3, November 2009 § Leave a comment
My name is Stephanie Dissette, and I’m here at the Aegean Center for the Fine Arts this semester to study with the vocal ensemble. I’m also studying painting, drawing, art history, photo history, writing and literature.
I met Orfeas the day I arrived in Italy to join the program. I was incredibly excited but a bit intimidated by this man who knew more about music than anyone I had ever met. I went to a really competitive high school, even within the music program, and so even though I have a great base knowledge in vocal music, I know that there is still so much to learn, especially from Orfeas, who is so well educated in many different kinds of vocal music.
I am one of three students involved in the singing program, not counting the Parian residents in the ensemble, most of whom are originally from elsewhere in Greece or from other countries including Germany, England and Holland.The environment in the studio the first day we all sang together on Paros really impressed me. I’m used to a bit of tension, maybe even a competitive edge, but this group made me feel immediately comfortable and just happy to be singing. Within a couple of rehearsals, I was already able to joke and talk with the other members and trust them, as they trusted me, with questions about the music.
The other students and I are the youngest of the group so it’s been really nice to learn from the more mature sound of the older, more experienced members. I’m really impressed that they are able to dedicate themselves to singing even with all the pressures of their everyday lives, at work and at home. I hope to one day follow in that tradition. I also really appreciate having two of my teachers in the ensemble, Jane Pack and Jun-Pierre Shiozawa. It’s been a unique way to get to know them in another environment, something that not all the students here get to do.