Twist of Fate | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Monday, February 25, 2008

Twist of Fate

Rachel asked to hear about the reason why I ended up majoring in vocal performance instead of MDT. I thought that would make a great blog entry at this time in which I am struggling to find interesting things to write.

In High School I was heavily involved in the theater program. I was in all the musicals, took superior ratings at region and state drama, was a member of the Thespian Society and all the other stuff you do when you're a drama geek. I especially loved the musical theater part of it. Loved it. That was what I was going to major in, no question.

Well, the time came for me to start thinking about college. I don't really remember which other schools I applied to, but I was accepted to BYU early on and decided I would go there. It was close to home and they have an excellent Music Dance Theater program. I believe I received my acceptance letter in December of 1991. I wanted to audition for scholarships, so I called and had the information sent to me. I'm sure I told them Music Dance Theater, but apparently all they heard was the music part.

In the spring, I received a letter to come for music scholarship auditions stating the time and place of my audition. I didn't really question anything, even the fact that they wanted at least one classical piece. I just prepared myself, and one Saturday morning got all dressed up and drove down to BYU with my mom.

I had filled out my information sheet, and one of the questions had you check which major you planned on out of music education, vocal performance and pedagogy and music dance theater. Yet another reason why I did not question the process.

My turn came and I went into the band/orchestra room downstairs in the HFAC and sang for Dr. Arden Hopkin. I sang "Gia il Sole dal Gange" and "Think of Me" from Phantom of the Opera. After I was finished singing, he brought up the fact that I had checked the MDT box. He than proceeded to tell me that the MDT scholarship auditions had happened over a week before, but he had been very impressed with me and would really love to see me major in vocal performance. He even told me he had seen me in one of my school musicals and had hoped that I would come to BYU in that major. But then he said that if my heart was in the theater department that that was where I needed to be.

After discussing things a bit more with Dr. Hopkin, my mom and I decided to go talk to Randy Boothe, who was then in charge of the MDT program. We went to his office and he listened to our concerns: How somehow I had been given incorrect information and that I was really wanting to major in MDT and hoped to receive a scholarship. He was kind enough to let me send in a video, but I only had maybe a week to get it in. So, I filmed myself singing, doing a monologue and a dance, which a friend choreographed for me.

Meanwhile, I was getting calls from Dr. Hopkin asking me to reconsider and that they would love to have me in the music department. Finally, I got a call from the MDT people telling me I had been accepted into the program, but did not receive a scholarship. At this point I had already started feeling like I wasn't supposed to do MDT after all, so that was kind of the final thing that helped me make the decision to do vocal performance. Unfortunately, by the time I had made up my mind, the talent awards in the vocal department had been given away already. But that was okay....I re-auditioned the next year and received one which helped me with tuition for the next several years.

So, that was the huge twist of fate that landed me in the vocal performance major. Like I said yesterday, I am eternally grateful for it and I know that was where I was meant to be. While I still love musical theater, I developed a real love for opera and other classical vocal music. It has given me many opportunities through the years and perhaps the most important thing is that I met my husband because I was a music major.


  1. And as you sang for Dr. Hopkin, he would look over at me with a great big smile and a nod, he loved your voice. YOU did make the right choice, that is for sure, and I could see it then. Remember, how you would say to me, I'm not going to cut my hair, I'm not going to go to BYU and I'm not going into singing!!! All I can say is, glad you changed your mind on all counts, my dear!

  2. Really, such a smart move on your part. :)

  3. Makes for a good story too!

  4. It is really great how things turn out for the best.

  5. Love how things happen for the best! You are a great talent and I'm happy you choose what you did!

  6. That's a really good story! Very interesting. Good meat for a post.

  7. I loved hearing more about your choice. It really is amazing how we are led and guided into certain things that end up being such a blessing in our lives!

  8. Wow, Lara, I had no idea! I can't even imagine you doing MDT! I always thought you were a hard-core opera fan. You're so good at it!

    BTW, after the end of my first semester (when we had to audition to get into 260), Dr. Hopkin pulled me aside and told me that I had the lowest passing vocal progress score of the whole class. I agree, I pretty much sucked, but I'm glad I didn't let that get me down. Otherwise I wouldn't know you, or been to Africa, or met my DH!

    I'm glad things turned out the way they did, for you and for me!

  9. Isn't it interesting how our life unfolds? All the possibilities and you still end up where you belong!

  10. That is such a cool story. And you are so stinking talented!