Posting Date: September 21, 2011

Meet Jennifer Olenic: A passion for opera

By Kendrick Gaston


Jennifer Olenic

Photo by Tracie L. Hinnant

Canadian-born voice performance major Jennifer Olenic has been singing since she had a voice. Her father had dreamed of her becoming a lawyer one day, however Jennifer’s passion was music. She followed her dreams and earned the role of Ms. Todd in the upcoming KSU Opera production, The Old Man and the Thief.”


Jennifer’s high school didn’t offer chorus, but that did not stand in her way. She joined the band and sang in before- and after-school chorus groups. In her search for musical programs Jennifer originally planned to attend KSU for a year and transfer to another university. However, after enrolling in KSU, she knew the quality and support of the faculty would be difficult to find anywhere else.


Now a junior, Jennifer views KSU as family. She describes the School of Music as a community that offers undergraduates opportunities to perform in leading roles normally reserved for graduate students at other schools. Jennifer credits her voice instructor, Jana Young, with helping her discover her new musical love: opera and classical music.  Young taught Jennifer to look at the word detail and phrasing of music, as well as, how to put it all together with emotion and good artistic interpretation instead of just learning the notes and singing them. Jennifer finds the faculty approachable and willing to help and provide feedback. She encourages anyone looking for a music program to try KSU, “the community and support of the faculty is second to none.”


Young describes Jennifer as a hard worker who will not rest until every note of her performance is perfect.  Jennifer “possesses a beautiful, warm and rich voice and has an expressive singing style,” says Young. “Her lessons are a joy for me because she is always willing to try and delve deeper into the poetry, language and vocal technique.”


In her spare time she sings with Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra & Chorus (GYSO&C), where she has earned a scholarship. She is also the recipient of a scholarship from the KSU School of Music. After graduation Jennifer plans to find a postgraduate program in music to further improve her skills and one day have a career on stage performing opera.


“From what I've seen in the last two years of vocal instruction,” Young says, “I can predict a very bright musical future for Jennifer Olenic.”



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