Sonoma State Music Department Students' Continued Success



Six years ago when the GMC first opened, the university created this video highlighting vocal student, Esther Rayo. They didn’t know where she was going in life, but she was a student who embodied why this Green Music Center exists on the Sonoma State Campus. It is a place where everyday students not only get the opportunity to perform in a world-class hall but exposure to some of our world's most compelling artists.  During the year, the GMC opens its doors, for classes, rehearsals, students recitals, faculty recitals, youth performances, club events, conferences, world-class performances, and so much more. The Green Music Center is a focal point for arts education on the Sonoma State Campus and in the broader community.

We checked in with Esther recently to ask about her post-college experiences and how Sonoma State prepared her for the future. Here is her response:

"I think about my time at Sonoma State very often! I was 18 when I moved away from home to begin my studies at SSU, and there I was welcomed with open arms, gaining a family of artists and mentors.

After graduating from SSU, I did some freelance work in the Bay Area, and also sang with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus for a season. I knew that if I wanted to continue on the operatic path, I would need to take the next step to advance my training, so I decided to research Graduate Programs. After many applications and auditions, I wound up in the amazing city of Chicago, pursuing a Master of Music in Voice Performance.

I was, of course, nervous to make the big move to Chicago for Grad School at DePaul University, but I quickly realized that SSU prepared me to be confident, to adapt to my surroundings both on and off the stage, and to trust my technique and training. All of which, I apply to everyday life!

I recently completed my Master's in June, walking away with excellent stage experience, and several roles under my belt. I was very fortunate to spend the summer in Italy, where I studied the Italian culture, language, and opera! I am currently auditioning for Artist Diploma programs, and hitting the audition scene in Chicago!"