Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Do you select the music you sing or does the repertoire select you? Successful young singer stories and repertoire selection. With Whom Do You Identify? Part 3 – Keith Phares

Do you select the music you sing or does the repertoire select you?  Successful young singer stories and repertoire selection.  With Whom Do You Identify?  Part 3 – Keith Phares

Keith Phares, a young Baritone in the opera world is another example of a musician turned singer.  Keith actually got his start in music as a trumpet player.  When in high school, he played the trumpet in the band and pit orchestra.  One year, the director of the musical encouraged him to try out for the production as a singer and actor as they were very short on men for the production.  Keith gave it a whirl and made it.  His thoughts were why not?  I like musical theater, singing with the radio, and cute girls.  Keith was in many small productions in high school and early on in college.  His true passion for singing however did not develop until junior year in college.

At the University of Richmond, Keith played trumpet in the jazz band and pit orchestra as a psychology major and was in a couple of music theater productions.  He also took voice lessons.  The experience which really changed him was participating in a summer program in his home town.  After that summer, he returned to school and asked his voice teacher, Do you think I really have the voice to make it as a professional singer?  His voice teacher encouraged him to pursue it as she felt he really had the voice and the passion.

Keith auditioned for and got into New England Conservatory of Music and admits he really didn’t have a clue about the work required to be a professional singer.  Here he learned a ‘good work ethic and learned to be self-sufficient while taking classes’, December 2002.  Keith then attended Julliard Opera Center where he was given opportunity to prove himself as a singer and musician.  Through much work, he has developed a very successful opera career as a 35 year old baritone.  For details on his singing career, visit  

Keith Phares admits, ‘the music found me’.  Who would have thought a trumpet player from South Carolina who first started singing to impress the girls in his high school would have a career in the opera world?  Another example of how the repertoire finds the singer, the singer doesn’t always choose his best repertoire.

What is your repertoire story?  With whom do you identify for repertoire selection?

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