Kolton's ideas, thoughts and opinions

30 Sep

Singing for the Love of Singing

A member of two State Solo and Ensemble champion vocal jazz choirs, a member of three state winning duets, six first place solo piece finishes and a National Choral Award, this is a list of choral awards that would be impressive enough for a singers obituary, yet this is just a fraction of the accomplishments of one 18-year-old girl from Belleville, Wisconsin.

Toni Gerner is a freshman attending the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh on a vocal scholarship. Gerner grew up singing and dancing in a town with a population of 2,000 people, fortunately part of that 2,000 is Gerner’s biggest fan, supporter and most importantly her mother. When asked who was the most impactful person on her musical career Gerner replied.

“My mom, even though she’s not musically inclined herself. She pushed me into musicals, sang to me as a kid and encouraged me in every way possible. She’s my number one fan.”

Jody Gerner, Toni’s mom, pushed Toni into doing her first musical audition when she was 13. After the audition Gerner was rewarded with a lead in Let’s Hear it for the Heroe’s and from that moment she developed a love and passion for the musical theatre. Over the next five years Gerner would be in 15 musicals and had a lead in 12 of them.

These leads would allow Gerner to showcase her talent not only to the people of Belleville, but she would also go on to show her singing and acting skills at other local theatres in the area. She not only excelled in the theatre, but also in the Belleville choir and in state singing competitions.

Ever since her freshman year of high school Gerner has dominated the state singing stage. As a freshman she received two-first place solo awards and a first placed duet award at the Wisconsin State Solo and Ensemble. Over the rest of her high school career she would have six more solo pieces receive a first place at state and two more duets take home the first place award.

A childhood obsession with Beyoncé and continued involvement in theatre and choir showed Gerner that singing and entertaining is what she loved and what she really wanted to do with the rest of her life.

When Gerner was asked about her dream job she said “I just want to be singing the rest of my life. I don’t have to be rich, as long as I’m singing.”

This love for her craft has enabled her to have a fail-proof plan. At the moment Gerner is studying music education at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh on a vocal scholarship, but that does not mean she has given up on the dream of being the next big music star.

Gerner is now trying to be discovered as a singer. To showcase her vocals she has become a member of the University choir at UW-Oshkosh, she records covers of popular songs and uploads them to social media and she is actively trying to get a shot at a TV audition on The Voice or other popular singing shows.

Toni Gerner’s musical talents have been recognized ever since she was 13 years old. Now all she is trying to do is gain more recognition as she gets older. Toni isn’t just a small town girl chasing her dreams; Toni is a girl who has shown she has the talent to achieve those dreams.

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