It’s Good to Hear Her Voice

Hannah Oldham has blown down the NASH auditorium with her voice, but now is looking to teach others the ways of music after graduation.

Anna Parsons, Senior Staff Writer

Why do you want to go into music education, and what grades do you want to teach?

The fact that I can pursue music while being an educator is something I am really passionate about and looking forward to. I’m really drawn to how much this profession can help people. It makes me really happy. I think I would want to teach middle school or early high school students, as those ages are really important to development of skill and interest. I would love to aid in fostering a kid’s love for music.

How would you describe your voice? 

It has definitely changed a lot throughout the years. I think it’s definitely matured. I’ve sang soprano and alto in choir before, and I love to sing so many different things, so I guess versatile would be a fine descriptor. 

What has been your favorite NA musical and role? 

This is tough. I think The Drowsy Chaperone has to be my favorite, even if there is a little bit of recency bias in there. The people were so wonderful to work with, and I made so many friends in the cast that I love. There was so much talent, I feel really lucky to have been able to perform alongside such amazing actors and actresses. It was also certainly my favorite role I’ve ever played, because I was able to just let go and focus on embodying how outlandish the character was. 

Do you plan to be as cool as Mr. Schmiech?

If that were possible, of course I would. Unfortunately, Mr. Schmiech is the coolest. 

What or who is your main inspiration for music? 

They really derive from everywhere. The wonderful music educators I have had throughout the years are certainly notable: Mrs. Davis, Mrs. Pontiere, Mr. Schmiech, my voice teacher Jacquelynn Ware. They have all encouraged me to keep going, and I am continuously grateful for them. Their integrity as musicians and their wonderful character have inspired me to keep a passion for music at the heart of what I do. I also just love listening to music, and take a lot of inspiration from what I hear.

What is your favorite thing about performing? 

I’ve narrowed this down to a few things. First, when you see your castmate do so incredibly well at their song or scene, and feel so proud of them, and then you get to hype them up. Second, being in the middle of a song, you almost forget what’s happening because these notes and rhythms actually make up a story, and you have the privilege of telling it. Third, when the curtain comes down after a run of a show, and you just have to hug the person closest to you because, oh my God, we just did that. There are so many amazing parts of performing. Looking back reminds me of how truly lucky I am. 

What has music and/or your voice taught you about yourself?

It has taught me how important music is to life. Music provides so much healing and adds so much to the human experience. This isn’t to say that it’s not a difficult balance, because I’ve found that pursuing a voice has put a lot of pressure on me and caused myself to become very overly critical of everything I do. But, at the end of the day, it’s not about being the most incredible at your craft, it’s about your craft being able to fulfill you and serve others.

What is your favorite genre of music to sing?

Definitely classical. It’s so enjoyable to sing from such a rich era in music history. I also really love musical theatre repertoire, and I have tried out some jazz singing, which was super fun and definitely a genre I want to look more into. 

If you could sing on any stage in the world, where would it be?

This is quite the lofty goal, but the Sydney Opera House in Australia looks so beautiful. That would be an incredible place to sing. Gotta say, though, the NASH auditorium is still my favorite. 

Any advice to anyone wanting to pursue a career in music education or voice? 

Don’t rush anything. Your goals don’t have to be getting into the most amazing music school, or getting the lead in a show, or getting as many solos as possible. Just love what you do, and it will take you wherever you want to go.