Amanda Gosier , a graduate of CUA's Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, was featured in a Sept. 24 Arlington Catholic Herald article in which she discussed her experience studying at CUA. See her comments in the article below.

Popular soprano relishes Catholic U. experience
Maryland native says the school's music program gave her more opportunities as a young performer, and taught her the importance of giving back.

From: Arlington Catholic Herald Date: Sept. 24, 2008 Author: Barbara MatusowSoprano soloist Amanda Gosier, a rising star on the Washington music scene, credits Catholic University's school of music for helping to mold her singing career.

"It was the best four years of my life," she said. "I feel very lucky to have gone there."

Gosier will be the featured soloist at the New Dominion Chorale's performance of Faure's "Requiem" at the Schlesinger Concert Hall in Alexandria Oct. 26.

The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, whose graduates have sung principal roles at the great opera houses around the world, afforded Gosier more than just a top-notch musical education. She said she is grateful for the broad array of performing opportunities.

"Catholic puts on several hundred performances a year," she said. "So I had lots of chances to shine. It also has to do with the school's focus on undergraduate education. For example, although I was an undergraduate, I was selected twice to sing solo at the annual Christmas concert at the Shrine, which is a very big deal - it's broadcast over EWTN, the Eternal Word Television Network. At a bigger school, plum spots like that would have gone to graduate students."

Catholic's conservatory provided something else a budding professional would not likely find at other music schools: a sense of community and a commitment to service.

"It's a very service-oriented university, and that was felt in our music education," said Gosier, a parishioner of St. Michael the Archangel Church in Silver Spring, Md. "We were always being prodded to ask ourselves how we were using our gifts to serve the common good. It's a very Catholic outlook, and it's definitely had an influence on me and the volunteering I've done, singing at area nursing homes and at my church."

Gosier, who earned a master's in music at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, has to fit her volunteer work into a packed schedule. Like most professional musicians in the Washington area, she has a day job - she helps seniors with their finances - and continues to take voice coaching and develop new repertoire.

Then there's her busy performance schedule. She's a regular performer with the Opera Company of Northern Virginia, Opera Bel Cantanti, the Annapolis Opera, the Masterworks Chorale, the City Choir of Washington and the New Dominion Chorale. In addition, she has been a frequent recitalist with Washington's Vocal Arts Society.

The Washington Post has praised Gosier's "long, fluid phrases (and) her acrobatic soprano," while the music critic for the Baltimore Sun commented on her "sensitivity, elegance and lovely expressive singing."

"She's a natural singer," said Thomas Beveridge, artistic director of the New Dominion Chorale, who will conduct Gosier and the chorale in the October concert. "And it's a gorgeous voice. Most singers a conductor hears have excellent technique and a good knowledge of the repertoire, but one is always looking for that special thing, and she has it. She's a local gal made good."

Gosier is getting married Oct. 12, and won't be returning from her honeymoon until two days before the concert.

The guests at her wedding?

"My classmates from Catholic will all be there," she said.

If you go

"Requiem, Mass and Canticles: Music of Faure, Haydn and Beveridge"

New Dominion Chorale, with soprano soloist Amanda Gosier

Oct. 26, 4 p.m.

Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center

Northern Virginia Community College

Alexandria Campus

3001 N. Beauregard St.

Tickets: New Dominion Chorale.

For more information or to order by phone, call 703/442-9404.