"Music encompasses that which cannot be touched, but can still be felt," Chloe Coulthard says. "I am most drawn to music through the way I can communicate emotion through song. The intricacies of notes and pitches on the page can be translated into very real emotion. I approach music from the perspective that it can be healing, not only for the performer, but also for the audience."
She got her start in music though her family. "My mother, stepmother and grandmother have all been extraordinarily supportive of my life of music. They have taught me so much about what true musicianship really is."
But they are only part of the equation. She has sung with her church's choir since she was about 12. "Those men and women have really helped me realize that singing isn't all about me, it's about what my voice can do to help others. My voice teacher is really quite amazing. Rachel Helton is a fantastic mezzo soprano, and I can't thank her enough for helping me find my voice and teaching me not to be afraid of the huge sound I can produce," Chloe says.
Chloe recently studied vocal/operatic technique at the Brevard Music Center. "I learned so much about professional music and performance. While I was there, I was a member of the opera chorus for "Falstaff' (an opera by Verdi). When I went to Brevard, I realized that music is more than just making beautiful sounds with my voice; it's about finding out who you are."
She attributes a large part of her success to her choral teacher, David Carroll.
She was selected for the Virginia Music Educator Association's honor choir as one of 128 singers chosen from a pool of more than 600. She has been a five-time participant in all-county and all-district choirs and a two-time participant in all-Virginia choir. Most recently, she was selected for the American Choral Directors Association Regional Honor Choir, which includes singers from 11 states and has an audition pool of more than 1,000 singers.
Chloe also plays flute and piano. She is learning to play oboe, "I'm pretty sure I sound like a dying animal with that one," she says. She has also participated in four all-county band events, three all-district band events, and the Virginia Tech honor band, and has received the rank of superior four times as a solo flutist at Solo and Ensemble.
"Music is a huge part of my life," she says. "I'm constantly doing something music related, either by listening to or making music. I have found that music helps me stay calm inan otherwise stressful school year. Music often heals what medicine cannot, and music creates a connection between musician and audience that is like nothing else."
She plans on attending a four-year college or university to become a choral music teacher. She has been accepted into several schools, but hasn't decided which one she wants to go to quite yet. "It's a huge choice, and I want to make sure that I go to the best school for me," she says.
Chloe is 17 years old and has two mothers, Catie Coulthard and Gabi Serna. She attends Patrick Henry High School and lives in Emory, Va. She enjoys riding horses, biking, caving and "all the adventures life has to offer."