Thursday, February 2, 2012

Meet the Singers: Cullen Gandy

Cullen Gandy, our most southern gentleman, always knew he wanted to be a musician. Our 26 year old Tenor started off learning flute but was soon moved into the operatic vocal world care of his father, who loved listening to operas, namely Carmen.

As a youth, Mr. Gandy joined a chorus to earn money and always received compliments on his voice but it was not until he was at high school that he received vocal direction, and discovered the opportunity to become a  participant in a Student Project "Upward Bound" at Georgia State University's Musical Department under Dwight Coleman. In this program, high school students are accepted into apprenticeship training as a way to reach out to aspiring singers and provide them with the support to prepare for college entrance.

Apart from the recordings of operas being played at home, Mr. Gandy's father's own personal encouragement was also instrumental in the young singer's career, providing the support from home to pursue a career in opera.

Opera Idols: Do you come from a musical family? Any singers? 
Cullen Gandy: 

OI: Do you have a favourite opera/aria/composer?
CG: Verdi...La Traviata.

OI: Any advice to future auditioners/opera singers?
CG: My advice is: don't worry about it...do your best, have fun. If you don't win it doesn't mean they don't like you.

OI: What has been your best experience at these MONC ER auditions?
CG: One was sitting with my girlfriend one day after the District Auditions when I received the email that I was going to advance to these Regional Auditions. Another is singing for the panel, seeing their reactions.

OI: Do you have any techniques to relax after an audition or any preparation methods on the day of an audition like this?
CG: I like to arrive early (editor's note: he arrived around 2 hours early), relax into the place, practice active rest (Alexander Technique), and drink water 1-2 hours before my performance. I don't get nervous singing so my post audition experience is just to wait for the results.

:)