Lily Johnson performs in Concert Orchestra’s Concerto Concert

Ryan Longnecker

Every year, a few students are selected to perform with the concert orchestra at the end of the year to highlight their talents. Most often, it is either a band or orchestra member that gets selected, but occasionally there is a truly exceptional singer that gets selected. This year, senior Lily Johnson was selected for her beautiful and melodic voice. Johnson, a member of Vagabonds for the past two years and of the Stillwater Concert choir for the past three years, has an amazing singing voice and has been singing since she was a kindergartner.

The concerto concert is part of the Concert Orchestra’s final concert of the year. Four soloists are chosen to play and be accompanied by the entire concert orchestra. If the soloist is an instrumentalist, their piece is called a concerto, hence the name of the competition. If the soloist is a vocalist, their piece is called an aria. The concerto/aria competition consists of senior music students who audition with their full piece and piano accompaniment. There is a hired judge who is not a part of the music faculty at Stillwater (to avoid biased opinions/favoritism) who decides on the four winners.

Johnson’s voice has been getting better and better throughout the years. She started in school choirs in seventh grade.

You can tell there’s a lot of emotion to her voice and that she really sings from the soul.”

— Jeremy Dean

“When I heard it when it began to mature, around freshman year, I was blown out of the water. She has such great tone and there is a reason that she got into any and all ensembles as a sophomore! I couldn’t be prouder that she is following her force because few people should actually bank on their voices as a source of income but she’s got what it takes,” said Emily Johnson, a senior and a fellow choir member with Johnson.
Her voice has progressed so much that she is now one of Stillwater’s top singers.

“This year, there was an incredibly large number of contestants. Whereas normally there would be about six or seven people auditioning, there were 19 this year. I will be singing “Mon Cœur S’ouvre à ta voix,” by Camille Saint-Saëns, from the opera Samson et Dalila. The aria’s title literally translates to “My Heart opens itself to your voice” and is sung by Dalila in the second act when she is trying to seduce Samson into revealing the secret of his strength,” said Lily Johnson.

Being one of Stillwaters’ top singers would put pressure on most students, but Johnson continues to be the fun loving person she is.

“She tends to be light-hearted and enjoy having a good time!” said senior Jeremy Dean, a friend and a fellow musician of Johnsons. “We were in the funk band that won Battle of The Bands in tenth grade. She’s amazing. You can tell there’s a lot of emotion to her voice and that she really sings from the soul!” said Dean.

Come the end of the year, Johnson will have perfected the piece and be performing at the concerto concert at the end of the program with the rest of the Concert Orchestra, with her front stage.