This article is the first of a two-part series on students’ involvement in music and performances organized at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign campus. (Read the second part of the series here).
The Krannert Center for the Performing Arts is a hub for exquisite music, cultural performances, ballet performances, theater, opera and lively events. From performances by musical virtuosos, symphony orchestras, ensemble groups to events like PechaKucha Night and Noche de Baila- Krannert is bustling with performers and audience goers year-round! The Lyric Theater at Krannert brings colorful and vibrant pieces of opera from throughout the ages alive to the audience!
One of Spring 2019’s major operas performed by an all-student cast at the Lyric Theater was The Rape of Lucretia. Molly Abrams played Lucia, one of the characters in this haunting piece composed by Benjamin Britten. Molly is a graduate student at Illinois who will finish her Master’s degree in Voice Performance and Literature this May. She is a soprano and has a great vocal range. She has performed as a soprano in several pieces at the Krannert Center during her time as a student at Illinois including Hansel & Gretel, A Grand Night for Singing by Lyric Theater at Allerton Mansion, Excerpts from Operatic literature and has also performed in outside works.
As a high school student studying voice; Molly wanted to be a music teacher and became appreciative of classical music but was not able to get enough opportunities to perform. At Illinois, under the tutelage of Yvonne Redman, she found those opportunities and more.
Molly chose to study at University of Illinois as it provided her the environment she needed to pursue a career as a performer and a music teacher someday with a studio of her own. Though the proximity to her family and the affordability of the Music program drew her to Illinois, it was the pedagogical atmosphere of a university rather than at a conservatory that sealed the deal for her.
A day in the life of Molly is filled with usual classes in music as well as her language classes in French and German, involvement in ensemble pieces that need a lot of rehearsals, voice lessons from her teacher, voice coaching that she provides to her own students, rehearsals for special performances, working at the local church choir and daily singing practice.
Molly will be graduating this May 2019 and hopes to split her time between performing and teaching other students of music to find their voice and passion.
Sulagna Chakraborty is a third year PhD student pursuing the program in Infectious Diseases Epidemiology from the Department of Kinesiology & Community Health. She is a current member of SAGE. Her research is focused on vector borne diseases globally. She wants to combine her backgrounds in microbiology, social media, and public health towards a future career as both a chronic disease and infectious disease epidemiologist. She is an avid traveler and an amateur poet and writer, and she loves to sample different cuisines, dance, and make meaningful connections with people.