Hometown opera singer returns to share talents with students
A well-known opera singer, who grew up in Northeast Wisconsin and has travelled the world performing, is returning for a weekend to share his talent and love for music with a new generation.
Scott Ramsay lives and works in Illinois now, teaching students at DePaul University and also singing with Lyric Opera of Chicago.
This weekend, he'll be performing with the Civic Symphony of Green Bay, but this trip home is about more than just performing in a concert.
While singing and performing is his passion, so, too, is helping others perfect their skills.
As a young boy, Ramsay, the son of long-time WBAY anchor Chuck Ramsay, says his family encouraged him to pursue his dreams, but not until he was an adult did he realize where music could lead him.
"I've always wanted to go to some of the schools in the area that have great programs in the arts, choral programs, band programs and kind of talk about what it's like to have a career as a musician, and not just as a performer, but as an educator," says Ramsay.
At Bay Port High School in Howard-Suamico, as well as schools in Green Bay and at St. Norbert College, Ramsay is holding master classes with students.
"When you're given the okay to try something new and to do something different, kids flourish," he says.
Junior Ella Fontecchio volunteered for the nerve-racking task of being critiqued in front of dozens of music classmates and a professional opera singer.
"I didn't know I was going to be this nervous, and then I was that nervous," says Fontecchio, laughing.
But she's glad she did it.
"I think that it's opened my eyes a lot to technique and stuff when it comes to opera. I knew how hard it was, but having a professional critique and go through the littlest, tiniest sections of song was the coolest thing," says Fontecchio.
Civic Symphony of Green Bay President Paul Grall says watching Ramsay share talents and tips with an up and coming generation of musicians is rewarding.
"A part of our mission is to reach out to the children and our youth education, so this fit perfectly," says Grall.
"The things he made me try out were so beneficial and made me sing better, which is really cool," says Fontecchio.
Ramsay and the Civic Symphony of Green Bay will perform Saturday, February 15, at 7:00 p.m. at the Meyer Theatre. Tickets are still available.