Posting Date: July 6, 2010

Amanda Nichole Newton: A Drive to Succeed

By Rochelle Spears Wilson


Amanda Nichole Newton

Photo by Zelda Johns

Drawing on her own life experiences for inspiration, Amanda Nichole Newton puts emotion into every performance. “Singing is about expressing the text and the emotion the composer wanted, and there’s just so much that goes into that,” she says. “Being able to emote what the composer wanted is one of the most important things I’m learning. It’s not about the performer; it’s about what’s on the page and making it come to life.”

Amanda, an Atlanta native, first performed at the DeKalb School for the Arts when she was a student there. “I’m always looking forward,” says Amanda. “I’m excited about what is to come and what the possibilities are. I have so much ambition and drive because I know what can be if I work hard.” And work hard she has. The senior, who is double-majoring in vocal performance and music education, has kept a perfect 4.0 GPA in addition to working two jobs, performing in numerous Opera Galas, and holding various leadership positions at KSU. She was even selected as the 2009 Regents’ Scholar. “I’m most proud of being a Regents’ Scholar because it shows that people really believe in my future.

Amanda attributes her success to her drive to succeed combined with mentors and people who have believed in her along the way. “At KSU, the professors really care about the students. They don’t just come to class and teach the material, but they really do care about how you are doing as a person.”

At KSU, Amanda says she has benefited. has benefited from studying with Associate Professor Russell Young and Instructor of Voice Jana Young. “They’re so talented. I think they’re world-class musicians, and I’m just so fortunate to get to work with them. They’ve pushed me really hard and they make me believe in myself.”

This summer, Amanda will be traveling to Austria to participate in the American Institute of Musical Studies summer program. During the program, she’ll have voice coaching, voice lessons, master classes, language classes and performance opportunities. The program will help Amanda with her future goals, which include performing opera and then going on to become a college professor. Currently, Amanda is an instructor at the Harmony House for Music, where she teaches music lessons to middle and high school students.

No matter what her future holds, Amanda wants to give back. “I hope to be able to influence other people the way I’ve been influenced because I feel really fortunate.” she says. "I want to use the talent I’ve been given to impact the world.”



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