BETHESDA — A Montgomery County student is one of 21 finalists who will perform in a national art competition next month.
Amanda Primosch, an aspiring opera singer and senior at the Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington, will compete at the 37th annual National YoungArts Week, held in Miami Jan. 7 through Jan. 14. The competition is put on by the National YoungArts Foundation, which presents awards to high school students around the country in a variety of creative and performing arts disciplines.
“I actually used to be terrified to sing in front of other people,” said Primosch, who serves as president of AHC's Madrigal Singers, as she explained how her sister – who is four years older– was the reason she got into singing.
"She was heavily involved in musical theater, so I would always go to see her perform," she said. "Musical theater was a really big part of my life, even though I wasn’t yet performing."
However, when Primosch was in fifth grade, her music teacher convinced her to audition for a solo in the song “Seasons of Love” from the musical “Rent.” After that, she began to take lessons.
"I had my first voice lesson in sixth grade, but I was so scared all I did was cry and do 10 minutes of breathing exercises with my former teacher."
She continued to take lessons, and eventually began participating in middle school in junior versions of musical theater shows with youth community theater groups.
Primosch eventually followed her sister to Young Artists of America, an organization based at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, which matches professional artists with aspiring students, to whom they provide instruction.
“At YAA, every detail, no matter how small, is given attention in order to create the most beautiful product possible,” she said. “Because of the experience I have with YAA, I feel more comfortable learning music, asking questions when I’m confused and taking time with things in order to reach as close to perfection as possible.”
“We’re honored that YAA is the organization Amanda chose to help her creative development,” said YAA artistic director Rolando Sanz, who cofounded the organization with his brother Kristofer in 2011. “We’re beyond thrilled that she’s received this honor and that, in such a short time, our reputation has grown to the point that students throughout the D.C. metro area come to us to hone their skills.”
“I did not expect at all to be chosen as a YoungArts finalist,” Primosch said. “I’m so grateful to everyone at YAA and YoungArts for supporting and believing in me.”
For her efforts, Primosch will compete with the other YoungArts finalists for the chance of receiving a cash prize of up to $10,000, in addition to having opportunities to work with professional mentors and to present her work in such venues as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York.