Rachel Willis-Sorensen actually tried to hide her powerful voice in high school. Though she performed in musical theater as a student, when she went to college, she was rejected by every choir.
“I was a little disproportionate to most art forms—I don’t know what it was–being 5’11” and not being a ballerina– the sound of my voice, the size of me…” she remembered.
She eventually found the perfect fit in the opera department at Brigham Young University (BYU), where the faculty helped refine her ability.
“When I found opera, all the strangeness– all the specificity of myself, my person, fit really well. I had this earth shattering moment when I realized this is what I was born to do. This is my niche on the planet,” she explained.
It was a triumph when she returned to her hometown and made her solo debut with a Richland, WA performance at the Battelle Auditorium in 2007. She credits BYU with providing unfailing support that has been instrumental to her success.
In 2008, Willis-Sørensen was a semifinalist in the National Council Auditions, winning the Utah district and Rocky Mountain regional competitions. Though she was eliminated in the semifinal round, the competition made her more determined than ever to develop her ability. After graduation, she went to the Houston Grand Opera Studio and studied with several prestigious coaches, including renowned mezzo-soprano, Dolora Zajick, to prepare for the 2010 National Council Auditions. This time she knew what to expect–and it paid off. She was chosen as one of five equal winners of the competition. Singing in German was a cinch, since she had been a Mormon missionary in Hamburg. She was linguistically fluent and culturally fluent. And then, she had this voice.
In 2011, she entered the Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition where she won both divisions—opera and operetta— a feat that has only happened three times in thirty years. Since then, she has sung around the world with the most prestigious orchestras and opera companies.
Dynamic Sibling Duo Ammon and Liahona Olayan Making Music Together
Utah siblings Ammon (19) and Liahona (18) Olayan whose heritage is rooted in Hawaii, are the two oldest of nine siblings. In addition to writing music and singing, Liahona is a self-trained pianist and Ammon plays guitar and ukulele. Ammon is also a Brigham Young...
The Brett Family Brings Christmas Cheer to Branson Missouri One More Time
The Brett Family Christmas Show at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater in Branson, Missouri, has been a highlight of the Christmas season for several years. The incredible award-winning two-hour show features members of the Brett family performing holiday...
David James Archuleta Delivers a Powerful Message and Performs at LoveLoud Festival 2022
After being put on hold for two years due to the pandemic, the LoveLoud Festival returned to Salt Lake City, Utah. The event, which was hosted by Imagine Dragon’s frontman, Dan Reynolds, was held at the Vivant Arena on Saturday, 14 May 2022. According to the...
David Archuleta Returns to American Idol But For A Different Reason
World-renown entertainer, David James Archuleta, began his journey of fame and stardom after becoming the runner-up on season seven of the ABC reality show American Idol. Fourteen years ago, in 2008, on the night that Ryan Seacrest revealed that David Cook, and not...
Jay Osmond’s Musical, The Osmonds – A New Musical, Continues to Receive Rave Reviews
For more than half a century, the world-famous Osmonds have been entertaining audiences of all ages. From their first performances for Walt Disney at Disney Land to their weekly appearances on the Andy Williams Show to worldwide tours, appearances on their own...
David Archuleta and the Lyceum Philharmonic at American Heritage School Perform an Orchestrated Version of “My Little Prayer”
The name David Archuleta is well known throughout the world in the entertainment industry. From an early age, the now 31-year-old (28 December 1990) singer-songwriter entertainer has been capturing the hearts of audiences of all ages. David was only 10 years old when...