Fourth-year Voice Student finding the joy in making music
Before words, there was music—As an infant Adam Dyjach would direct the orchestra as the William Tell Overture played on the family stereo. Now, a fourth-year voice major working toward a career in singing, he remembers the childhood joy he had when making music.
Before Laurier, Dyjach went to Kitchener Collegiate Institute where a music teacher encouraged and nurtured his interest in music—Dyjach was involved in choirs, jazz band, and orchestra. “I was always interested in music but it was in high school that I came to realize I wanted to pursue it seriously,” he says.
When it came time for university, Dyjach auditioned and was accepted at various places but chose Laurier because he felt it welcomed him the most warmly. “Voice professor Kimberly Barber (Dyjach’s studio instructor now) called me numerous times to see if I had any questions or concerns,” he says. “I was very persuaded by the fact that the University didn’t have a graduate voice program which meant there would be more opportunities for me if I came to Laurier—I’ve received a lot of attention in rehearsal and in performance.”
The year before he enrolled at Laurier, Dyjach sang with the Laurier Singers under Dr. Lee Willingham’s direction. Since then, he has been involved in the University’s chamber choir and, since first year, been involved in Laurier’s annual opera productions. Dyjach has also been a member of the National Youth Choir of Canada and the Ontario Youth Choir, and since 2008, he has been a Music Scholar (as have Laurier Music colleagues Jayne Hammond and Samantha Pickett) at Knox Presbyterian in Waterloo—the same church he attended as a child—rehearsing each week and then performing in the choir Sunday mornings.
“It’s a volunteer choir so there is a range of abilities. I like the aspect of making music in the community and enriching the musical experience of those in the church,” he says.
This past summer, Dyjach participated in Opera Nuova, an intensive summer workshop for opera singers, where he worked with Professor Benjamin Butterfield, head of the voice program at the University of Victoria. Dyjach is applying to that institution as well as to McGill University, the University of Toronto, and the Eastman School for graduate studies in voice.
Having sung in choirs, Dyjach wants to continue the move into solo performance. “Be it opera, oratorio, or musical theatre, I want to make a career in singing,” he says.
Earnest and driven, Dyjach is also trying to remain playful. “You can get so obsessed with perfection as you work in the practice room that you become a slave to the art form,” he says. “I’ve learned so much during my time at Laurier, establishing a technical foundation. And now, this past year, Kimberly Barber has been helping me remember why I’m here and what I love to do—she’s been telling all of her students to reclaim the joy of singing, to remember how great an experience it is to make music."