Post-Panel Postmortem

(FYI, I am using the word “postmortem” as it is defined secondarily by Merriam-Webster, i.e., “an analysis or discussion of an event after it is over,” as opposed to the primary definition, AUTOPSY. Because there was nothing “deadly” about the event.)

And also, because alliteration is my jam.

Yesterday’s panel discussion – I think I might have mentioned once or twice or three or four times – went extremely well except for the fact that Zoom decided that when I changed my email from my personal one to my studio one, my account was now Basic and that I could hold meetings with 3 or more people for a maximum of 40 minutes. So I logged in 15 minutes early and we got knocked off at 25 minutes into the meeting, and then again 35 minutes later (I logged off so that we wouldn’t be in mid-question when we were disconnected), and again right after we finished, when there were just 3 of us chatting. This meant I had three separate videos that I had to piece together for the video that everyone who registered got to watch.

(The Zoom issue will be dealt with another time.)

I have not yet watched the video in its entirety, but here are a few TAKEAWAYS.

  1. Matt Edwards, Shenandoah: ” TAKE TOP 10 LISTS AS A LIST OF SCHOOLS GETTING THE MOST APPLICANTS, not a list of the best schools.”
  2. Karla Hughes, Viterbo: “GO WHERE YOU FIT BEST. Go where the experience is best for you.”
  3. Elizabeth Futral, Peabody: “BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. Believe in the fact that you love to sing and want to sing and have to sing and have to perform. And we will see that and help you grow that germ of an idea that just can’t be suppressed.”
  4. Andrew Ryker, Ohio University: “OPENNESS [TO DIRECTION] and the ability to turn on a dime is definitely something that has saved several students that we weren’t sure about.”

The questions submitted by the registrants were fantastic. Many were variations on “how do I stand out?” but there were some that made me wonder “What happened to make you ask that?” Some really great, insightful questions. We couldn’t get to them all – and some of them were questions that would vary from school to school, or that you can find on the website.

One I didn’t think about until later today was – what if you take a gap year? What if you decide to work for a year to save money, to get experience, to mature a little more, to really focus on solidifying your technique? Do schools look on that favorably or askance?

If you weren’t there, and have any burning questions about college auditions, please let me know in the comments and I will see if they were answered in the panel discussion. And if they weren’t, I’ll be glad to steer you to the right place to answer them.

Here’s a lovely screenshot of the full panel near the beginning of the discussion.

Panel discussion screenshot
Top Row: Matt Edwards, Christine Thomas-O’Meally, Iyana Johnson Second Row: Lauren Manna, Olive DeVille, Elizabeth Futral Bottom Row: Karla Hughes, Andrew Ryker


It may come as a surprise to any of you who have spoken to me for more than 5 minutes, but I actually don’t know everything (I know, I was shocked, too!). If I don’t know something, I reach out to people who do. If you’d like to be a part of the Curiously Strong Singing journey, find out how you can work with me.


Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

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