Christie Conover is the featured guest artist for the LSO’s Sounds of America Concert on Feb. 23.  She graciously answered a few of our questions:

1. For how long have you been a singer?

All my life! Children’s choirs, church choirs, and then started voice lessons in high school. Unlike piano or strings that can begin serious study at a very young age, the voice needs maturing before certain demands of technique are placed on it. Just like a Little League pitcher shouldn’t be throwing curve balls, a young voice shouldn’t be singing serious opera.

2. What is one of your favorite songs to sing, classical or otherwise?

Ah, too many favorites: La vie en rose, Misty, Song to the Moon

3. What are you most excited about performing with the LSO?

I always cherish the times I get to sing with an orchestra. The vibrations and energy that move through my body when I’m in such close proximity to all of the instruments and musicians is thrilling, especially with this fun and gorgeous music.

4. How much schooling/studying did you go through to become a professional singer?

I started singing seriously in high school studying with a local voice professor in Billings, MT (who by the way, studied with pedagogical guru Breton Coffin at CU Boulder). After my bachelors in voice at San Jose State (they also had the engineering program I was interested in but didn’t finish), I found my way to CU Boulder for my masters degree. So after 7 years of college degrees and many more of private study (that’s continuous), I’ve been very lucky to be working in the field of music for 8 years now!

5. How would you describe to non-musicians the hardest thing to master as a singer? (to those who dare say it’s easy!)

Ooh, I’d probably say the physical and mental aspects of being your instrument. Physical health has such a direct effect on our instrument and when we audition or perform, it can be a more vulnerable experience because our voice and in many ways our person is being displayed (and judged!). In addition, we have words of which instrumentalists do not.

6. Any quick advice for aspiring singers?

If you want to be professional, be prepared to also be an entrepreneur.

7. If you could choose any piece for the LSO to perform with you, what would it be?

Beethoven’s 9th is on my bucket list…

8. Lastly, what is something you love to do, outside of the music world?

Water ski! Only in recent years have I conquered the slalom course.