Success Stories

Vocal alumna joins Toledo Opera

Lucy Finkel

Grand Valley alum, Lucy Finkel, has a passion for performing.

Since a young age, Finkel said she could not picture herself doing anything else but performing and creating beautiful music. Finkel graduated from Grand Valley in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in music, received her master's degree from the New England Conservatory in Boston, then moved with high hopes to New York City.

Finkel has returned to Grand Valley to teach a Master Class to upper level vocal students and perform in a recital on-campus.

"My favorite part about performing is that it's a total 'in body' experience," Finkel said. "It's a transformative experience becoming a character, letting go of everything going on in your life and telling a story through music. It's the most powerful and thrilling kind of high."

Finkel said as an undergraduate, she found inspiration and support from her professors at Grand Valley. One of her mentors was associate professor, Dale Schriemer.

"Lucy is a very determined young woman," said Schriemer, GVSU Opera Theatre artistic director and producer. "What I tried to do with Lucy is provide her with the information that she needed to become a successful performer. Vocal technique and musicianship, acting and body awareness are all key to any performer's success."

While at Grand Valley Finkel was involved in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition, in which individuals at state and regional levels compete. She took first place twice and won the Most Promising Undergraduate award for the four-state Great Lakes Regional Chapter. She also performed in two Grand Valley opera productions, The Bartered Bride and Street Scene.

Today, Finkel continues to study music and work with a vocal coach. Her efforts have paid off in a recent move to Ohio, to begin a new position with the Toledo Opera.

"The most challenging aspect of a career in music performance is how competitive the field is," Finkel said. "I overcame the frustration of rejection by continuing to do the work necessary to achieve success."

by Leah Zuber

This story was filed with the tags: Arts, Impressive Jobs, Undergraduate Alumni