On the wall as you enter my room, hangs a picture that serves as a reminder. The bold letters say, “Be Brave,” followed by my confirmation verse, Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I do my best to live my life with passion and purpose. I am a junior at Fargo South High School. I adore my family and friends and spend most of my free time singing and performing in musical theatre. My favorite part of my daily routine is helping teach the woman’s choir, at my school. My Music Education platform is my daily passion.
I auditioned for my first choir when she was six years old. Since then, I have developed a diverse background in performing arts. My experience includes musical theatre, lead vocals in a band, state music contests, state choir, competitive figure skating, dance and pageants. I have participated in several musicals in the past few years. Last year, I was recognized as, The Outstanding Soloist in Eastern North Dakota, at Music Contest. I have been delighted to have the opportunity to work with the amazing mentors at my school, as well as at the Minnesota Opera and Broadway Professionals, through Open Jar Workshop.
It was at an Open Jar Workshop, where Jeff Whiting shared his story of playing the lead role in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, on Broadway. He tearfully recalled being impressed with his rendition of the character. Following the show, a young boy in the audience reached out to him and Jeff noticed that the boy had a disabled arm. “We did it!” the boy said. This encounter caused a shift in the way Jeff saw his role as an actor. It was no longer about him doing an amazing job, but rather it was about telling a character’s story that needed to be told.
I believe music and the performing arts is a profoundly human experience. It not only enriches our lives, but it connects us to one another through our human experience. I feel that music in our schools is often undervalued. Funding for music programs is often limited when finances are not there. I want to challenge people to see music education not only as something that enriches our lives, but improves the skills necessary for school success.
In the future, I hope to become more involved in music advocacy. I want to expand my partnership with The North Dakota Music Educators to support community and school based music education. My intention is to highlight the need for quality music opportunities in rural and low-income areas. After graduation, I plan to attend a college with an outstanding Music Education Program and eventually work on my doctorate. Ultimately, I aspire to be the inspiration for young people that my music teachers have been to me.
Yours in harmony,
Payton Hausauer, Miss Teen North Dakota International 2017