Life as a freshman at any college can be difficult, but most don’t experience being the only freshman in their entire major. Jane Coons is one such student, having arrived at Geneseo as the only new voice performance major. She doesn’t let this keep her from what she loves, though.
Before Geneseo, Jane was actively singing in Nassau County choirs, including All-County for five years and All-State during her senior year of high school.
Coons is celebrating her second semester with Geneseo’s Spectrum Women’s Ensemble and her first semester with the Festival Chorus. “I’ve only been at Geneseo for a short time, but so far my favorite performance is Spectrum’s Christmas concert last semester,” Coons said. “I had the opportunity to sing the treble II solo in Benjamin Britten’s ‘A Ceremony of Carols,’ which was a lot of fun.”
Surprisingly, Coons is also a math major. “If I wasn’t a singer I would probably be known for something involving math,” she said. Coons said that she will remain a singer, though, because, “It’s what I’m good at and I’m very passionate about classical music.”
Coons chose Natalie Dessay as her role model because she sings coloratura really well, which means that she can sing quickly while keeping it beautiful. “Natalie also has magnificent high notes,” Coons said. “That’s something difficult that singers strive for.”
As with any art, there is a risk to singing that some may not recognize. “Sometimes you just have really off days. You wake up and for some reason your voice isn’t working the way you want it to,” Coons said. For singers this can be very frustrating as there is a limit to the amount of liquids you can drink or exercises you can do each day to help fix your voice.
The “heartbreaking” song “Senza Mamma” from Puccini’s “Suor Angelica” is Coons’ favorite song to listen to because when performed properly it is “incredibly beautiful and it requires a great deal of talent and control.” Coons said her favorite song to sing is “Batti batti o bel Masetto” from Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” mostly because it is a “fun acting piece.”
Coons recommended that aspiring singers never stop working if they are truly passionate about their craft. The people who make it as professional singers are those who work the hardest, are detail-oriented and don’t let anything slip through the cracks. Coons is on her way to being one of these singers.