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Maddie Meier transferred to Montclair State University this semester. She is a vocal performance major who is also aspiring to major in German and French. Meier’s father is a choir teacher, which has led Meier to sing for most of her life. She started getting serious about singing in high school when she began to take voice lessons.
Q: When/why did you decide to pursue vocal performance as a career?
A: I decided to pursue this as a career in high school, before leaving for college. I chose vocal performance because it is not just about singing on stage. There is much academics that goes into it. A singer needs to have knowledge of anatomy, language and culture, history, math with a connection to music theory and much more. Also, at the end of the day, music reminds me that I do this art to make an impact and to give back to the community. That is the most important aspect of it to me.
Q: What experiences have you had singing?
A: I have been blessed with many opportunities to share this art with many people. I would have to say that one of the most memorable experiences I have had was playing my first role of Knabe 2 in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. I also did a summer program in Graz, Austria this past summer, where I performed in a few concerts. I love this profession, because you really get to travel and see so many different places.
Q: What have you learned through singing?
A: I have learned, in the end, it is not about me. Singing is humbling to me, and I feel that musicians and many artists have the power to break barriers. I love opera specifically, because while singing in many different languages, I have the ability to communicate with people from other cultures that I generally would not be able to.
Q: What is your biggest motivation?
A: I would have to say that I really am just hoping to promote peace as an artist, and I hope to speak out for those who aren’t heard. There is much war going on in our world today, and I feel that music really brings us together as a people.
Q: How has Montclair State University fostered you as an artist?
A: As a transfer student, this spring semester is my first semester at Montclair State. I came here because of the amazing vocal performance department that we have. I feel it is such a gift to be able to work with the faculty at Montclair State. They are experts in their fields, and they really strive to create a great environment for each student to learn. This university is so close to New York City as well, and that’s a huge perk. As a young artist I really think that exposure to the best of the best when it comes to the arts is extremely important.
Q: Who are your biggest supporters?
A: My parents, of course, are two of my biggest supporters. I love them a ton, and don’t know where I would be without them. My grandma also is an opera singer, so she really inspires me to be the best that I can be in this industry.
Q: Who are your biggest inspirations?
A: Some of my biggest celebrity inspirations are Joyce DiDonato and Renée Fleming. They are not only phenomenal performers, but they have a lot to say about being an artist in this day and age, and they both offer much advice to young singers who are hoping to make their dreams reality. On a personal level, I have had many wonderful mentors in the past and now that have really helped me to become the best that I can be.
Q: What’s your latest project?
A: I will be attending a summer program for young artists in Hawaii this summer and am extremely excited. The opera I am performing a role in is Puccini’s opera, Suor Angelica.