An accomplished flutist and guitarist, Claire Barckholtz began focusing on her vocal instrument as a coloratura soprano while attending Saginaw Arts and Sciences Academy, a performing arts high school in Saginaw, Michigan. During that time and still today, she is an active worship leader and team member at Hopevale Church providing vocal, instrumental, light-board, video, and soundboard expertise. Claire sings in the St. John’s Episcopal church choir under the direction of Kevin Simons as a paid choral scholar. She has been invited for two years as a professional performer for the Baroque on Beaver Island Festival under the direction of Robert Nordling. She is president and founder of the first American Choral Directors Association student chapter at Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU), where she is a junior majoring in music education with a minor in special education.
Claire is an active member of the Saginaw Choral Society under the direction of Jeremiah Kraniak. She performed Ralph Vaughn Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem at Carnegie Hall under the direction of the late Dr. Nina Nash-Robertson in June 2017. Section leader and chorister for SVSU’s concert choir under the direction of Dr. Kevin Simons, she is also one of 14 vocalists selected for Cardinal Singers, the auditioned chamber choir at SVSU. In July 2018, she was selected to sing in the 150-member choir at the Sewanee Church Music Conference at the University of the South in Tennessee.
Her solo credits include, among others: “Once in Royal David City,” “O Salutaris Hostia” by Erik Esenvalds, “Lux Aurumque” by Eric Whitacre, “Dies Irae” by Michael Haydn, “Magnificat” by Buxtehude, and “I Waited for the Lord” by Felix Mendelssohn. Theatrical credits include roles as Rusty in Footloose and Chiffon in Little Shop of Horrors.
Claire has studied vocal performance under Dr. Julie Meyer, Dr. Kevin Simons, Rachelle Austin, and Jeremiah Kraniak. She also has her own voice studio teaching students what she has learned from her teachers. In addition to her musical studies, Claire is also learning American Sign Language to become an interpreter. She is an avid blogger, writing for both The Odyssey and for her own blog messybunandjesus.com. She has attended school full time and worked year-round since her freshman year. She plans to study abroad in June 2019 and will graduate after her student teaching in May 2021.