Stettler’s own gifted singer Dacia Gramlick is prepping for a performance called ‘Gloriana’ on June 8th at the Stettler Alliance Church, starting at 2 p.m.
Having just wrapped up her studies at the University of Alberta, Gramlick is thrilled to soon be on her way to the University Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria for a fabulous learning stint in July.
“My mom says I learned my first song when I was one year old,” she said with a laugh during a recent chat from Edmonton. “And it just kind of went from there.”
Gramlick also took lessons from Stettler teacher Rhonda Sylvester from Grades five through 12, and through her high school years in particular, juggled her passion for both music and sports.
“When it came time to decide what I was going to do in university, I was going to do both – a degree in music as well as kinesiology. But then I found out that you need physics for kinesiology, so I said, see you!”
So from there, her post-secondary focus was solely on her honing her musical gifts.
“My plan going into university was to get this classical background and then switch to musical theatre and do that as my career. But I fell in love with opera while I was here,” she explained.
As mentioned, Gramlick has completed her Bachelor of Music with a specialization in vocal performance.
It’s a milestone to be sure, and what better way to top off a terrific year then with a rare learning opportunity at the prestigious Mozarteum.
“At the beginning of the year, there were auditions for this scholarship called the Johann Strauss Scholarship through the Johann Strauss Foundation. They fund up to three people to go study in the Mozarteum in Salzburg.
“I was one of the three scholarship winners for that! I chose to do master classes,” she said, adding she will also have the chance to work with a world-renowned opera singer during her time there as well.
According to the Mozarteum web site, it was back in 1841, in a move to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Mozart, that a group of citizens founded the Cathedral Music Association and the Mozarteum.
“With this they intended to give added momentum to musical life in Salzburg by organizing concerts, and also they wanted to ensure that there were enough young instrumentalists for the church services in Salzburg Cathedral. In 1870 the International Mozarteum Foundation was founded to encourage young talented musicians, and in 1881 it took over the Mozarteum Public Music School.
“In 1998, as a result of the reform of Austrian universities, the former academy of music became the now renowned Mozarteum Universität Salzburg.”
Gramlick will spend from July 15th to the 25th there, and she’s also looking forward to exploring the rich history of the legendary city, also known as the setting for the classic movie The Sound of Music. “I’m so excited to go and check that out, too.”
When she arrives back home, her calendar is already filling up.
“The day I get back from Salzburg, I start rehearsals for an opera. I got a job with the Mercury Opera Company in Edmonton – and I’ll be playing the part of in Frasquita in Carmen. So as soon as I get back, there are five days of rehearsal and we are doing shows until around August 20th.
“In the fall, I also plan to do some teaching in the Edmonton area.” She will also of course be seeking further performing opportunities, and the future indeed does look bright.
For Gramlick, there simply couldn’t be a more fulfilling path to take.
“Number one, it’s about the connections that you make with people while you are onstage and during the rehearsal process. All my life, I’ve also tried to figure out what I really love doing, and I love making people feel things – being onstage and begin able to become all of these different people and bring that to the audience. I think that’s so amazing.
“The goal is to make people vulnerable enough to feel things, and I just love that.”
As to the June 8th performance here at home, she’s excited to be gearing up for that as well.
“I’ve been putting on these concerts back home – this will be my third one I believe,” she said of the concert, which is also a fundraiser to help cover further expenses associated with the Salzburg trip.
She also feels that it’s important to bring her music home to share with what has always been a very supportive community.
“One of the most important things we talk about is bringing the music back to the place and the people who have supported you from the beginning, and who continue to support you,” she explained. “I have so much appreciation for the people of Stettler – they’ve been so good to me.”
For tickets ($10), contact Michelle Gramlick at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 403-742-9438.