Student Spotlight on Catie LeCours

Photo provided by Karli Cadel. 
Niskayuna junior, Catie LaCours in a performance of "Wild Tales" at The Glimmerglass Festival. (2016)Photo provided by Karli Cadel. Niskayuna junior, Catie LaCours in a performance of "Wild Tales" at The Glimmerglass Festival. (2016)

BY INDIANA NASH

Gazette Reporter

NISKAYUNA- Although only a junior at Niskayuna High School, Catie LeCours has put many musical productions in the books.

Her work at the Glimmerglass Festival, however, is not something she will merely be putting on her resume.

This is her second year in the Youth Chorus at the Festival and she said that going into the performance, she felt a little bit more confident this time.

And with good reason.

Singers in the Youth Chorus have to audition for their roles in March by singing an entire song in front of judges.

Then, if they are selected, rehearsal starts in June.  

“In June we rehearse only a few evenings a week. Then in July we practice six hours a day six days a week,” LeCours said.

Thus, when opening day arrived, LeCours said their first performance was very good.

In this year’s production of “Wilde Tales,” LeCours plays a “sparkler.”

“It was a challenging role for me,” LeCours said. The character is girly and sassy, with some modern dance moves attached. “That’s not me,” LeCours laughed.

Being involved in productions such as this help LeCours to work on her long term dream of becoming an opera singer.

According to LeCours, the voice is not fully developed until around age 25.

“Usually people get their masters degree in opera,” LeCours said. To build up to that point, singers are encouraged to have a bachelors degree in singing or classical singing.

The field is also highly competitive.

“There are a lot more opera singers out there than people think there are,” LeCours said, citing one opera program that nearly 1500 singers auditioned for.

But performance is not the only piece of theater that LeCours is drawn to.

“Right now, I’m composing an opera,” LeCours said. She has been working on it for the better part of a year and she is mainly focused on the music in the accompaniment currently.

Someday, she would like to see it performed.

“I wrote a play and it took me about a year to have anyone give it a read,” LeCours said of her writing experience. She finally gave the script to a few friends and had them do a reading to hear how it sounded.

“It was both encouraging and humbling,” LeCours said. Throughout the writing process, she said that she imagined the exact delivery of every line in a certain way. But her friends delivered the lines in their own unique ways, which was an unexpected and motivating experience for LeCours. She found that their interpretations of the lines expanded upon her expectations for her play.

“It would be great to direct someday,” LeCours said.

Last, but certainly not least, costume design is another facet of the theater that LeCours is involved in. For the Drama Club’s production of “And Then There Were None,” she worked to design the costumes for each character out of clothing that the drama department had.

“That was interesting because a lot of the clothing looked like it was from the 80s and we had to make it look like it was from the 30s or 40s,” LeCours said.

However, her interest in costume design reaches farther than the stage.

“One of my friends and I are getting into reenactments. I’ve been really enamored with the clothing from the revolutionary time period for the past four years or so,” LeCours said.

In her time outside of rehearsal for the Glimmerglass Festival, LeCours has learned how to hand sew petticoats, caps, and bedgowns from that era.

“Sometimes I embroider on the drive,” LeCours said of the jaunt from her home in Niskayuna to the Glimmerglass Festival, which is a little over an hour each way.

However, according to her mother Coleen, the drive is “. . . absolutely worth it.”

And after all the hours of rehearsals and performances, LeCours shares the sentiment.