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Faces: Corinne Rydman

Sing, Sweet Nightingale
Westminster alumna Corinne Rydman is on her way to the stars

by Autumn Thatcher (MSC ’15)

When the stage curtain opens and the light shines down on Corinne Rydman (’13), there is no doubt that she was destined to be a performer. Her hair is an enviable shade of red, her eyes a sparkling blue, and her frame wears any costume well. But it is her voice that will capture your attention, work its way into your soul, and wrap around your heart.

Corinne did not intend to become a lyric mezzo soprano operatic singer. In fact, a French horn player in high school, she made fun of the singing kids, identifying herself as a musician first and foremost.

Corinne Rydman Sings in Gold Dress

It was not until  she came to Westminster in 2005 that she auditioned for and joined the Chamber Singers. From there, Corinne took some time away, returning to the college in 2010. After her return it was a quick climb to opera, and she is now studying vocal performance as a graduate student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. After graduate school, Corinne plans to begin an opera singing career in Germany—ideally on a Fulbright Scholarship. Corinne credits the opportunities she had while attending Westminster for where she is today.

“I was very grateful to be one of the inaugural recipients of the Gillmor Scholarship. It is a stamp from the music department saying we have high expectations for you, and we’re hoping you meet them,” Corinne says, adding that it would not have been possible for her to attend an institution like Westminster if it were not for the scholarship opportunities available at the college.

“In today’s age, where higher education gets more and more expensive, the scholarships that Westminster provides are crucial to leverage some of that burden of borrowing money and, at the end of the day, that allowed me to focus on my studies and be the best student possible.”

As she prepares for her career, Corinne hopes to continue the service learning she experienced at Westminster, as well as inspire others to not give up on their dreams.

“Every chance you get to perform, take it. Perform with 100 percent authenticity, and honor your gift.”

Fun Facts

Go-to sore throat remedy: Rest and quiet.

Your dream operatic role: I'd love to be a part of a world premiere performance, singing a role written just for me by the composer.

Your guilty-pleasure music: I love most pop music, though I refuse to listen to anything that objectifies women, no matter how catchy.

What do you like to do when you’re not singing? I love films, books…really I'm a sucker for good storytelling.

Favorite Westminster memory: On the Chamber Singers' tour of Great Britain, I was asked to speak during a church service. I took the opportunity to share with my choir mates just how much singing with the group had meant to me. I think everyone is born with one great speech inside of them; I used mine that day.

Your idol: Venezuelan music education hero, Jose Antonio Abreu



About the Westminster Review

The Westminster Review is Westminster University’s bi-annual alumni magazine that is distributed to alumni and community members. Each issue aims to keep alumni updated on campus current events and highlights the accomplishments of current students, professors, and Westminster alum.