Leslie Odom Jr. Inspires Groton Hill Voice Students
Several lucky voice students from Groton Hill Music Center had the opportunity to attend the soundcheck of Broadway and film star Leslie Odom Jr and spend some time learning from the Grammy-and-Tony-award-winning actor and singer, made famous by his performance as Hamilton’s Aaron Burr.
The star performed his iconic Hamilton number “Wait for It” for the group before joining them off stage to talk about his experiences in the industry and answering questions from the young artists.
“Getting to talk with Leslie Odom Jr. was one of the greatest opportunities I’ve ever had and I can’t believe it was real,” said student Mia Clements of Littleton. “He was very kind and was happy to answer all of our questions. I’m so grateful to have been a part of this experience.”
“It was such an amazing experience and one I’ll cherish forever,” commented Marissa Krampf, also of Littleton, and a student of faculty Susan Bonito. “I’m so glad I got to meet him. He’s such a great example of what a celebrity should be,” she said, noting that the star was so “down to earth” that he took a seat on the floor to chat with the group. “That says ‘down to earth’ more than anything,” she said.
“This is the type of experience that we aspire to extend to our students,” said Pete Robbins, Director of Education and Performance Programming. “It is an important part of our mission to create these connections between education and professional performance to inspire and motivate our students. We value interactions like these as vital components of a student’s music education, and with our school and world-class venues under one roof, we hope to create these experiences throughout the year.”
Voice faculty at the Groton Hill Music School were invited to attend this special event and nominate a student to attend as well. The teen and adult students who attended included Mia Clements and Marissa Krampf of Littleton, Hannah Mangini of Groton, Piper Rakip of Shirley, Jocelyn Pica of Lowell, and Kristina Park of Westford. They were joined by Robbins and Groton Hill faculty Laura Altenor, Susan Bonito, and Kate Meifert.
Odom relayed personal stories and advice about performing, perseverance, and overcoming nervousness, acknowledging that being an artist has its ups and downs, moments when opportunities you are counting on don’t happen, and ways to find peace within yourself and connect to what matters.
He also gave the students a pro tip about how to overcome nervousness on stage, explaining that when he has felt nervous in a role, he would imagine why the character he was playing or auditioning for might be nervous, and would incorporate the nervousness into the performance.
Marissa commented, “[Odom] was so kind, extremely talented, and had a real interest in talking to us. He’s an inspiration, and I hope he knows how much we valued his taking the time to answer our questions.”