State College, PA Singing Lessons
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By Jonathan B. - State College Singing Teacher
My name is Jonathan, and I'm privileged to teach singing lessons in State College, Pennsylvania. While I bet most voice teachers you ask would think that there’s more opportunity in big cities like New York or LA, I find that the amazing thing about State College is that it's a town where anybody has the opportunity to sing and be appreciated. I doesn't matter if you like classical, popular, gospel or folk. There are shows, groups and venues for people of all ages and ability levels; and that's what makes it possible for anyone of any level to get in on the action.
If you're looking to take singing lessons in State College, then the first thing I should talk about is choirs, because this is one of State College's most exceptional assets. A choir is a place where you can feel the joys of singing without being singled out. For most singers I know, this is how they start before they take off as successful soloists in whatever genre they choose.
I got my start in the State College area high school choirs. No joke, it was just high school. That being said, SCAHS has one of the best high school choral programs in the country. With six different ensembles in its program and at least a dozen extracurricular vocal opportunities, there's a way for any kid to get in on the action. And it doesn't stop there. Penn State ranks at the top nationally for the most student-organized a capella groups at a university. Also, anyone with a little experience in classical music can get involved with the State College Choral Society (http://www.scchoralsociety.org/), which has a long history of performing epic masterworks of European classical music.
For those who aren't as into the choir scene, there are a lot more opportunities for soloists and bands to perform in recent years. Most singers I know in town also sing at a church, and there are many to choose from. Additionally, several local charities throw major events that get up-and-coming singers out in front of big crowds. For example, Happy Valley's Got Talent, which supports the charitable program Tides, is an ongoing local favorite for aspiring young talent; and in recent years, the competition has been won by singers a number of times (http://tidesprogram.org/for-donors/hvgt-information/). Also, Center Sings is run by the local Interfaith Council and runs a $1,000 prize for the winner (http://www.ihs-centrecounty.org/centre-sings---2015.html).
Another favorite of mine is the State College Community Theater (http://scctonline.org/). With performances both at the Boal Barn in Boalsburg and at the State Theater right in the heart of downtown, the SCCT has progressively expanded their performance repertoire to include more and more people as time goes on. I have many fond memories of show casts that became like families during the run, and the tradition continues with opportunities for people of any age who love musical theater!
The downtown scene has no shortage of live music for people who do the band thing. Clem's BBQ, The Dark Horse, The Phyrst, The Gamble Mill, Quaker Steak and Lube, The West Side Stadium, Webster's, Chumley's – all these places do open mics (https://thesyncopatedkeys.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/open-mics-in-state-college/comment-page-1/). Many more venues book live acts once you get into the circuit. I find that the best way to get in is just to put an act together and start playing anywhere you can. State College is small enough that the good names get around without too much work.
I've known many successful singers in State College who go on to have successful careers in opera, jazz, gospel and popular music. Friends of mine from high school are singing on stages all over the world in every genre imaginable. So, if you’re interested in taking singing lessons in State College, the possibilities here are remarkable; and with the right guidance, I think any singer should be able to get where they want to go with their voice. All he or she needs to do is to get in touch with the community that's already there, and success is almost guaranteed!