My name is Ella Henry and I am 15 years old and entering into my tenth grade year at Red River High School. I was born in Nashville, TN and moved to Grand Forks, ND when I was about 5. At the time, I was really sad to leave my friends, but I have made great new friends here in Grand Forks and feel like I have found my home.
My love for music started at an early age as I am reminded whenever I watch home videos. My parents tell me when I was little I would always sing or hum in restaurant restrooms because I loved the acoustics and reverberation. I guess that fascination with sound is still growing.
Luckily, Grand Forks is an amazing city that provides many opportunities for kids in the Arts. For instance, I have participated in Summer Performing Arts Company or “SPA” since I was 5. This great program has provided me with instruction in music, drama, and dance and has really helped me grow as a performer. Now as a high schooler I am able to participate in their full musical productions. Last year, I was in “The Music Man” and this year I played Reno Sweeney in “Anything Goes”.
I was also a member of Grand Cities Children’s Choirs, directed by Mrs. Melanie Popejoy, who is a wonderful role model for me. It is just an amazing organization and I learned so much while being a member. Last year was my final year as a student member of the choir but I get to continue with the group as a "Grazioso Guidare" in which graduates get to serve as mentors to the current members. I know this experience will enhance my teaching and leadership skills.
In middle school, I was awarded a scholarship to attend the International Music Camp at the International Peace Garden for Musical Theater where we performed the title song from “Beautiful” a musical about the great song writer Carole King. Last winter, I was cast as the General’s Granddaughter, Susan Waverly, in the Empire Arts Center’s production of “White Christmas”. I am so grateful for all of these great opportunities that have provided valuable learning experiences as well as direct access to wonderful teachers who have helped develop my singing and acting abilities. Overall, my summers couldn't have been spent any better... with friends, family, music, and theatre.
I’m excited for the future and what it holds. I look forward to participating in the various musicals and plays at Red River High School and in the community. After high school, Ihope to obtain a degree in theatre or vocal performance and possibly a teaching degree. Eventually, I hope to become a stage performer or teacher in music education at the high school or college level. I can’t wait for the amazing opportunities ahead and I plan to make the most of them.
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