by Tony Moore
It should come as no surprise that Frederick Schlick '14, an aspiring opera singer, was exposed to music at a young age.
Schlick is coming off winning a recent National Association of Teachers of Singers (NATS) competition (his second victory), and his continuing success is explained in the punch line to the old joke about how someone gets to Carnegie Hall: practice. "With opera in particular, you're building a muscle," Schlick says. "It's not, 'Oh, I can sing.' It's more like Olympic-style singing, with all the training. At first it's 'Can I do it?' and then you get through that and move on to building it up."
"It's a little like athletics," says Helding. "When you look at body types, you might say, 'This person is meant to be a sprinter,' or 'This person was born to play basketball.' It's the same in voice." Schlick was built to sing, and Helding thinks he's found a perfect match in his beloved Mozart.
Schlick's talents have been developed by what he calls Dickinson's "nurturing environment," something Helding might describe as a collaborative environment. "People tend to think of student-faculty collaboration as happening in the lab, something that occurs in the sciences," she says. "But it's something that occurs in the performing arts all the time and has historically."
Unlike sprinters and basketball players, though, the best opera singers usually aren't in their early 20s.
Dickinson's Department of Music
Published December 6, 2013