Student Profile: Singer of the Year award winner Chaazi Munyanya

Meet Chaazi Munyanya, “Singer of the Year” award winner and junior vocal performance major at Colorado State University. She has been involved in eight operas with CSU and Opera Fort Collins. Her opera performance experience includes the role of Tisbe in Cenerentola by Rossini, Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus by Strauss, and Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro by Mozart. She is currently playing the role of Tessa in The Gondoliers by Gilbert and Sullivan. She also performs in CSU’s Chamber Choir under the direction of Dr. James Kim.

How did you prepare for the Singer of the Year competition?
I had my Junior Recital just a week before the Singer of the Year competition. I had been preparing my repertoire for the recital for the past two semesters, so I did not have to further prepare for the competition…I was ready! My voice teacher, Dr. Tiffany Blake, and I had previously decided on two pieces from my recital that I would sing for the competition.

Describe how it felt to be part of the competition?
Before going on stage I was pretty relaxed and excited. My main goal was really to have fun. There comes a certain point when I have prepared my music for a long enough time that performing it becomes almost automatic. There is nothing to be nervous about. I love singing and any opportunity I get to perform is very exciting. Of course after the competition I was extremely happy!

What does winning Singer of the Year mean to you?
Winning the Singer of the Year to me means that a lot of the hard work I have done has not gone unnoticed. I have learned that my efforts to constantly improve, to soak up and appreciate every bit of information and advice I get, to understand how to use the voice I have right now, and to accept what I can do, as well as my limitations, has benefited me greatly and will take me further into my career.

How has the Department of Music, Theatre and Dance at CSU cultivated your growth as a singer?
Each professor has had something different and very useful to teach me, and I am very grateful for the amount of work they put into the department. I have learned a lot about my voice and about performing. My voice teacher, Dr. Tiffany Blake, has taught me more than I ever could have imagined. She is so much fun to work with and is such an inspiration. There are so many things she has been able to teach me that have made me the singer I am, and she has given me the confidence to go after my passion for performing. It has been such a great experience at CSU and I am looking forward to an exciting senior year.

What are your goals or your plans after you graduate?
I will be graduating from CSU in the spring of 2012, and my goal for this next year is to devote my time to constant improvement. I feel like there will never be a point where I am done learning, and I believe there will always be something driving me forward towards a greater understanding of music. When I graduate from CSU, I plan on attending a graduate school that will help me reach my goal of performing as a career. I look forward to a lot of challenging work, and I can’t imagine a more enjoyable direction to go with my life.

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