WEDDINGTON – Julia Lang has loved singing since she was 5 years old and has spent the majority of the past decade taking voice lessons and performing in choirs and stage musicals.
The Weddington 17-year-old will join about 2,500 students from across the United States and the world at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan this summer. The camp attracts students and professional instructors from 52 U.S. states and territories and more than 40 countries, and offers programs for a variety of visual and performing arts.
Julia, a Charlotte Christian School junior, will attend the camp’s six-week high school vocal artist summer program, geared toward aspiring classical vocal soloists. The program will consist of private voice lessons, opera workshops, ensemble performance opportunities, master classes, studio and honor solo recitals, diction classes, music theory and history education, one-week topical classes and more.
“I did a lot of research (about the camp) on my own,” Julia said. “I was thinking it would be very influential to go to a summer program and just be completely involved and engrossed in music for six weeks to get a good sense of (whether) I want to do it as a career one day, and just to help me become a better performer and artist.”
The Interlochen Arts Camp was founded in 1928 and offers programs for dance, theater, creative writing, visual arts, music and film. Camp alumni include musicians Norah Jones and Josh Groban, actor Anthony Rapp and cartoonist Cathy Guisewite, among others, and the camp alumni community has been awarded nearly 100 Grammy Awards.
“It also provides a lot of perspective,” Chris Hintz, with Interlochen, said. “… It’s a very eye-opening thing and gives (students) a chance to see how they can fare against other very talented students. It gives them a better road map to the future, being able to work with leading instructors, (and helps them) plot out a realistic career path for themselves.”
Julia was required to submit a video audition, which had to include one song in English and another in a foreign language. Julia chose Italian, her favorite foreign language to sing in. When she received word she’d been accepted into the camp, Julia was shocked and excited. The camp accepts an average of 50 students into the vocal program each summer and is open to students in other countries, as well.
“I can’t believe I got in,” Julia said. “… It’s (an) international (program), as well, so people from all over the world audition.”
Julia hopes the camp will give her the opportunity to hone not just her vocal skills, but her performing skills as a whole. She has had a passion for musical theater for years and has taken roles in various community theater productions – including the role of Cosette in a Charlotte Children’s Theater production of “Les Miserables” – but considers her vocal skills to be stronger than her acting abilities.
“I just want to grow as an artist … just to learn how to completely get into the character and the song and find the technique where you can just completely be yourself on stage but also be another character,” she said. “Just honing my craft is very important, as well as getting into character.”
Julia isn’t sure what the future will hold, but she’s considering attending college – potentially St. Olaf in Minnesota – to pursue a bachelor of music in vocal performance. She’d also love to study music abroad.
“I’m obsessed with Italian and obsessed with Italy, as well,” she said. “I would love to study there and be in operas there.”