While many students sat in their seats during mass, day-dreaming, their attention was quickly refocused when junior Ashley Valentine stepped up to the microphone and delivered a breathtaking two-minute opera performance of “Hallelujah.”
Valentine, a lover of classical and opera music, has been taking lessons from music teachers for several years. “I have been taking lessons from different private teachers over the years since about second grade,” said Valentine.
Valentine is in the school choir and is hoping for other performing possibilities to come. “Maybe I could perform again, we haven’t really discussed it,” said Valentine. “I have actually tried to perform before. I asked Ms. Stockhaus last year but there wasn’t an opportunity for me to do it, so I was told to wait until this year.”
Valentine received many positive reactions after the performance. “People were very nice. Both students and teachers came up to me and complimented me after mass,” said Valentine, “most of them were just surprised that I could sing like that.”
Though Valentine loves singing in the school choir, she also enjoys singing outside of the BSM community. “I went into a program in Boston this summer and learned a lot about [singing]. I went alone and had a lot of fun,” said Valentine.
The past two summers Valentine has been singing with the National Catholic Youth choir. “The NCYC actually releases CDs,” said Valentine, “ I am featured on one of the tracks of a CD coming out later this year.”
Valentine doesn’t get very nervous about performing anymore. “I used to be nervous. But one of the programs I do involves acting as well. So singing by itself seems easier in comparison,” said Valentine.
Valentine is already looking ahead to college to pursue her passion. “I have been looking at schools and I definitely want to go to a performance art one,” said Valentine.