Rachel Wei, Young Artist of America

Meet Rachel Wei. Rachel's a senior at Wootton High School and is in the Vocal Ensemble in our upcoming Fall Production of YAA Presents: The Sound of Music in Concert. We sat down with her to talk about how rehearsals are going and what she's most looking forward to about getting on stage. 

What do you think about the music in the fall production? Is it challenging? What do you love? What do you not like? : I really love the music in The Sound of Music. Rogers and Hammerstein are a fantastic team. Their music and lyrics really make the story come alive. The lyrics in particular, are very clever and intentional and add a lot to the show. I think the music is moderately challenging; it's a lot of fun to sing in five part harmony and a lot of modern shows don't have that anymore. I also love the lush score that's written for a full orchestra and not just a small band. The Sound of Music is really such a funny, cute, and entertaining classic story with a beautiful score.

How is YAA helping you prepare?: Rolando has been working with us to get our church Latin down and vowels straight for all the nun choruses. We've also talked about and reviewed the points of the story that are important for us to know so we're singing the music with the right intent, mood, and effect.

What are you most looking forward to when you get on the stage?: I'm looking forward to being able to perform this wonderful musical and share it with the audience. I also really enjoy hearing the vocal part of our music with the orchestral score; it really is so beautiful to hear musical theater songs (especially such classic songs) with a full orchestra. It's also fun to see the two "parts" of YAA come together (orchestra and vocal) at last!

What's your favorite thing about performing?: I love being able to share beautiful music and a meaningful story with the audience. The adrenaline rush and excitement from performing and being able to share what you've been working on for months is always special. It's also fun to see the audience's reactions to your favorite songs, lines, effects, etc.

What are you thinking about when you're performing? : I'm thinking about what songs are coming up next, what I'm singing at the moment, what I'm trying to get across to the audience, and really just enjoying the music! At the concert, you only get to perform this piece of music in this way with these people once, so I always try to enjoy it as much as possible.

Tell us something surprising about you.: I've been a part of both the YAAOrchestra and YAACompany Vocal Ensemble. I played the flute in Jekyll and Hyde in Concert under the baton of Mr. Sanz, which was so much fun and really entertaining. I then switched over to the vocal ensemble to get the other side of the experience. I've also been an instrumentalist for the majority of my musical career and play the piano, flute, and piccolo. I've also been in flute choirs and Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras before. Singing is kind of a new thing for me, but I'm loving it!

Watch Rachel shine on Sunday, October 29th at The Clarice when YAA presents The Sound of Music. Get tickets now