The singer featured at the Solano Symphony Orchestra concert started pursuing her passion 10 years ago – The Vacaville Reporter
Senzel Ahmady is a few months away from graduating from high school, but she already has 10 years of musical training under her belt.
Ahmady will demonstrate his decade of skill alongside other performers at the Solano Symphony Orchestra’s “Salute to Youth” concert on Sunday at the Vacaville Performing Arts Theater.
The Rodriguez High School student said the show was part of a family tradition.
“My mom’s family side has always been musical,” she said.
When she was in second grade, Ahmady’s parents enrolled her in the Young Artists Conservatory of Music, a Vacaville-based music school that teaches music and performance to young people of all levels.
Conservatory Artistic Director Wanda Cook said Ahmady arrived around the time YACM started hosting its first Music Matters at School program, which offered after-school classes at Nelda Mundy Elementary School after cuts. drastic changes in Fairfield schools in the aftermath of the Great Recession. With the help of Lisa Watson, then president of the Mundy PTA, YACM was able to offer orchestra, guitar, choir and violin lessons, and Ahmady was among the first to sign up that year. .
“The school music funding was canceled so we brought in a choir and a bunch of other programs and Senzel got to know her potential and her voice in this after-school music program,” he said. she declared.
Shortly after, Cook said Ahmady’s family learned that YACM was offering private vocal training in Vacaville. She therefore enrolled in piano and singing training, which she also continued in her lessons.
Cook said Ahmady is a very hardworking student who is always ready to learn and grow as a performer.
“Senzel represents a standard of excellence for what it means to be a classically trained music student,” she said. “She’s been open to finding materials and stretching in order to do things that she couldn’t have imagined she could do, but her artist teacher knows she’s inside her.”
Ahmady has performed everything from YACM’s annual Halloween and Black Tie concerts, was lead singer for the a cappella group FUSE, played the role of Elle Woods in the Solano Youth Theater production of “Legally Blonde: The Musical” and was recently cast as Maria in SYT’s upcoming “West Side Story” production.
Ahmady is grateful for all the training she received from YACM.
“They really helped me develop my classic voice, which most people will hear on Sunday,” she said.
Ahmady considers singing to be an excellent outlet.
“Whenever I’m stressed, I come home and sing,” she said. “It’s just something that I always have to do if I’m nervous or just want to feel good.”
Ahmady’s favorite style is musical theater.
“It’s really fun putting yourself in another character’s shoes,” she said. “It’s also nice to be able to associate any situation you find yourself in with this character to really feel the song.”
Ahmady will be one of three star artists who won the Solano Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition to perform at Sunday’s concert.
Bassoonist Matthew Rasmussen will perform Carl Maria von Weber’s “Bassoon Concerto”. Pianist Adrian Pu will perform the finale of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.5. The Premiere Orchestra of the Lycée de Vacaville will join the principal orchestra of Frank Bridge’s “Suite for String Orchestra”. The Vanden High School Wind Ensemble will join Alfred Reed’s “El Camino Real”.
All performers will meet at the end to perform Patrick Doyle’s “Concert Suite” from “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”.
Ahmady, who won the vocal division, will perform “The Trees on the Mountain” from the opera “Susannah” by Carlisle Floyd and the aria “Je dis que rien ne m’epouvante” from “Carmen” by Georges Bizet.
“These are really difficult pieces because they are classic, and I like to be challenged,” she said. “Doing songs like that also gives me the chance to play with symphonies, and I also think playing with orchestras is one of the best things.”
Ahmady plans to study musical theater at New York University and she will be auditioning in a few weeks.
“It depends on how it’s going there, but I know I’m going to pursue the music,” she said.
Cook said Ahmady’s journey is a prime example of the importance of arts education, especially at a young age when students are most impressionable.
“We need to have these opportunities at school, on the campus where the children are located so that they can recognize their potential and seize the opportunities to reach their skills,” she said. “She is a wonderful example of this type of opportunity.”
“This is a young girl’s journey that started because she recognized her abilities in school and was able to go as far as she could,” she added.
Ahmady looks forward to the audience attending Sunday’s concert.
“It’s a great opportunity for people to go out and see what young people are doing in classical music,” she said.
The Solano Symphony Orchestra’s “Salute to Youth” will take place Sunday at 3 pm at VPAT, 1010 Ulatis Drive. Tickets cost $ 31 for general admission, $ 26 for seniors, $ 16 for military and students with ID, and $ 11 for children 14 and under. For tickets and more information, visit vpat.net/event/salute-to-youth-2/.