By Joel van der Veen
DAVIDSON — She’s starting to feel more at home on stage — and just in time, too.
Vocal student Geena Heinrich is set to perform at a provincial music competition in Saskatoon in June, following her successful performance at the local level last week.
As she said Wednesday, it’s taken a long time for her to feel comfortable singing before an audience.
“It’s my last year performing and I actually don’t hate performing now,” she said following the Central Saskatchewan Music Festival grand finale concert in Davidson.
“I was just really shy. I didn’t mind when literally no one was there.”
Heinrich, a Grade 12 student at Davidson School, will be performing the song “Memory” from the musical Cats.
She received a recommendation from adjudicator Alicia Woynarski.
Heinrich is the first performer from the district festival to move on to the provincial level since 2007 — ending a decade-long drought, in the words of festival president Nancy Wilkins.
A longtime piano student, she has studied voice under Cheryl Dolan for the last four or five years.
Dolan said this is her first time preparing a student for provincials.
“This is all going to be new for me,” she said Thursday, adding that she is making plans for Heinrich to rehearse the piece with Joy McFarlane, an instructor with particular expertise in musical theatre.
Dolan had high praise for her student, saying that with her high soprano vocal range, she would likely have success in any genre she tried.
“She’s a really neat young lady,” said Dolan. “She’s been just fun to teach, easy to teach, and has an incredible, beautiful tone.”
She also affirmed that Heinrich is feeling more relaxed on stage this year than she ever has before.
Heinrich said Wednesday she is feeling a little nervous, but also excited to broaden her horizons.
Her current plan after graduation is to attend film school for animation in Vancouver, but she also hopes to continue pursuing her other artistic interests.
Accompanying Heinrich during her festival performances was pianist Pearl Unger.
For more coverage of this year’s Central Saskatchewan Music Festival, see the April 3 edition of The Davidson Leader.