Teen news: Student selected to sing in concert

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Voices harmoniously singing along with the upbeat notes of a grand piano escaped the choir room at Austin High School.

It was Monday and the Vocal Jazz group of singers met for practice. Among the group of students, senior Bethany Larson in her stocking cap, joins the group.

Ever since she can remember music has always surrounded her.

Email newsletter signup

The 17-year-old was recently a semifinalist at The Dorian Choir Festival at Luther College in Iowa. She was one of 29 singers selected out of 500 to sing to the entire faculty. The festival gathers some 1,400 singer from surrounding states such as Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.

Larson is dedicated to the art of music and plans to continue to be, she said.

"I started singing at church when I was 4 or 5," Larson said.

She has been performing and singing ever since and she plans to attend Northwestern College in St. Paul to major in music performance.

The youngest of four children, she said her brothers have been her musical role models, helping her to learn to play the guitar.

At Larson's home, music is a long-held family tradition. Her mother plays the piano and her three brothers play the guitar and piano as well.

Her father Gordon Larson, a minister at a local church, and her mother are members of the local musical group, the Northwestern Singers.

"She is not afraid of people and she is not afraid to speak her mind," said Anna Dalager, her friend of three years.

Besides her musical talent, Larson has also inherited her father's out going nature, she said.

"I am a lot like my dad in that we have a lot of the same interests," Larson said.

Larson considers herself a busy body.

"I would like to slow things down, but I always have to be doing something," she said as she played with a piece of paper in her hands.

Her activities vary depending on the day of the week. After vocal jazz, she will head over to the Austinaires practice, which she has been a member of for the last three years. The highly-selective musical group is composed of 11 girls and 11 boys, who have to audition to join.

After spending a series of hours practicing at school, church and working, Larson looks forward to Friday when she can finally spend sometimes with her friends and maybe even get a chance to listen to some of her favorite tunes.

Among her other activities, Larson is a hurdler for the track team, running in the 100 and 300 meters races.

She is looking forward to the variety talent show the schools sets up every year. She has participated in previous years singing songs by Jewel, Christina Aguilera and her idol, Jennifer Knapp.

"I think this year I am going to write a song for the show and play the guitar," Larson said.

There is one main source of inspiration for Larson.

"God is my inspiration. I been going to church all my life and base a lot of my morals on the bible," Larson said.

Roxana Orellana can be reached at 434-2214 or by e-mail at :mailto:roxana.orellana@austindailyherald.