Caitlin Gotimer is back at Chautauqua Institution for her second summer. Although most students have spent their entire lives singing and taking voice lessons, Gotimer’s a bit different.
She only began singing when she started her undergraduate studies — in biology — at Binghamton University.
“I never took a voice lesson before college. So when I got here last year, I had only been singing for three years,” Gotimer said.
Conversations about faculty and influential players in the voice world would often leave her asking, “I’m sorry, who is that?” Gotimer is no longer left in the dust.
She and 15 other Voice students will be led by voice coach Craig Rutenberg, who will also serve as an accompanist, in a Schubert recital at 7:30 p.m. tonight in McKnight Hall. The event benefits the Chautauqua Women’s Club Scholarship Fund.
The performance is unique because each student is performing a Schubert piece, Rutenberg said.
“One of the pieces is called ‘The Shepherd on the Rock,’ and it’s for soprano, clarinet and piano,” Rutenberg said.
School of Music student Shih-yen Chen will be joining on the clarinet.
“Then there’s another piece that’s written for tenor and men’s chorus, and it’s called ‘The Brightness in the Night,’ ” he said.
Gotimer, who will be embarking on her graduate studies at the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, will be performing a piece in German, Schubert’s “Die Junge Nonne” (The Young Nun).
“Its very dramatic, and that’s why I love it,” Gotimer said. “It’s about a nun who is describing the storms — ‘the thunder is rolling and the house is shaking’ — so she talks about how her life was kind of like this storm, and then she found Jesus.”
Gotimer said singing in German is something she enjoys. Working with Rutenberg is enlightening and more than helpful.
“Craig Rutenberg speaks German so well, and he has helped not only me, but probably all of the singers take our singing to a whole other level,” Gotimer said. “And it shows — when you’re working with him, you’re like, ‘Wow. This is wonderful.’ ”