Local Ball State University Singer Devin Van Lue shares his love of music.
By Devin Van Lue
My musical background began at Syracuse Elementary School with my music mentor, Kris Stump. Mrs. Stump offered me the role of a mouse in Wawasee High School’s production of “Cinderella.” From then on, I was involved with Wawasee Performing Arts as a lighting and sound operator, backstage crew, ensemble, and in leading roles. My most memorable role was playing Prince Eric in our production of “The Little Mermaid” this past spring. Mrs. Stump offered me the opportunity to play in Wawasee High Schools’ Marching Band. I played in the front ensemble, marched in the percussion battery, and served as a drum major for three years. I also played percussion and saxophone for Pep Band and Concert Band. In my freshman year, I auditioned for Vocal Motion, Wawasee’s top show choir. Music was a large part of my education at Wawasee, but It wasn’t all I did. I was also a member of the Key Club, Student Council, Drama Club, The International Thespian Society, National Honor Society, Boy Scouts, and Relay for Life. Being a part of all these programs made me into the man that I am today. I thoroughly enjoyed every program I was involved in. The programs gave me inspiration for choosing my future career as a music educator. These groups allowed me to grow as a leader and a student which tremendously prepared me for college.
When I first toured Ball State University, I heard of the Ball State University Singers, and I was excited to audition this past spring. I did not receive the chance to be in show choir all the way through high school, so I knew that this was something I wanted to do. The audition process was super easy but also intimidating. This past April, we were asked to prepare two songs, one upbeat and one slow. We sang our pieces in front of the director and all previous cast members. Following the singing portion of our audition, we then learned a dance with the dance captains and had to perform the song with choreography. My voice teacher, Shannon Rose, also attended my auditions and greatly helped me prepare for this. It wasn’t until June 16th that I learned I was a member of the Ball State University Singers. I was so excited to make this group because I knew it was going to be my favorite part of college. The director sent out an email to all the members that made the group that day. I was thrilled to get the news and I couldn’t wait to share it with my family and friends.
The Ball State University Singers is currently in its 59th cast and is recognized as Indiana’s Official Goodwill Ambassadors singing songs of faith, hope, laughter, and love. These four pillars make up the foundation of the Ball State University Singers and our directors encourage us to follow these pillars in our everyday life. We as singers are expected to rehearse at least twice a week for several hours. We travel all over the state to run clinics with high school show choirs and we perform for Ball State and other community events. We prepare music with our theme of faith, hope, laughter, and love throughout the entire year. We will learn our music and the choreography that goes with it. All the music we prepare stays in our repertoire leading up to our annual Spectacular performance in April.
I was extremely blessed to be a part of this amazing cast. BSU Singers has transformed my college experience into an amazing one. I am honored to be able to represent the talent at Wawasee at a collegiate level. I plan to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in vocal and instrumental music education. I choose this degree because of my true passion for music and the amazing educators that got me to this point. Kris Stump, Shannon Rose, Connie Meadows, and Toni Pawlicki taught and trained me into the performer that I am today and for that, I am truly grateful. I could not have received this opportunity without their love and support. Being a member of the BSU Singers has given me more passion for pursuing this degree because of the amount of joy that is spread through this group. From a glee club member to an audience, everyone is in for a spectacular show. There is a treat for everyone throughout the entire performance sharing our faith, hope, laughter, and love. Here at Ball State, I was instantly surrounded by loving people pursuing their dreams. This made getting adjusted to college much easier. Along with the Ball State University Singers, I also participate in Concert Choir and Cardinal Chorus. These programs train us in an exciting way to be a performer of skill and consistency. During our performance, our audience will be thrilled with all sorts of music ranging from pop to musical theater. Following our performance, the glee club will be outside the auditorium to meet and greet. We would love to share with you more information on the group and future performances. I could not be where I am today without the support of my amazing community. We hope you enjoy the performance.
*Reprinted with the permission of the Mail-Journal.