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CFA Student Sings for 3,000

Sarah Beckham (CFA’07) was the featured artist in a Christmas program that was broadcast in Texas on Dec. 24 and 25.

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Some performers might get the jitters singing before a big crowd. But Sarah Beckham, a master’s student in the College of Fine Arts, felt pretty comfortable singing for 3,000 people at her hometown church in Amarillo, Tex., December 11 through 14. Beckham (CFA’07) was the featured artist in a Christmas program that was then broadcast throughout the Texas panhandle on December 24 and 25.

“I knew they would like me no matter what, but I wanted to show them just how much I had grown up, how much my voice had changed,” she says. “I basically wanted to make them all proud.”

Besides Beckham, the program featured a full chorus and orchestra. “The stage was beautifully decorated with Christmas trees and lanterns,” she says. “It was a feel good about Christmas show. There were times the audience could sing along with Christmas carols.”

Joining her on stage were Beckham’s parents. Her mother sang in the choir and had a speaking part, and her father played percussion in the orchestra and conducted one piece. The rest of Beckham’s family and friends attended the shows, and many sent e-mails and letters afterward praising her singing, for which she credits her training at CFA.

“My [BU] voice teacher, Penelope Bitzas, has been, without a doubt, the most influential teacher for me vocally,” she says. “She is really the reason that I chose to come to BU for my master’s. I could not have done this show night after night without her helping me technically. BU has also given me performance opportunities, which help me with stage presence and nerves. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunities I do through BU. Every little bit of performing helps.”

Next up for Beckham: a recital at BU on February 1. After that, she sings in the Opera Institute’s production of Dominick Argento’s Postcard from Morocco, which begins on February 22, followed by a few more gigs in Amarillo, including a benefit concert for the Amarillo Opera in March.