Imagine being four years old and sitting in the audience of the Broadway production of, “Beauty and the Beast.” The imagery and scenery. The dancing. The singing! It all sounds fairly typical except to a young girl who grew up to not only enjoy attending Cendrillon at the Metropolitan Opera (along with many other musical productions as well as operas at numerous venues), but now takes the stage herself with scheduled upcoming performances in Dialogue of the Carmelites, and Hansel and Gretel.
Home in the Walden area for winter break from the Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase where she studies classical voice and opera, Christina Growhoski shares, “When I was in 5th grade I auditioned for the role of Genie in Aladdin, but ended up being cast as Princess Jasmine and that was my first lead role. I danced for nine years in the Hudson Valley Conservatory in Walden, and I loved singing in chorus in Middle School. By high school, I was also in select chorus and participating in musicals, working with Kimberly Carver, the head of the Music Department at Valley Central and taking lessons with Deborah Portsline, a private vocal teacher in Pine Bush. I am a mezzo-soprano and although I no longer dance, it definitely helped me in many ways including using and feeling the music with my body and being comfortable on the stage.”
Grohowski continued, “I’m currently a sophomore, and I’m told it is the hardest year. I just completed a 22 credit semester with a 3.7 GPA and will be returning to the same size course load. Plus, each year we learn a new language and this year I am studying German. One of the best things is students have opportunities to perform right away and as is the school’s mantra, we learn to perform by performing.”
In addition to learning Italian, French, and German, Grohowski’s education at an award-winning institution includes music theory, stage techniques, and students participate in two major performances.
Asked how she came to receive a $10,000 scholarship from Music for Humanity, Grohowski explained, “During my senior year of high school I applied, but I was late and my application was not accepted so I reapplied the following year and I cannot stress how absolutely thankful I am to have received it. It is quite humbling to know musicians who know and love music, believed in me enough to award me the scholarship, and the money really helps me in so many ways.”
No stranger to the work that goes into fundraising, Grohowski initiated the Christina Cares: The Kara-Lynn Project, now the Kara-Lynn Caltavuturo Fashion Design Award, a scholarship for a graduating senior of Valley Central high school in memory of Kara-Lynn Caltavuturo. As a result, she has an even greater appreciation as the recipient of the Music for Humanity Scholarship.
Before heading home to indulge in a holiday meal including a cinnamon French toast souffle served with bacon and hot chocolate with her supportive parents, Christa and Ron, Grohowski summarizes, “I am really just so grateful for my high school roots, for my parents support and being able to see all of those productions and plays, to the Music for Humanity organization, my coaches and teachers. I believe I will be attending Graduate school after graduation, and while I explore the various ways I could be employed, I would love to be a recital singer and travel with an orchestra.”
For a sample of videos featuring Christina Grohowski’s amazing voice, search her name on YouTube.
Music for Humanity was founded in 2005 and as an organization, not only do they raise money for scholarships (over $100,000 to date), but to benefit humanitarian, environmental, and social causes as well. To learn more about them, find dates for events or apply for this year’s scholarship, visit their website at: musicforhumanity.org.