The trombone scholarship Andrew LeVan received to study at Wooster was nice, but it wasn’t the dealmaker. What convinced LeVan to come to Wooster was a promise and a philosophy. “Wooster’s admissions staff said, ‘We encourage freshmen to do as much as possible during their first year, and based on that, make decisions on how they want to approach the rest of their lives.”
LeVan had no question that he wanted to major in music, but needed time to declare his area of concentration. He excelled in trombone, had played piano for 17 years, and loved vocal performance and theatre. And so he plunged in. By the time he graduated, he had helped found an early music ensemble; assumed directorship of Merry Kuween of Scots, an all male a capella group; took an opera workshop; performed in a musical; played in the symphony and a brass ensemble; and sung in the chorus. Along the way, he decided to specialize in voice performance. “I could live without playing the trombone,” he says. “But I couldn’t living without singing.”
LeVan, who studied under Prof. Carrie de Lapp-Culver, perfected Benjamin Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Strings and Horn, and his performance of the work at his senior recital also served as his capstone Independent Study. His recital and his role in the musical, Songs for a New World, were high points of his Wooster experience, he says.
LeVan, who will perform with the Ohio Light Opera this summer and attend graduate school at Indiana University, says his next decision—the genre of vocal music he will chose to specialize in— will become clear in a few years. “I’m as happy singing art songs and musical theatre as I am opera. Voices don’t mature until the age 30, and I’ll know more as I progress.
“The decision to be a professional singer is a scary life choice. But I’ll do everything I can to make it happen. I feel an emotional connection when I sing that I don’t feel anywhere else. And when I’m singing, I feel comfortable in any circumstance.”
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