Photo Credit: Ashley Elaine Photography
This year’s Gloucester County Christian School musical featured several familiar faces to Settlement Music School! The school’s production of Frozen starred Wynnefield Branch and Settlement Music Online student Olivia Doran as well as Settlement Music Online student Chloe Shields as lead characters Elsa and Anna, respectively. Additionally, Settlement vocal teacher Sharon Neff was brought on board to coach the musical numbers!
Ms. Neff took the time to meet the students where they were, utilizing a combination of virtual and in-person learning, as well as traveling out to the school to coach the cast during Spring Break and Memorial Day. Her lessons not only focused on the songs at hand, but also offered other crucial instruction for musical theater performance. “The hardest song to learn was definitely ‘Let It Go,’” recalls Olivia. “The song has such a wide range, and it was sometimes difficult to move between the very low notes and the high ones. It was also in the most challenging scene, where I had to climb up a very steep ramp while wearing a long gown and tremendously heavy cape. Through Ms. Neff’s coaching, I was able to really focus on my techniques and use the difficult set and costume to help my singing instead of harm it.”
Despite the extreme busyness of a schedule filled with musical rehearsals, lessons, and more, Ms. Neff continued to go above and beyond for the performers at every chance. “When we would have a little extra time, Ms. Neff would allow me to tell her all the challenges, funny moments, and interesting experiences I was navigating through this musical,” says Chloe. “Ms. Neff taught me acting techniques, self-care, and gave professional advice for doing my best throughout my performances. Because of her reliability, devoted time, and kindness, I was able to confidently perform to the best of my ability. I cherished these times and memories when we could perform for her with our friends and have a good time while learning.”
We want to offer a major congratulations to Olivia and Chloe on a phenomenal performance and celebrate the exceptional dedication of our vocal teacher Sharon Neff. We are thrilled to have you all in our Settlement Music School Community!