By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury High School (SHS) junior Johanna Geremia performed at the Sounds of Stow Chorus and Orchestra’s 37th annual winter concert March 20 as the soprano soloist.
Although Geremia is only 17, the vocal soloist has already accomplished so much. She began her singing career at the young age of 10 when she auditioned for the All Saints Choirs of Worcester under the direction of Peter Burton. She now sings in the Honors Women’s Choir at SHS under the direction of Michael Lapomardo. She is still a member of the All Saints Choirs and performed with them at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin three years ago as well as at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., five years ago. She is a vocal soloist from Handel and Haydn Society’s prestigious Vocal Arts Program for outstanding high school singers where she sings in the Young Women’s Choir and Young Women’s Chamber Choir. She studies voice at New England Conservatory Preparatory School and has attended solo vocal programs at both Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J., and at Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio.
“I am so excited to be singing with a full orchestra and chorus at Sunday’s concert,” Geremia said prior to the March 20 concert. “Performing Faure’s ‘Requiem,’ and Mendelssohn’s ‘Lauda Sion’ will be a great opportunity for my career path. I self-reflect and ask myself if I can actually handle this. I still get nervous on stage but I get to do this together with friends from the chorus and I couldn’t be happier.”
She is also a member of Tri-M Music Honor Society at SHS through which she does volunteer work with the music department at the high school, middle school and elementary schools. Some of the responsibilities of the members include setting up for concerts, handing out brochures, tuning up instruments, helping at the refreshment stands and more.
Geremia’s parents are both involved with music. Her father, John, is a member of the Shrewsbury School’s Music Association. He works a lot with them and does much of their fundraising. Her mother, Barbara, also sings and is a board member for the Sounds of Stow Chorus. She also is a photographer, and does the media and posters for each of the ensembles.
“Music is the most amazing thing in the world where you have all of these mosaics coming together to create this completely new thing that has so much energy,” Barbara said. “I also sing with the sounds of Stow Chorus, although not professionally. Our lives really do revolve around music and all that it encompasses. I am quite proud of Johanna. My role has really been helping with the logistics and until she was able to drive, I was driving her to all of her music commitments.”
In addition to singing, Geremia plays the piano, viola and teaches guitar. She hopes to have a successful career in vocal performance and would like to pursue a degree in music education.
“Performing music can really convey a certain message,” she said. “If you do it well enough, the audience can feel the message and can be moved by it. You can reach emotionally in the audience and at times, while performing, you can actually see the emotion in an audience member.”