This week's singer spotlight is on alto, Ashley Jakubczyk! Ashley grew up in Southern California and also attended college there (UCLA "go Bruins!"). Then, she went to Boston for graduate school before moving to the Pacific Northwest.
Ashley is classically trained in piano and has played since she was about four years old. She says, "perhaps it's because I'm Polish, but I particularly love Chopin's pieces." She also sang with school choirs in elementary and middle school and with the community choir, the South Bay Children's Choir until she was seventeen. She was also in an advanced SATB group in high school.
With the South Bay Children's Choir, she was able to sing with the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Los Angeles Philharmonic many times and also performed at a few ACDA conventions. One of her favorite memories of this time is when the choir was invited by John Rutter to perform his piece, Mass of the Children, at Carnegie Hall in New York City. She adds, "it was incredible to watch him conduct his own work in such an iconic performance space-- and I'll never forget him cracking jokes about wearing 'penguin suits' just to make us kids laugh during the long rehearsals."
Now, Ashely works for a software technology company. She also has a background in journalist and still does a lot of freelance writing. She loves writing, cooking, watching football, and traveling. Enjoying concerts in Bellingham, Seattle, and Vancouver is another interest that stems from her love of chorale music. Ashley says that she tends to gravitate toward folk and American country music, but that she enjoys many genres of music. Since learning the piano as a child, she has also picked up the mandolin, ukulele and dulcimer guitar.
Ashley has a goal of visiting every National Park/ National Historic Site in the United States and already has a good start on it!
About joining the Bellingham Chamber Chorale, Ashely says, "I haven't been part of a choral ensemble in almost a decade, so it's really lovely to get back to singing with others who are as passionate about music as I am! We work hard during rehearsals, but it's a labor of love, so it's great."
We love what Ashley has to say about music and share this sentiment:
"Music has been a part of my life as far back as I can remember. I think the most important thing it's taught me is that as humans, we can all be connected, no matter how different our backgrounds or experiences are. Music's one way I've found connections like that. If you have a really beautiful song, it can move people to tears. You don't need to understand the language of the text, or know anything about music theory—the melodies, harmonies, and emotion of a piece speaks a universal language."