EOU senior showcased at Lanetta Paul & Friends concert
Soprano Avalon Bloodgood, this year’s recipient of the Don and Lanetta Paul Music Scholarship, recently placed first at the local National Association of Teachers of Singing chapter competition. Soprano Aubrey Slaughter, last year’s scholarship recipient and another 2017 Lanetta Paul & Friends performer, placed second. Both are advancing to regional level.
“We truly have the best voices in the area performing in this show,” Paul said.
Bloodgood, who has been performing in musical theatre shows as far back as she can remember, is now a senior at Eastern Oregon University. As a music major with impressive vocal power, Bloodgood easily qualified for the music scholarship.
Bloodgood credits Paul for being the “driving force” behind the concert each year. She’s especially grateful for the endowment which makes music and arts a priority.
“There seem to be more academic scholarships for people who want to become teachers or mathematicians, but a lot of the world views the arts as less important than the academic fields,” she said. “I think it is important, so it’s great that this opportunity exists for those of us who want to make a living in this.”
Among Bloodgood’s solos is “When You Believe” from “The Prince of Egypt.” Bloodgood said she selected the piece because it’s all about miracles.
“It’s how I relate to God, which I think is really important, especially for (a Christmas-time) show,” she said. “That’s what Christmas spirit is to me: being able to relate to God.”
The concert will include a series of solos, trios and musical treats, according to Paul.
Bloodgood said she feels blessed to perform with Slaughter and 2015 scholarship winner Shahayla Ononaiye.
“I really look up to them,” Bloodgood said. “When Shahayla did this concert, we did a little operetta, and I got to know her through that. I’ve also worked with Aubrey before, and it’s just a blessing to be in the same category as them.”
Bloodgood said the trio of sopranos are evidence that people who donate to the endowment have made the right choice.
“Your money’s going toward good stuff,” she said.
She expressed gratitude to everyone who donates to the endowment.
This year’s concert will also feature EOU faculty members Mio Aoike (on piano), Peter Wordelman (trumpet) and Danny Bailey (director). Cherlyne Allen will play flute, and the Alleluia Bell Choir will perform.
Paul even teased a special performance from La Grande Shakespeare Company Director Grant Turner, which will be paired with the musical selection “How Like a Winter.”
Although the concert is free, donations will be accepted to benefit the Don & Lanetta Paul Music Scholarship.