Musical student honored

Senior Rebecca Rollene has many reasons to sing.

She was recently selected as one of five finalists for the Fifth Trinity Presents Performance Series’ Collegiate Performance Showcase.

Trinity United Methodist Church will be hosting the event on April 1 in Little Rock, Ark. Admission is free.

This showcase is the closing event of the church’s celebration of performing arts, now in its 25th year. Past featured performances included the Vienna Choir Boys, Chanticleer, and Sandi Patti.

Started in the 2007-2008 season, the collegiate showcase featured student musicians from colleges and universities across Arkansas. This showcase “strives to present performances that will appeal to all audiences – both young and old alike,” according to the church’s website.

As a finalist, Rollene received a $500 prize. The winner of the showcase will receive an additional $1,000.

Rollene said she was excited and honored just to be chosen as a finalist.

“This is a big stepping stone for my career,” Rollene said. “It’s a great way to get my name out there and experience the music world.”

Rollene heard about this opportunity last year, but another audition had her busy at the time: The New York Metropolitan Opera.

Rollene was chosen as one of the top 30 regional applicants for the MET auditions held in Little Rock in Jan. 2011. Rollene sang for a panel of renowned opera singers who also gave the applicants a master class and one-on-one coaching.

Rollene did not make it past the first auditions, but said the opportunity gave her a taste of the real world of classical music.

In three full years at John Brown University, after transferring from Indiana Wesleyan University, Rollene has participated in several musical productions. She scored lead roles in the opera “Così Fan Tutte” in 2009, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” in 2010, and “Into The Woods” in 2011.

Rollene participated in the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition every year, placing first her first three years of college and placing third this year. She has sung every year at general and honors recitals, and is also an active member and regular soloist with the JBU Cathedral Choir.

Rollene’s senior recital will take place March 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Berry Performing Arts Center.

As far as summer after graduation goes, Rollene plans to work with JBU Admissions while applying to graduate schools. One of her top choices is The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas.

Rollene dreams of making it big on Broadway, but said she would also consider teaching music instead.