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Graduates in the Spotlight : 2019 Graduates in the Spotlight

Christine Manalo

image of Christine ManaloHOMETOWN: Watertown, Connecticut

MAJOR: Music Education (PreK-12), concentration in Classical Voice

WCSU DEGREE: Bachelor of Science in Music Education

ACTIVITIES: Accompanist for the WCSU University Choir and Concert Chorale; VPAC student crew; keyboardist for WCSU’s “Evita”; National Association for Music Education (NAfME); WCSU Keyboard Club secretary; WCSU American Choral Director’s Association secretary; WCSU Opera Club; performed in “Die Zauberflöte” at the Yale Opera; part-time musical theatre vocal director at Watertown High School; private piano and voice instructor at Bethel Music Center, ABC Music School, The Easton Arts Center and Continuo Music at Home

INTERNSHIPS: Student teaching at Vogel-Wetmore Elementary School and Danbury High School, co-ops at Pembroke Elementary School and Newtown Middle School

HONORS AND AWARDS: Graduating Cum Laude, Department of Music Chair’s Award, Second Place Winner at the National Opera Association’s Collegiate Opera Scenes Division I (“Die Zauberflöte”), First Place in New England NATS Upper and Lower College Division, First Place in CT NATS Upper and Lower College Division, 2018 James Furman Honors Recital Junior Class Winner

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Christine Manalo spent a semester in 2014 at UConn with the intention of studying pharmacy. “I quickly realized that that was not the path for me,” she says. “The more I tried to study pharmacy, the more I found myself wanting to study music and pursue a career out of it. I’ve always thought about majoring in music one day, but never really knew if I wanted to perform or teach. I wanted to be able to do something where I could not only do what I love, but also be able to teach others about what I love to do.”

With that in mind, Manalo decided to transfer to WCSU.

“WCSU’s music education program has been and continues to be an excelling program that teaches students how to share their love of music and continue that legacy,” Manalo says.

Pharmacy labs became a thing of the past, and Manalo settled in to her music studies at WCSU. “Laura Mashburn, my voice teacher, has taught me everything I know about singing, but also has guided me through the obstacles, no matter how big or small,” she says. “I am also thankful for Dr. Liang-Fang Chang for being my forever mentor and showing me the impossible can be possible.”

Asked what she will remember most about her WCSU experience, Manalo says, “While at WCSU, I was given the wonderful opportunity to study the role of one of the Three Spirits in the ‘Magic Flute.’ I was able to perform at the Shubert Theatre with the Yale Opera, and travel all the way to Salt Lake City to compete in the National Opera Association’s Collegiate Opera Scenes to represent our school.”

After graduation, Manalo says, “I see myself working in an elementary school in the future. Graduate school for opera or collaborative piano is definitely something I want to pursue somewhere down the road!”

Her advice to new students entering WCSU is: “You can interpret a person’s success by how they explain their failures and how they have learned from them. Everything that you do, whether it is a success or not, has led you to who you are today. Do something that makes you want to get out bed in the morning, that draws on your strengths and values, and gives you purpose to remember why you wanted to even do it in the first place. Don’t miss out on any opportunities that college will give you, even if you think it’s impossible. Go for it – do it anyway! Who knows where it’ll lead you and you’ll never know what doors will open up after that.”