JACKSON, MI -- Cassandra Allen grew up in small town Jackson, Michigan, located in the southeast corner of the Apple Blossom State. At tender age of 10, she auditioned and was selected to sing with the Michigan State University Children's choir under the direction of the Emmy winning director, Mrs. Mary Alice Stollack. During that same year, she won first place in the children's amateur night “Showtime at the Apollo.” She's been singing classically ever since.
“I have had some awesome opportunities including Showtime at the Apollo. I was in my early teens and my mother said that I was going to sing at the Apollo because she signed me up. When I got on stage, I just sang the best I could and won. It was a great way to begin a career and has provided me with a great memory,” said Allen.
The 24-year-old is currently studying Vocal Music Jazz Contemporary Performance in Valencia Spain at Berklee College of Music Valencia. In the area of performance, from 2007-2012, Allen was soloist for the Howard University tour choir, at the White House and many other venues. In 2012, after graduating from Howard University, She auditioned and was selected to sing with the Palm Beach Opera Company in Florida. In 2009, she auditioned and selected for the principal role of Sylvia in “All Shook Up”. During the summer of 2008, she auditioned and was selected for the young singer's program with the Detroit Opera House. She was chosen to sing the lead role of Roxanne in the Opera Cyrano. In 2007, she auditioned and was selected to travel to Vertibo, Italy with the University of New Mexico tour choir. She sang in the Italian Opera Program and later was selected for the Washington National Opera young singers program.
Allen said, “Singing has always been a passion of mine and opera is a wonderful opportunity to expand my portfolio and sing in Italian. I really love what I do so when I was selected to sing the lead role of Zerlina in the opera “Don Giovanni” I was ecstatic.”
Allen is growing all the time and dabbling in the area of music, theater and film, she held a principal role in the college show “Cabaret” and the play “A Rose for Emily”. Allen was selected for a lead role in the classic “Porgy and Bess”. In 2008, she auditioned and was selected for the MTV promo, “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”. She was flown to New York and was seen on national television.
During her undergraduate years, she was a member of the Howard University Tour choir, as well as, the Howard University Chapel choir in Washington D.C. here she was the principal soloist focusing on Negro spirituals and sacred songs. Recently, she was invited to sing with a selected group of performers with the Kennedy Center Opera choir.
Her future plans include completing a M.M. degree from Berklee College of Music Valencia and apply to the Strathmore Music Residency Program in Virginia. Upon completion of this program, I plan to travel overseas and work to become a world class concert vocalist, performer and educator with companies around the world.
This was printed in the January 12, 2014 - January 25, 2014 edition.