Student Spotlight: Shannon Foley

INDIANA NASH/GAZETTE REPORTER
Shannon Foley, a Niskayuna Junior, poses a few days before the start of school and hours before her next rehearsal for "Footloose" with SLOC. Wednesday, August 31, 2016.INDIANA NASH/GAZETTE REPORTER Shannon Foley, a Niskayuna Junior, poses a few days before the start of school and hours before her next rehearsal for "Footloose" with SLOC. Wednesday, August 31, 2016.

NISKAYUNA — Growing up with two elder siblings who loved to perform, it’s no wonder that Shannon Foley has spent a lot of time onstage.
“If it has to do with theater, then you can guarantee I’m interested,” Foley said in a recent interview, which took place a few hours before she rushed off for rehearsal for “Footloose” with Schenectady Light Opera Co.
Jill and Gina, her older siblings, were both singers and performers. While Gina is still in college, Jill is working with a theater company out in Iowa.
“I think I’ve always followed in her footsteps a little bit. She danced when I was a kid so I decided that I wanted to dance too,” Foley said.
At the age of 4, Foley began ballet lessons. She has since studied tap, modern and theater, as well.
She also began to take singing lessons when she realized in eighth grade that musical theater was the place for her.
“I just did one of the productions with the middle school drama club and loved it,” Foley said.
In the last few years, Foley has jumped into the theater world with her involvement in a handful of productions performed all across the Capital Region.
“I do a lot with C-R Kids,” Foley said. In the past two years, she has performed in the Cohoes group’s productions of “Rent,” “American Idiot,” “Les Mis” and
“Carrie (The Musical).”
She’s also worked with the Saratoga Children’s Theater and with the Niskayuna Drama Club.
This summer, Foley began to take musical theater singing lessons with Lisa Franklin.
“It’s not as different from classical singing as I thought, but it definitely has me using my voice in a new way,” Foley said.
For Foley, musical theater trumps a play any day.
“Plays are just musicals without music,” Foley said. She doesn’t mind going to see plays, but for performing, she would much rather be on stage dancing and singing than reciting lines.
A few months ago, Foley found another performing outlet when she and a few friends formed a band.
“We’re called ‘Women and Children’ and I’m playing bass guitar for it,” Foley said.
So far, they’ve been focusing on covers of songs like “That Time” by Regina Spektor and “Maps” by Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs.
“We’re an indie sort of band for now,” Foley said.
Recently, Foley has also taken on the challenge of singing in Italian.
“It’s not as hard as I thought it was going to be,” Foley said.
Several years of Latin and Spanish at Niskayuna schools have helped her to work through the language barriers of the pieces.
Foley tested out her skills at a performance at the Saratoga race track earlier in August.
“I was nervous for it,” Foley said of the performance. But when she began to sing, the microphone didn’t pick up on the nerves, only the notes.
Looking at the year ahead, Foley is readying herself for the college process.
“I’ve started looking and I really like NYU’s theater program,” Foley said.
Between college hunting, playing bass in “Women and Children” and rehearsing for “Footloose”, Foley has a full fall lineup.