Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Hello! Well, here I go. Getting ready to go to Austria! I've never used a blog before, but hopefully this will work out and be a good way to keep you all informed of my experience in Graz!

Back in March, I auditioned for the American Institute of Musical Studies summer program. Like most auditions as a "rising" professional opera singer, you do it for the experience and hope that an opportunity to perform and work with a director will come of it. I went into the audition with no expection except to do well. Fortunately, I was blessed with much more than a good audition. This is a chance in a life time and I'm grateful to be able to be going on this great venture!

In order to attend, I had to raise the money for the cost of the program, which includes, housing, tuition for the best instruction from directors and coaches worldwide, and meals. That doesn't sound like a lot for the cost of $5,300, but this is about 1 semester's worth of instruction at any college, plus a single room in European dorms, performances once a week, and auditions for European agents. So, really, it's well worth the money. I also had to pay for airfare and then of course spending money. Unfortunately my employer would not let me take leave without pay to go, so I had to quit my job as well. Because of that, I also had to make sure that I raised enough money so that I would have some in savings to use up when I got back, until I had some steady income again. So, all total, I had to plan on about $10,000. Well, my friends and family, and even people that I don't know very well, were SO generous! I have been able to raise the funds that I've needed. It is because of YOU that I am taking this wonderful trip! The Lord has given me this great opportunity and He has provided a way!