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Goose Creek student among elite high school singers selected for WNO Summer Institute

Published Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Meleana Cabales

Meleana Cabales (Provided)


Talented, driven and elite – all of those words describe Meleana Cabales at Berkeley Center for the Arts at Goose Creek High.

While "elite" is not a word most people are comfortable in using to describe themselves, it’s a distinction Meleana, a junior at BCA, recently earned through her dedication to her craft.

This summer she will take the stage at the J.F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. of one of about 30 students selected from national and international auditions for the Washington National Opera’s (WNO) Summer Institute.

The opportunity is one only two other BCA students have experienced. BCA teacher John Stoudenmire said they both completed undergraduate programs in vocal performance and describe the WNO selection and summer program as a “chance of a lifetime.”

“Miss Cabales has been one of those rare ‘gems’ who has been a joy to teach and mentor her through these high school years into her advanced study,” Stoudenmire said. “A singer may have a very natural voice but unless that instrument is used in a proper vocal health and management, the voice never grows or improves. Miss Cabales has been steadily consistent in her daily practice and growth.”

As a part of the audition process, Meleana was required to sing two songs – one in Italian.

While her audition video shows she had no difficulty with the song in Italian, part of the three-week summer program will focus on Italian dictation. Other benefits of the program include but are not limited to opera history, acting classes, ear training, sight singing and voice lessons. 

In its 21st year of working with talented young singers who dream of professional careers in opera, The WNO promotes itself as one of the top pre-professional programs for high school musicians in America. It is also the only program of its kind under the leadership of a world-class opera company where student participants will learn with professional singers and musicians.