Hillsboro High School graduate and Tabor College student Olivia Kliewer recently proved that practice pays off after placing third at the West Central chapter of the National Assosiation of Teachers of Singing competition Nov. 3 to 5 at Wichita State University.
Kliewer performed “A Green Lowland of Pianos” by Samuel Barber, “Entführung” by Brahms, “Aurore” by Faúre, and “Tu Che Di Gel Sei cinta” by Puccini.
Kliewer will perform her four NATS songs at her senior recital, which will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Tabor College chapel, as well as 12 other songs, including pieces by Handel, Vivaldi, Brahms, and Rogers and Hammerstein.
Preparing for competitions like NATS, Kliewer said, takes “a lot of hard work.”
“The foundation is just a lot of time spent practicing,” Kliewer said. “Making sure the melody and lyrics are memorized is the biggest thing. After that, word and text study comes in handy because you want to make sure you’re giving an accurate performance of the song.”
Kliewer described her feelings after placing third as rewarding.
“Anyone can hear any other students perform, so you hear another person sing in your category and you realize that you’re not the only one there who is really prepared,” Kliewer said. “It’s both motivating, and a little intimidating, but not everyone makes it to the second or third round, so you feel really great full to be able to move on.”
Kliewer said for her, there are two aspects to performing that really give her enjoyment, the most important being her connection with the audience.
“There is always a moment in a performance when the audience and the performer are experiencing the same thing and it’s almost like a community coming together, even if it’s only for a moment,” Kliewer said.
The other moment is being able to play a variety of roles.
“Some are really fun and easy and some are really complex and need to have a lot of study and thought put into it,” Kliewer said. “Either way, it’s giving a voice to characters who normally don’t have a voice, and that is really rewarding as well.”
Although her senior recital is Thursday, Kliewer will not be done performing once she graduates from Tabor.
“I’m far from reaching my peak,” Kliewer said. “There is always room for growth and improvement.”