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Student Spotlight: BCA's Lauren Reynolds says chasing her dream is worth the sacrifice

Published Monday, March 12, 2018

“It’s not like the movies.” Those are the words of Berkeley Center for the Arts (BCA) senior Lauren Reynolds. She’s in a good spot with scholarship offers and ample opportunities to pursue her dream of one day singing at the Metropolitan Opera (The Met) in New York City.

Her good fortune comes with sacrifice. She’s spent more time studying, practicing her craft and preparing herself mentally than most high school students. She put friendships on hold. She stayed focused on other things. In the end, she believes the things she sacrificed as a teen will enable her to do what she loves.

Lauren’s a gifted singer capable of shaking curtains off walls with the power of her voice. Best of all, she’s learned to “sing healthy,” meaning she’s learned to sharpen her voice in a way that doesn’t impact her vocal cords. She’ll only get better with time, practice and dedication.

She’s currently waiting to hear back from the Curtis Institute of Music, which only accepts about four percent of applicants. The fact that she’s even considered is a big deal, because the conservatory’s selection process is one of the most comprehensive in the world.

“You have to audition for an audition,” Lauren said. “…If I get in, I’m going.”

But at this point Lauren is set. Worst case, if Curtis is not where she will continue to pursue her dream, she has scholarship offers from others.

She credits her success not only to her own determination, but also to direction from her mother and help from BCA’s John Stoudenmire.

Mr. Stoudenmire, Lauren said, will give students ample opportunities to excel in what they love. She advises all underclassmen serious about their future to seize those opportunities.

“Four years later, I’m able to audition for colleges and major in vocal performance and get really good scholarships because they (BCA) have allowed me the opportunity to learn how to sing correctly,” she said.

As gifted as she is, Lauren said her success is also possible due to a strong focus on academics. To get into the Harvard of music schools and receive scholarship offers from others, your grades in other areas have to also be exceptional.

“I knew that academics also played a part in me getting into these conservatories and higher music institutions. …You have to be able to have a conversation outside of music,” she said.

That’s where he mother fits in the equation. Lauren said her mother has always pushed her to do her best in school. Good grades were not preferred, they were expected.

She laughs that she may be a starving musician one day, but in the end knows it will be worth the sacrifice. Lauren argues pursuit of that dream would not be possible without the role of Berkeley Center for the Arts at Goose Creek High School.

“Coming here (BCA) was, to date, the best decision I ever made,” she said.


Brian Troutman