight: Olivia R.

OCSA student Olivia R.

As a 7th grader, Olivia acts more like an adult than the average 20-something (sample size: me), and she’s got talent to match. A recent admit to Orange County School of the Arts, she’s already sung all around Orange County and Riverside County, including Pop Warner football games, Inland Idol competitions, the OC Fair, and with OC Glee. We got a chance to do a Q&A with her to get a glimpse into the life of a preteen with one huge mezzo-soprano voice.

G: What do you like most about singing?

O: I love singing because it gives me an opportunity to express myself and make people happy. I enjoy touching peoples’ hearts with    music. It is always fun and is a skill I share with many of my friends.

G: Who’s your favorite artist to cover and why?

O: Adele, because I am a mezzo-soprano and she is one of few contemporary pop singers that has a lower range in her songs. I always love that she is an artist who mixes jazz with pop.

G: What’s the trickiest song you’ve ever conquered?

O: I would have to say that “I Know Things Now” from Into the Woods.

G: Do you write your own music? Are you interested in pursuing that someday?

O: I occasionally write my own music while accompanying myself on the guitar or piano but I usually focus on vocal technique. I hope to later focus on becoming a songwriter/singer once I improve my theory skills and have the singing skills down.

G: How has OCSA shaped how you think about singing and performing?

O: OCSA has changed my life tremendously. Not only has it encouraged me to work harder, but it has also given me the opportunity to meet friends who are also singers that I can collaborate with. I have also been given more opportunities to work on my acting career and perform with an ensemble.

G: You’ve done a lot of performing for people over the years. Do you get nervous on stage? Can you give any advice to those who get debilitating stage fright during recitals or auditions?

O: I have never really been nervous before a performance because I always remember that it isn’t a big deal and that it’s just a song. It won’t change my life if I do poorly. There’s always more opportunities. If you have nerves, I know it always helps if I take deep breathes and tune out of life for a moment and just reassure myself, “It’s all going to be okay.” Also, if you feel nervous try to put that energy into your song or monologue in some way to fit the emotion of the character.

G: What are your goals as a musician for the next couple of years? Where do you want singing to take you?

O: I want to get more into music and theater and hopefully be in professional shows. I also would love to write more songs and perform more.

G: Currently listening to?

O: Fun, Adele, Pentatonix, and Glee.

Watch Olivia perform “I Dreamed a Dream” at our recent recital.

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