Singer Katie Allen strives for musical success in opera and theater

Allen+stars+as+lead+singer+in+Maryland+Opera+Camp.+%22Mercury%22+was+an+opera+that+takes+place+in+the+future.

Katie Allen

Allen stars as lead singer in Maryland Opera Camp. "Mercury" was an opera that takes place in the future.

Nola Mak, Reporter

Katie Allen (’21) has been singing for a long time, however, she became serious in pursuing music during sophomore year. By rigorously following her passion, Allen has had many unique opportunities to perform, performing at Carnegie Hall to participating in nine choirs simultaneously.

“When I’m singing, I automatically feel more relaxed and in a better mood. Something I find amazing about music is that it can emotionally move you depending on the genre and the changes in dynamics, lyrics, and notes.” Allen said.

More recently regarding opera, Allen has participated in private voice lessons to tune her natural and more classical voice, for a vibrato quality needed for operatic singing. In opera, Allen is categorized as a soprano, which requires a higher range than that of sopranos in choir.

“I’ve been a member of Chamber Choir with Katie for three years. She has a powerful voice with an incredible range. Some of my favorite memories of singing with Katie would include musicals and Chamber Choir.” Mary Beth Bauermann (’20) said. “For the BCPS All Honors Jazz Choir, we were both outside our choral comfort zones. But it was such a fun and educational experience. Katie was chosen to perform a solo in that ensemble and watching her thrive in an unfamiliar style was inspiring.”

Although, Allen has yet to lose her voice, it can become vocally tired. These challenges are accepted, as what she appreciates about the discipline outweighs the possible vocal strain.

“Opera is sung in a different language, but I like learning the different dictions and how to convey the emotional meaning of the song with technical aspects of the music.” Allen said.

This past summer, Allen was accepted into the Maryland Opera Summer Camp where she helped compose music and stared as the lead soprano.

“We titled the opera ‘Mercury’ and designed it to be a more modern opera instead of the normal old-timey settings. I helped compose the beginning chorus and final chorus of the opera.” Allen said.

Over the summer, Allen also had the opportunity to perform in front of 4,000 people singing the national anthem at Ripken stadium for their 4th of July fireworks event.

Even though, Allen has performed countless times in front of many people, stage fright and nerves can still be present.

“My worst experience with music was when I performed for a Tri-M meeting, our schools national honor society for music. The reason that I call this my worst experience is because I had a hard time suppressing my nervousness,” Allen said. “You can ask anyone who watched, my face looked composed but by my arms and legs were shaking uncontrollably. I knew it was happening but there was nothing I could do to stop it. I am personally more nervous in front of small groups, especially when I know everyone and would seem them again.”

Although Allen occasionally encounters struggles with singing in small groups, she has a strong support system. Her family has been instrumental in her pursuits and have contributed time and effort to helping Allen achieve her goals.

“They support my decision to pursue music as both a hobby and a career. They do everything they can to show that they will be with me and support me in every step of the way,” Allen said, “I am so thankful for parents who are proud of me and I wouldn’t be able to do it without them.”

Upcoming in April, Allen will be performing at Carnegie Hall for the second time with the Deer Creek Chorale. The last time they performed at Carnegie the choir sang Requiem of the Living by Dan Forrest.

“I was in awe. The audience greeted us with a standing ovation and lots of cheering, crying, and clapping. I couldn’t believe how the music could have such an impact on people. This was the exact moment I realized that music was something that I wanted to pursue.” Allen said.

In the future, Allen wishes to major in vocal performance and later specialize in opera.