For a petite girl, Katie Trumbull has a big voice.
And the 14-year-old has been using it in a big way, as she dreams of someday being a professional singer. For the third summer in a row, Katie has won a scholarship to attend the prestigious Interlochen Summer Arts Camp to continue her study of voice.
She’ll return to the famed Michigan locale at the end of June for six weeks. Last year there, she spent three weeks on vocal-arts training and three weeks in musical-theater workshops. This year, her entire time at Interlochen will be devoted to musical theater.
The Toledo Christian School eighth grader, who lives in South Toledo, will have a big decision to make in a few years about the direction she wants to take: focus her training on opera, or concentrate on stage musicals.
She loves to sing both. Her favorite opera, hands down, is La Boheme, and the musicals closest to her heart are West Side Story, Le Miserables, and Wicked. She likes and has performed songs from many others, including The Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance, the 19th-century Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, at Interlochen.
Barbara Kondalski of Sylvania Township has been Katie’s voice instructor for three years and describes the girl’s still-forming vocal range as somewhere between a soprano and mezzo-soprano. Ms. Kondalski, who used to perform professionally herself, harbors no doubts about Katie’s talents.
“I have been teaching since we moved here in 1967,” she said. “I have an index box with hundreds of cards in it. Katie is among the ones who, if she really keeps working, has the natural talent for success.”
Katie described Interlochen as “a magical place” where students from around the world share cabins and music is everywhere.
“It’s really easy to make friends there. There are so many people who have the same talents and interests as you,” she explained, adding that she has shared a cabin with girls from China, Mexico, and Switzerland, and remained in contact with them. “I’ve known a lot of them for three years, and a lot of the group is coming back. I’m looking forward to seeing them.”
The teachers, she said, “interact with you.” Classes, she continued, include music theory and international phonetic alphabet, which teaches qualities of speech from different languages.
Wake-up is at 6:30 a.m., and classes end each day at 3 p.m. Even hanging out in her cabin “is really cool, because you can hear all the concerts from there,” she said.
She plans to continue her voice studies in college, perhaps at the Juilliard School, depending on which direction her singing takes her. Some of her performances are on YouTube.