Student chosen for the Michigan Music Conference

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Student chosen for the Michigan Music Conference

Tara Johnson

Tara Johnson

Tara Johnson

Zachary Russell, Asst. Editor

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The life of the performer is filled with ups and downs. At one moment in time, the performer is seen onstage, filling the ears and eyes of an engaged audience with entertainment. What people don’t always see is the performer offstage; he or she spends hours upon end rehearsing and practicing, trying desperately to become the character they are set to portray.

At Milford High School, senior Sarah Nelson is preparing to embark in a performance-based career. Nelson began her perform

MSVMA is holding the Michigan Music Conference on Jan. 24—26 in Grand Rapids, MI. (Photo Courtesy of

ance journey as a 4 year old, tap dancing away at Suzanne’s Main Street Dance Centre. From there, she tried out for theatre in second grade, and the rest is history.

“I would constantly watch old movie musicals: “Singin’ in the Rain”, “Holiday Inn”, and “White Christmas.” Watching those were so exciting and I just wanted to be a part of something that amazing, so I tried theatre!” Nelson exclaimed.

Nelson has been perfecting her work as a triple threat all of her life: singing, acting, and dancing. Although she spends most of her time on her craft, Nelson is appreciative of her parents supporting her in a risky career.

As a performer, work is uncertain; one’s job is to audition, and there may be times where he or she cannot find a performance-based job. “I’ve known people whose parents did not want them going into the arts, so I am grateful that they are so supportive of my decision to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre,” she explained.

Moving into high school, Nelson was in the musical “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” as a member of the ensemble, but had a very promising future ahead of her. In her senior year, she was cast as the lead role Georgia Hendricks in the 2018 fall musical. Dealing with a multitude of lines, songs, and stage presence, Nelson captivated audiences with her all-around talent.

Not only is Nelson having success on the stage, but she is also excelling in the classroom while managing a grueling schedule. She has taken 7 Advanced Placement courses throughout high school and maintained high academic honors every year.

Tara Johnson
Nelson can be seen in the fall musical, Curtains, on Nov. 16 and 17. (Photo Courtesy of Tara Johnson)

With success comes failure, and this principle applies to Nelson. She had not been cast in the past winter drama, “The Diary of Anne Frank”, but it did not get her down. Nelson explained, “Rejection can be tough. I think it’s very important to keep in mind that if you don’t get cast for something, it’s not personal. Just because you don’t get something doesn’t mean you aren’t talented!” Nonetheless, Nelson uses these experiences as potential for growth; she prioritizes her time to also focus on her singing.

Most notably, Nelson was recently chosen to perform at the Michigan Music Conference as a representative of the Musical Theatre component of the Michigan School of Vocal Music Association. On Sept. 30, Nelson was selected from a group of 100 students at the Musical Theatre Intensive held in Portage, Michigan. At this event, prospective students prepared musical theatre repertoire for the faculty of the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at the University of Michigan.

After careful consideration though four masterclasses and a concluding recital, Nelson was one of the two students chosen for the Michigan Music Conference (MMC). The MMC is held Jan. 24 – 26 in Grand Rapids. From here, Nelson will be performing the song “Always Starting Over” from the musical If/Then for over 9,000 students, teachers, administrators, speakers, and guests.

“I am over the moon,” Nelson explained. “It is so exciting to be recognized by my role models in this field for something I love to do with my whole heart; I feel very accomplished.”

Nelson shines on and off the stage. Whether it be vocally or theatrically, she is meant to be a performer. Nelson can be seen in the MHS fall musical, Curtains, as the lead Georgia Hendricks. Come see the hard work she and the rest of the cast have

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