Golden Art City: Jaunelle Celaire

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Professor, international performer, and community choir conductor...
For this week's Golden Art City, Amanda Brennan sat down with the talented Jaunelle Celaire.

Originally from Canada, Dr. Jaunelle Celaire works for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Department of Music as a Professor of Voice and Conductor for the Choir of the North. Celaire holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Voice Performance from Anderson University, A Master of Music degree from Bowling Green State University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan. The award winning vocalist has performed in productions ranging from Carmen to Oklahoma, both in the United States and on the international stage.

Jaunelle Celaire: UAF Professor of Voice: "So when I first got here, I did the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, right? So that was back in '04. I met David Chu, who was the principle cellist there. And he runs a festival in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, so I've been there six times. I've been out to South Africa, and I'm going back in May with the Lovelle Chamber Association, and then I've been out to Luxembourg, different programs in Europe, so it's been fun!"

Although Celaire mainly teaches and performs opera, the lyric soprano's repertoire includes a variety of musical genres, which entails musical theater, cabaret, and Motown. She encourages her students to branch out from Opera once they have the fundamentals of vocal performance.

Jaunelle Celaire: "Once we establish kind of their core of the voice within their body, then we can kind of bridge into other things. Last year at College Coffeehouse they did, I think in February, they did a Disney cabaret, so they chose their favorite Disney songs. But it was fun! But I think for now, they do the classical stuff. If they branch out, it would be musical theater, before we hit the pop stuff. But I can't control what they do at karaoke."

Out of all the international collaborations and other professional performances throughout her career, Celaire takes the most pride in what her students have accomplished.

Jaunelle Celaire: "I'm really proud of the things that they do. I'm really proud and I'm honored that they trust me - 90 percent of the time. They have to be gently reminded, and they'll see that and they'll laugh. They have to be gently reminded, but I guess they are what I'm proud of now."

Celaire says that while working and living in Fairbanks since 2004, she is humbled by the community members who choose to sing with her one night a week in the Choir of the North.

Jaunelle Celaire: "Everybody has a job. Whether we get a paycheck for it or not, we all have a job. But the simple fact that people take one night a week and come and sing in my choir, like - I'm humbled."

For this week's Golden Art City, this is Amanda Brennan.