Michigan Messiah: Caitlin Lynch, soprano
It’s Messiah week at UMS–and extra special this year is our cast of soloists–all have Michigan connections! Some are Michigan natives, some are alumni from U-M’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance, and some are both!
This week, we will feature a post from each Messiah soloist, where they will reflect on what it means to return to Michigan and sing in our annual tradition of Handel’s Messiah!
Dr. Blackstone (whom my dad has always referred to as Dr. Whiterock) is the reason that I fell in love with music. I attended the Interlochen All-State High School Choir Camp for four summers and he was our conductor. He was my first real conductor and he terrified me! He was so smart and so serious about music-making and choral singing. His validation was my ultimate goal—I just wanted to be worthy of singing in his choir. When I was given a tiny solo in “Freedom Come” my first summer there, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Those summers at Interlochen were magical: I spent the first two with my best friend, Megan, singing through the camp, music everywhere…we loved every minute. All of us worshipped Dr. Blackstone. His passion for music was contagious and I most certainly caught the bug. His expectation of nothing less than our absolute best was fundamental in my development as a young musician. My final summer at Interlochen I was a senior in high school and was awarded a partial scholarship to study music at the University of Michigan. Four more years in Dr. B’s choirs! I am forever grateful to him for those lessons. Handel’s Messiah is my favorite oratorio and every opportunity I have to sing it feels like a true blessing. But the opportunity to sing this beautiful work at my alma mater with Dr. Blackstone conducting is truly a dream come true. Talk about coming full circle. I feel honored to be making music at Hill Auditorium and being presented under UMS auspices along with such fantastic other soloists (who happen to be friends). What a joy to have Dr. Blackstone keeping us all together.
-Caitlin Lynch, soprano soloist, Michigan native, and alumna of the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance