KELSEY LAURITANO (VOCAL 2012) is taking Ella Fitzgerald's advice: “The only thing better than singing is more singing.”

A native Californian with Japanese, Norwegian, and Italian roots, Kelsey is about to add a little French into the mix. For the next 7 weeks at the Chautauqua Insititute in upstate New York. Kelsey will be preparing for the role of Mother Jeanne in "Dialogues of the Carmelites", a French-language opera by Francis Poulenc. The production will be held in the Chautauqua Amphitheater, which seats over 5,000 people.

In 2011, Kelsey had a life-changing experience at the Oberlin Vocal Academy at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and discovered her passion for classical repertoire.

As a high school senior, she was named a 2012 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, a program that recognizes and honors the top 1% of graduating high school seniors in America, on the basis of outstanding scholarship, service, leadership and creativity.

In June 2012, Kelsey spent 10 days in Washington D.C. with the 150 U.S. Presidential Scholars of which 20 were Scholars in the Arts. The visual, literary, and media artists had their work exhibited at the Smithsonian during National Education Week. The performing artists presented a “Salute to the U.S. Presidential Scholars” at the Kennedy Center. Two of the twenty arts scholars selected that year were from SOTA.

That same year, Kelsey won a Silver Award in Classical Voice from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts YoungArts program in Miami, placed 2nd in the 2012 Mondavi Young Arts Competition and the Hal Leonard Vocal Competition, and was a finalist in the 2012 Classical Singer Competition in Chicago and the Beach Blanket Babylon Scholarship Competition in San Francisco.

This May, Kelsey won first place in the 2013 Hal Leonard Vocal Competition in the Musical Theatre category (although she is a classical singer!)

In September, she will return to New York City, where she is a sophomore at The Juilliard School, pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance.