Soprano singer returns to Central Alberta

Nicole Brooks’ performance to benefit the Ringa School in Kenya

This weekend, soprano singer Nicole Brooks will be returning to Central Alberta to perform at St. Andrew’s United Church in Lacombe.

Brooks said she is looking forward to the homecoming.

“I love coming home and singing for everyone around there,” said Brooks. She added that she enjoys performing for friends and family as they do not have much exposure for this style of music.

“I love coming and bringing something different and interesting to them.”

Hailing from Wetaskiwin, Brooks started her singing career at the age of 14 when she began taking voice lessons from Melrose Randell in Lacombe.

As a child, Brooks loved to sing but had no interest in formal training.

“I would sing all over the house all the time,” said Brooks.

Eventually, with the encouragement of her mother, Brooks decided to try voice lessons. She quickly learned that she had a talent for singing and a voice for opera.

Brooks added she found that strange as she knew nothing about opera.

Recognizing Brooks’ talent, her instructor, Randell, urged her to continue her classical training, telling Brooks that, if she had classical training she could sing any genre of music she liked.

“Melrose was a very large part of encouraging me to continue.”

As she continued her musical training, Brooks slowly developed a strong love for music, even the operatic style she previously had no interest in. She said that she took part in some opera competitions and finished very well, winning many of them, which spurred her further to continue her training.

Before taking voice lessons, Brooks had also started studying piano at the age of eight.

She continued playing the piano until the end of high school, but said it hasn’t really stuck with her the way singing has.

Brooks said that while she had little interest in opera originally, the more she was exposed to it the more she began to enjoy it.

“I think part of it for me was I didn’t know much about (opera),” said Brooks. “When you don’t know much about something, it’s hard to have an appreciation for it. So as I was exposed to more of it, I started to fall in love with it.”

Anyone who has heard opera before knows there are some pretty impressive feats of voice involved in the art.

As a soprano, Brooks sings in the highest pitch of all opera singers.

While hitting some of those notes might seem like a superhuman feat to some, Brooks said it just comes with a lot of practice.

“It’s a lot of training.” She added that, for herself, a natural ability helps. “I always could sing high, I didn’t really have to work a lot at high notes.”

Opera singers train to learn breath control and practice techniques that allow reaching any notes easier.

Today, Brooks attends the University of British Columbia where she is studying for a degree in music with a major in opera performance. Brooks added she plans to remain at UBC and pursue her master’s after obtaining her bachelor’s degree in hopes of having a career as an opera singer.

Brooks performs as part of An Evening of Classical Music at St. Andrew’s United Church on Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Admission to the concert is free but donations to the local humanitarian organization A Better World are accepted.

All proceeds raised at the event will go to feeding the children and building sanitary structures at the Ringa School in Kenya.

news@lacombeexpress.com

 

Just Posted

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported five additional deaths Wednesday due to COVID-19. (File photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer at 169 active cases of COVID-19

Province set to move into Stage 2 of reopening Thursday

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

The arrest south of Winnipeg occurred before Bernier was to arrive at a protest in the city. (Twitter/Maxime Bernier)
Maxime Bernier arrested following anti-rules rallies in Manitoba: RCMP

He’s been charged with exceeding public gathering limits and violating Manitoba’s requirement to self-isolate

Most Read