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Artist of the Issue: Sierra Janik

Strolling down Albany Road, you can often hear chattering voices in the distance, but once in a while, if you hear the distinct sound of someone whistling or singing down the road, chances are, it is Sierra Janik ’13.

Hailing from the small town of Shrewsbury, Vermont, Janik has been singing since she was in second grade.

But before she started singing at the adults’ church choir in third grade, “I had never seen a complicated score, and I learned by doing it,” Janik said. Growing up surrounded by the sounds of her father’s country music radio station, Janik has had a variety of singing experiences ranging from world music in various languages to folk and choral music.

However, Janik’s musical background extends beyond the realm of singing. Though her favorite form of music has always been vocal, she also plays the guitar and the piano.

Since she came to Deerfield two years ago, she has been featured as the advanced madrigal choir’s soloist in a variety of pieces, including Fauré’s Requiem and the spiritual “Ride the Chariot.”

“A good soloist has to have vocal control, the ability to project and carry, and an expressive voice that has a somewhat distinct color,” commented Music Director Daniel Roihl.

Mr. Roihl explained that Janik was chosen to be featured as the soloist for “Ride the Chariot” because of “her comfort level with the range of it,” as well as his confidence that she would be able to learn it quickly enough under the time constraint.

The piece had to be finished before the Imagine Deerfield fund-raising event in New York City. At this event, Janik and the madrigal choir performed before more than 800 people.

For Janik, singing is not only a passion, but also an important part of her life and identity. As she explained, “If there’s an opportunity to sing, I will take it, no matter what.”

“I have definitely built up my confidence and Deerfield has helped with that because of all the opportunities I have here. I am still relatively new to soloing, but I truly enjoy it,” said Janik, who was a sophomore declamation winner.

When asked about why she enjoys singing so much, Janik said, “I think it’s safe to say I’m a pretty emotional person. So much of singing is about emotions and expressing emotions. That may be partly why I’m so drawn to it.”

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