From The Circle of Life: The Songs of Tim Rice in Concert stage at Strathmore, Zoe Lee heard her name being called. She had been announced as the recipient of the Susan Herzog Memorial Award. We sat down with Zoe to ask her about this experience and what her plans are for the future. 

Congrats on your win! Were you expecting it?

No, it was completely unexpected. I’ve only done three shows and one summer intensive, and there are so many talented people in this program. The caliber of the students that participate in YAA is just incredible, and really, they are all just as deserving of this award.


Do you know what you will be doing next year? Tell us a bit more about your plans and how you expect to use the scholarship.

Right now, I’m not entirely sure where I’ll be going to college. I’m still waiting on a few schools to get back to me, but I will most likely be attending the University of Michigan – College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.  In LSA, I’ll have the opportunity to take a wide range of classes, and I’m thinking about majoring in biochemistry with a minor in music.  So I won’t be stepping far away from my love of music and musical theater. I’ll probably use the scholarship to help out with the cost of books.

Tell us about your experiences with YAA. 

When I first auditioned for YAA, they were casting Jekyll and Hyde. Unfortunately, I had gotten cast in a major role in my school’s play, and so I couldn’t do YAA. The second time I auditioned, I was cast as an understudy for one of the snakes in Children of Eden and I’ve been hooked ever since! Everyone is incredibly talented and gives so much effort to put on the best show possible.  YAA has taught me a lot about vocal technique, professionalism, and work ethic. I’m really lucky to have been part of such a great program.

What has been your memory from your experiences at YAA?

I’ve met the most amazing people during YAA. I’m a pretty shy person, but everyone is so open. Over the summer, I was able to get to know a lot of the people who do the shows during the spring and fall, so this past show, it’s been really fun to just talk with everyone during the breaks.  I’ve become friends with many YAA students, and we keep in contact through social media, and even get together outside of YAA.