Soprano singer echoes emotion with music

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Photo Courtesy of AnnaMarie Storbeck-Pelc

AnnaMarie Storbeck-Pelc discovered her natural vocal talent and began using performance as emotional expression. If she pursues a music career, she’d like to be a vocal coach.

Sierra Okoniewski, Staff Reporter

AnnaMarie Storbeck-Pelc has secretly befriended the artistry of voice. She interacts with it often, especially when no one else is listening.

“I don’t sing in front of people unless it’s a recital or an audition,” she said. “Singing is my way of getting my emotions out. It helps me figure out how to clear my head if I ever need an escape from reality.”

The Oakland University student is a state-level Honors Choir soprano.

“Music has always been a part of my life,” she said. “It’s always been something that I could do. Whether I’m driving and I’m stressed or I’m studying in my room, I can just play music or sing and it calms me.”

Storbeck-Pelc discovered her love for song in high school, when she joined the Milford Varsity Show Choir as a freshman. In addition to her performances, she was quickly recruited as an assistant stage manager, then as a costumer during her senior year.

“My parents didn’t know I could sing,” she said. “When I did my first solo, their jaws dropped. They were like, ‘That’s not our daughter.’”

Storbeck-Pelc travelled to New York with her choir to sing at multiple national monuments, including the Statue of Liberty. Her most cherished performance was at the renowned St. Paul’s Chapel in Manhattan.

The echo from the front of the church to the back was an 8-second delay,” she said. “I sang the notes so freely. It was the most enjoyable experience I’ve ever had.”

But for this young musician, it’s not just about the show.

The only person that she individually trusts with her music is her vocal coach, Karen Roberts. Throughout high school, Storbeck-Pelc met with the former Brighton High choir director for lessons on a weekly basis.

She was one of the people that I was most comfortable with,” Storbeck-Pelc said. “It got to the point where I could walk into her house without even knocking. She was one of my biggest supporters, and it was good to have someone that wasn’t my parents come and root for me.”

Storbeck-Pelc’s parents separated when she was at a young age, which drew her closer to Roberts.

“Karen was like a mother figure, but for singing,” she said. “Singing is the way I express my heart, and whenever I was going through a hard time, she could tell something was wrong. She would stop everything and look at me, and I would just cry. I was able to talk to her, and she would let me.”

Storbeck-Pelc is now pursuing a bachelor degree in public relations, but she is determined to keep music at the forefront of her life. She aspires to audition for the next season of Oakland Chorale as she continues in her studies.

If she were to eventually choose music as a profession, Storbeck-Pelc would become a vocal coach.

“I’d want to be a Karen for other people,” she said. “You can interpret a song to be about anything that you’re going through. Even if someone says that’s the wrong way, it’s not. It’s about connecting to the music.