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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Q5: Tuned in

  • Lansing native Crystal Buck has found success on stage as a singer. She took second in the annual Fort Hays Symphony Young Artist's Competition, following a performance with the orchestra.
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  • Lansing native Crystal Buck has found success on stage as a singer. She took second in the annual Fort Hays Symphony Young Artist's Competition, following a performance with the orchestra.
    She is also slated to perform for two weeks with various singers from top opera houses across the U.S. in the Assisi Summer Music Festival in Italy.
    Buck is the drama sponsor at Lansing high and middle schools, teaches private singing lessons and hosts the annual Summer Vocal Training Camp each June at the high school.
    1. Crystal, how did you become interested in singing and why did you become an opera singer?
    "It was actually a woman who inspired me to start singing. Ms Terri Harris heard me singing in a vocal competition in high school and told me I could really make something out of singing if I wanted.
    "After taking private lessons with her my senior year, she managed to talk me out of my previous career plans of becoming a neo-surgeon, and I began pursuing performing."
    2. Can you describe the process and difficulties of learning to sing opera, especially the challenges of singing lengthy pieces in foreign languages?
    "I have been studying music for 10 years now, singing professionally for about half that length. Learning a role is the easy part of the process — memorizing the music and the language.
    “The difficult part is to become that role and to embrace all the intricacies that are the character, the voice of the character in the language, and the music, and then take all that into the performance and combine your ideas with those of the director and the conductor, as well as other cast members who each bring their own characters to the table.
    "I am very blessed to have it easy when it comes to languages — thank you to people like Ms. Bianca Elliot from Lansing High School who gave me a deep love of languages.
    “I speak each language I sing in at an advanced level."
    3. You are also the drama sponsor at Lansing high and middle schools, you teach private voice lessons and host the annual Vocal Training Camp each summer. What is it like teaching young people about music and what are the greatest rewards?
    "Teaching and working with the talented students in Lansing is as equally rewarding as performing.
    "Lansing has a wealth of talent within its school district and it is incredible to be part of the process of each singer's and actor's growth — learning a role, learning a song, learning how to not only learn the role, but become that character and learn to incorporate their own personalities into their performances.
    Page 2 of 2 - "The greatest reward is seeing the moment they get on stage, let go, and accomplish the goals that they have set for their performances."
     
    4.What was it like to earn second place in the Young Artist's Competition in Fort Hays, and how did you feel after the performance when you were asked by the Summer Music Festival in Italy to join as one of the company's performers?
    "It was a thrill to be chosen to perform with the Symphony Guild and work with conductor Ben Cline — the place and prize was just the icing on the cake.
    “It was a shock when I received the email to join the Assisi Festival, and I am greatly looking forward to the intense and rewarding experience to come this summer.
    "Even more than enjoying the culture of Italy and the performance experiences that will be offered, I am most looking forward to working with the various other high level of performers."
    5. What are your long-term goals in the opera world, and in your local music career at area schools?
    "Recently, I was accepted into and given a large scholarship for the music doctoral program at the University of Kansas, studying under renowned mezzo-soprano, Joyce Castle.
    "My goals at the present are to perform internationally as well as regionally, and to obtain my doctorate so that I can hold a professorship at a university."
    — Rimsie McConiga
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