Lauren Mattison has a very vague recollection of her first time performing. You can’t fault her too much for that though – she was only three.
“It was the preschool play,” she said.
Mattison has been performing in some capacity most of her life, all 10 years of it. This year, the Roeper School fifth-grader got to add the Michigan Opera Theatre Children’s Chorus to her growing resume.
After an open audition call – where she was one of 80 children chosen to represent Metro Detroit – Mattison was selected to appear in the MOTCC’s annual show, A Winter Fantasy, this December. Mattison said the group performed about 10 songs; her favorite is “Sing Creations Music On.”
"It’s one that is very hard…but it sounds really nice and we got it together somehow,” she said.
For her audition for the 10th anniversary concert she went in, sang a few scales and a song, and then waited to find out if she got it. Mattison said she was a mixed bag of emotions, ranging from anxious to excited. Needless to say, she was pretty thrilled when she found out she got it.
“It was really exciting. Not only that I got in but that I got in the principal group, the older group,” she said. “That was very exciting that I had been good enough to find my way in there.”
She will get to perform with the MOTCC for the rest of their 2017-2018 season, including this spring’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore.
"I’m really excited because there’s going to be acting too and I really love acting,” giggled Mattison about the spring show. “I think it’s really great.”
Mattison likes both singing and acting equally but said she’s definitely a bit better at singing right now. She has had quite a bit of practice, having had a two-year stint with the Detroit Children’s Choir.
During her first year with the DCC she even got to sing at the governor’s mansion. Mattison said that year was the first year she started truly singing.
While she does have a lot of experience under her belt, the Hamilton fan does still get some pre-show nerves.
“I’m not super bad, but I get a little nervous…I always say, ‘You’re never ready until its over,’” she said.
Mattison, who lives in Birmingham, would love to make singing into a professional career one day, even though she knows making it to Broadway’s Great White Way is unlikely. Luckily, she’s also passionate about becoming an architect instead, just not quite as much as music.
“I love the way it sounds and I love what I can do with my voice.” said Mattison, who enjoys writing, math, and science as well. “I love what I can figure out with notes and rhythms and intervals and such.
“I have a huge passion for music,” she said.
Photo: Laurie Tennent