Alyssa Liu '16

Alyssa Liu quote


Alyssa Liu ’16, vocal performance, wows audiences with her performances as a freelance classical singer. By day, she also works as a licensing manager for Blue Raven Solar. In this article, she gives advice for any other freelance performers and discusses how her music background benefits her in all areas of her life.

What was your path to your current career and why did you make these choices? Were you looking to perform classical music or did you start with a different genre in mind?

My career path has been a lot of trial and error from the very beginning. I grew up surrounded by music, taking piano lessons and singing casually. When I started college, my original intent was to study psychology, but I quickly realized that wasn’t the career path for me. When I sang for a few voice teachers, they all said I had a good voice for opera and classical singing. I didn’t know what else to study, so I decided to try music. Classical singing was always my style. I hardly ever ventured outside of that genre because it felt more comfortable in my voice than other genres. I also really enjoy the history and artistry of it.

What are some of the key responsibilities of your role? What does a “day in the life” look like for you?

When I’m on a gig, my responsibilities are to be vocally and musically prepared for each rehearsal and performance. I practice (almost) daily leading up to a gig and try my best to show up to the first rehearsal with the music memorized. I translate music that is in a different language and memorize that, too. Other responsibilities include practicing how I will move on stage and studying my character.

Day-to-day, well, I have a day job that is unrelated to music. I work 9–5 throughout the week and then come home to practice and look for audition opportunities. It gets busy, but I’m grateful to have a flexible day job for stable income. In many ways, that frees me to choose which gigs I want to take rather than feeling like I need to fill up my schedule with gigs that may or may not suit me.

What is one of the key issues your industry is facing and your thoughts on addressing this challenge?

Since the pandemic, many small opera companies were forced to shut down. But as we have made our way back to live performance, I’ve seen a few local companies start up, and I would just encourage more of that. I am primarily a local artist and would love to see more opportunities to collaborate here in Utah.

What advice do you have for someone interested in your industry or interested in freelancing in general?

Be a good colleague—work hard and be kind to everyone around you, especially your fellow students. It’s likely that you’ll keep working with your colleagues even after you graduate. Take this opportunity to network and build lasting connections. On a related note, don’t be afraid to create your own opportunities. If there’s a role you want to sing, don’t wait for a company to accept you to perform it—put on your own show, and always practice performing.

What are three transferable skills that you think contribute to professional success?

Musicians contribute so much to society, even in unrelated fields. I work in the solar industry full time, but it’s my background in music that has allowed me to pay close attention to detail, come up with creative solutions, and be confident in meetings and presentations in my day job. I use these skills in my everyday life and relationships, too.

What’s something about you that might surprise people?

I also have a passion for Christian ministry. My dream is to find a way to merge arts and ministry to serve the artists around me.

Is there anything else you’d like to say to the UVU community?

If any musicians or other artists want to collaborate, I would love to connect. Instagram: @alyssaliusoprano


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