by Erin Anderson
Last week, we spoke to SMUS vocalist and provincial champion Benji Schaan and this week, Grade 10 student Olivia Krusel, who also took home a first-place title from the competition, shared her experience with the SMUS Review.
“Representing Victoria at the provincials was an incredible honour,” says Olivia, who won the Junior Classical Voice Vocal Variety Category. “The Greater Victoria Music Festival is very large and the competitive vocal talent here is amazing.”
It was taking the title of Top Junior Classical Vocalist at the Greater Victoria Music Festival that earned the promising SMUS singer a trip back to her hometown of Prince Rupert, where the performing arts festival was being held for the first time. Olivia’s provincial win was a first for her, but also a first for Prince Rupert, as it was the first time a top prize went to someone from the small city.
“Winning was great, because it allowed me to give back to my home city, my school and the city of Victoria,” says Olivia, who is excited to return to Prince Rupert this summer.
Olivia has also picked up an array of other vocal awards around Victoria this year, particularly at the University of Victoria Rose Bowl Honours Concert, where she won in three categories (Outstanding Junior Vocalist, Junior Folk Song and Junior English Language Art Song). In addition to her lyrical talents, Olivia is also a dancer and an actor, two skills she showed off in this year’s West Side Story.
“I am just so thankful for all the support and encouragement that I received from my teachers and everyone at SMUS,” says Olivia.