Beth Lundy likes to say her daughter, Lauren, started to sing before she learned how to walk.
So, singing has always been with her, Lauren says and laughs.
The O’Fallon teenager took her first formal singing lesson when she was 9 years old.
“And I just kept doing it,” she says.
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Today, Lauren continues to hone her “gift.”
This fall, Lauren, the daughter of Dr. James and Beth Lundy is planning to attend Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where she plans to major in vocal performance.
She has already been chosen to perform in the Drake Chorale and Drake Chamber Choir. But she also is planning to audition for Drake’s Women Choir in August.
“So keep your fingers crossed,” she says.
Lauren recently graduated from Notre Dame High School in south St. Louis County.
She decided to attend Notre Dame High School after she met with a couple St. Nicholas’ mothers, who praised the school located in South St. Louis.
While at Notre Dame, Lundy performed in three difference performance groups.
Lundy aspires to be the next Christine Brewer, a local opera star who previously taught music teacher for several years before she embarked on a professional opera performing career.
Lauren met Brewer, who she considers one of her idol severals years ago.
“Her voice is phenominal,” Lundy says of Brewer.
She says Brewer has always been there not to only support the O’Fallon community, but she also has been there to support her personal pursuits.
“She really paved the way for opera singers in this area,” Lauren adds.
Lauren even appeared in a concert with Brewer when she was in seventh grade. After Lauren performed, she recalls Brewer standing up and applauding her performance.
“I remember I started to cry because I was so excited,” she says.
Lauren has since had the opportunity to meet Brewer on a number of occassions.
Lauren also keeps in contact via email. Lauren also tries to attend all of Brewer’s local concerts and meet with her afterward.
“She is so powerful,” Lauren says.
Lauren credits her interest in opera to her mom, who earlier signed her up the Opera Theater of St. Louis. But Lundy admits she was a little hesitant about going to the camp.
After attending the camp for only a week, Lundy found singing opera music “very cool.”
Lundy most recently performed the Star-Spangled Bannerproudat the O’Fallon Veterans’ Monument on Memorial Day in a manner that surely would have made Francis Scott Key proud.
“It’s such a humbling and wonderful experience,” she says. “I love singing to people that the music actually touches them. If I can touch the soul of one of the persons in the audience, I feel like I have done my job. That makes me happy. That’s what I want to do in my life.”
Lauren is also a third year member of Opera Theatre of St. Louis’ Monsanto Artists-in-Training Program for talented high school singers. As part of the program this talented young singer is provided with college-level voice lessons at Webster University. This year, there were 23 students from 15 high schools in St. Louis City, County, and Metro East, selected through an intensely competitive audition process. The students received weekly college-level vocal coaching from teachers at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, Washington University and Webster University. Now in its 25th year, the program has been underwritten by the Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, since its beginnings in 1990. Each year they award college scholarships. This year, Lundy won first place in the scholarship contest.
“This was an amazing blessing,” Lundy says. “There are so many talented kids in that program.”
But Lundy has no aspirations of ever trying out for popular reality television shows like The Voice or American Idol.
“It’s not really my goal,” says Lundy, who earlier competed in the Belleville Idol.
“I hope to be able to perform in theaters across the country and internationally.”
She says she didn’t learn how to sing from her family.
“My family can’t sing for anything,” she says and laughs. “They have always been there to support me. But I can honestly say I’ve been blessed with a gift.”