Singing Soprano: HFC student pursues a career in music

Release Date: Monday, June 4, 2018

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Singing Soprano: HFC student pursues a career in music

Taylor Charbonneau at the piano

HFC student Taylor Charbonneau’s entire life has been about music.

“I’ve been singing since I’ve been talking,” said Charbonneau, who lives in Gibraltar with her husband Alex, a firefighter. She will graduate in June from HFC with her associate degree in music and vocal performance.

Charbonneau has been participating in musical theater and community theater ever since she was 10 years old. In her teens, she dressed up as a Disney princess and would sing at birthday parties, something that has become a large phenomenon in recent years. Among the characters she’s played are sisters Elsa and Anna from Frozen, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Rapunzel from Tangled, Aurora from Sleeping Beauty, and Ariel from The Little Mermaid.

She had the opportunity to play Ariel again, only this time on the stage with the Southgate Community Players and the Downriver Actors Guild in Wyandotte. She’s also appeared as Johanna Barker in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Cinderella in Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods, and Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.

At Carlson High School in Gibraltar, Charbonneau was active in choir and symphonic band. She can play the piano and the flute, and is accomplished in classical and popular music. During her high school days, she took private vocal instruction.

“That honed my confidence for auditioning,” she said. “It also honed my confidence for performing.”

Lifting her voice

At HFC, Charbonneau’s melodious voice has been heard at numerous holiday concerts. She sang the National Anthem on Veterans Day, as well as the two most recent School of Nursing Pinning and Commencement ceremonies.

“It’s funny, I’ve been to several commencement ceremonies, but I haven’t graduated,” she said, laughing. “So far, I just sing.”

She’s performed at the President’s Collage Concert, the Spring Choral Concert, and the Winter Semester Student Recital. Charbonneau wanted to acknowledge several HFC faculty members who have made a positive impact in her life:
• G. Kevin Dewey
• Anthony Lai
• Jeremy Palmer
• Gina D’Alessio

Currently, she’s taking private voice lessons with D’Alessio.

“From my first meeting with Taylor, she demonstrated enthusiasm, a strong love for music, and the will to wholeheartedly dedicate herself to her art!” said D’Alessio. “These qualities are (invaluable) in every field of music she desires to pursue. I wish her all the best, as it has been a pleasure working with her during her continued musical growth.”

After graduating from HFC, Charbonneau would like to teach vocal music at the K-12 level, preferably at an elementary school. She plans to transfer to Wayne State University this fall. She was also accepted to Eastern Michigan University and Madonna University.

“The teachers here at HFC have been so supportive and very inspirational, especially Kevin and Gina,” said Charbonneau. “Kevin boosted my confidence in many areas, including musicality and aural music theory. He’s a well-rounded person – warm and friendly – who brings the best out of you. He knows your talents and knows how to improve your weak points. He has a great impact on everyone he works with.”

Dewey also sparked Charbonneau's interest and love for jazz choir performance. Charbonneau and some of her fellow minstrels who are transferring to Wayne State will be looking to campaign for a jazz choir class to be added to the university’s music curriculum.

Dewey has high praise for Charbonneau.

“Taylor has been a top-notch student and singer at HFC; she aced all of her music classes and performed at a professional level in the HFC Chorus and Blue Fusion vocal jazz ensemble,” said Dewey. “She’ll undoubtedly have a successful and rewarding career as a professional musician.”