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For Jordanne Erichsen (U’13), studying at Luther College equipped her with the confidence she needed to excel in vocal performance.
Erichson graduated from Luther College at the University of Regina with a Bachelor of Music in Music Performance in 2013, and has since gone on to the University of Ottawa pursue a master’s degree. “When I was in Opera Nuova, one of the [University of Ottawa] faculty members saw me perform and wanted me to study there,” says Jordanne. “At that time I was wondering what I wanted to do after my bachelor’s degree, and she told me I did not have to audition. I just had to send in a tape so they would have the physical proof that I could sing, and they would accept me.”
For Erichsen, this brought her one step closer to what had always been a dream of hers. “I always have been a singer. There was never anything else I loved to do as much,” indicates Jordanne. “I entertained the idea of doing something else because my parents wanted a career path that was more financially stable. But there was nothing else I wanted to do.”
When she started taking voice lessons, she started out with the classic Disney songs she loved. Then, her vocal coach guided her toward a different type of music. “My voice teacher said we should try doing classical music to do exams, to say I had accomplished something in terms of technique,” says Jordanne.”My voice suited it more, and as time went on I grew to love it more than musical theatre.”
When Jordanne graduated from high school, however, she lacked confidence in her singing ability. “What I needed most at that point in my life was someone who believed in me and could help build up my confidence,” says Jordanne. “My voice teacher, Lynn Channing, definitely did that for me. She made me feel like I was actually a good singer and had something special to offer. And that’s invaluable because it has taken me a long way.”
A long way. indeed. Jordanne has performed in Opera Nuova, a program for emerging Canadian artists, bridging academia with professional performance for operatic singers. She has performed at the Austrian Embassy on New Years Eve, and had a lead role in the University of Ottawa Opera Company’s Die Fledermaus last year. She also performed back at home at Luther College’s 100th Anniversary and was the featured soloist with the Luther Bach Choir in Fall 2014.
Jordanne has ambitious plans for the future. “This year, I am doing lots of auditions. My hope is to go to New York and do a professional studies program, similar to an artist diploma, or to do something like the Young Artists program through Opera Lyra here in Ottawa. I also want to do Highland Opera Studio or Opera Nuova again. I want to take that next step of training that will get me closer to a part in an Opera House.”
Studying at Luther College at the University of Regina provided Jordanne with financial support and plenty of experience to pursue her dreams.
“I wouldn’t have gone to school for singing if I did not get the funding that I did through Luther College and the University of Regina. I received enough scholarships that I would say that 75% of my degree was paid for,” says Jordanne. “There was no way that I would be where I am now if I didn’t have that funding in the beginning.”
Being part of a smaller group of students allowed her more opportunities to perform and gain valuable experience. She especially appreciated the encouragement she received at Luther. “It’s a great environment because they knew who I was and offered me other opportunities to perform,” says Jordanne. “There was a family-feeling” at Luther.
This close-knit atmosphere at Luther College meant that Jordanne established close relationships with her professors as well. She particularly enjoyed her Music History class with Barbara Reul, Luther’s Professor of Music. Jordanne recalls that Dr. Reul’s passion for everything she taught made the class interesting and enjoyable. In fact, their personal relationship continues today, and Jordanne will still contact Barbara to discuss pieces she will be performing.
Name: Jordanne Erichsen
Year of Graduation: 2013
Education: Bachelor of Music in Music Performance
Career History: Pursuing her Masters in Vocal Performance at the University of Ottawa
Personal Notes: Performed at the Luther College's 100th Anniversary celebration in October 2013.