ROCHESTER, NY — It has the making of a modern-day Cinderella story: A young singer who dreams of life as an opera star is plucked from relative obscurity and is given the chance to perform with an acclaimed orchestra under a prominent conductor in one of the America’s most prestigious concert halls.
Yet, for Eastman School of Music student and Rochester native Christina Gill, it’s no fairy tale at all.
Gill, 21, a senior voice major at Eastman, will travel to Washington, DC, this month to make her national debut at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in its special “Stars of Tomorrow” concert — part of the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) Pops Series. The mezzo-soprano will sing two arias from the opera Carmen with the NSO under the baton of its Principal Pops Conductor, Marvin Hamlisch — who is perhaps best known as the multiple award-winning composer of such Broadway and film classics as A Chorus Line, The Sting, and The Way We Were. It was Hamlisch who invited the Eastman School to participate in this event that showcases rising young talent.
A student of Professor Robert McIver, chair of Eastman’s voice department, Gill will represent Eastman alongside students from other prominent American music schools in three “Stars of Tomorrow” concerts, Thursday-Saturday, March 13-15. (Concert details are available online at www.kennedy-center.org).
“I’m excited about this incredible opportunity,” said Gill, the winner of two recent voice competitions at Eastman and a soloist in Eastman Opera Theatre’s fall production of A Turk in Italy. “It will be great to sing with a famous orchestra under such a well-known conductor.”
Currently applying to graduate schools, Gill plans to continue her formal studies in voice and opera after graduation from Eastman in May. She will present her senior voice recital at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 26, in Kilbourn Hall (26 Gibbs St.). That performance is free and open to the public.
Note to editors: Christina Gill is a resident of Brighton. A photo is available.